“Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting“
If you’ve seen my Instagram review on this book you will know that I loved reading ‘AYTS’, and yet again, this book will be another deserving ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐. (I seriously have yet to read, and review, a book that I hate).
Not only is this book YA, but it’s also classed as a thriller, and if anyone has been reading my other reviews you will know that I have been reading more thriller genre’s ever since I read Rachel Sargeant’s ‘The Roommates.’ So I knew I had to dive into this one when I saw it!
All Your Twisted Secrets is a story about six teenage characters, Amber, Sasha, Robbie, Priya, Scott and Diego, who were all invited to a scholarship dinner. But what they thought to be an opportunity of a lifetime turns out to be a trap… With a bomb ticking down from an hour and a syringe filled with poison, the six hopefuls suddenly realise they are doomed and that they must kill someone before the hour is up, or they all die.
I won’t explain the backstory of these characters, since this is a major part of the storyline (and I want all my reviews to be spoiler-free) however, instead, I will mention that the characters in this story are one of the most fun written characters I have ever read, I loved reading about them from the first page until the last. There is a main character (Amber) but the story connects all six characters so well that no one is left out, although I would have like to have seen characters more than others.
I luckily came across this novel when searching for a YA book for my university assignment, and I’m so happy that I decided to read it. (And no, I didn’t do my assignment on it for those who are wondering). It’s so enticing and captivating that once I settled into reading it, I couldn’t put it down! The concept of having two different timelines, one before the bomb, and the one after are what keeps this book so entertaining and alive. It didn’t feel rushed like some thriller stories can do and instead kept a perfect pace that gave the ending that ‘shock factor’ we all want, although I did figure out the revealing ending halfway through…
Ironically, however, the ending is my favourite part of the story. It is both intense and quick (but in a good way) and the action during the finale scene is so fiery that my boyfriend had often laughed at me for my facial expressions or the fact that I was reading so fast, and intensely, that I would mumble the words. It was like the characters were in a meadow full of daisies compared to that moment, then suddenly they were transported to a pit of hellfire. I also love that the finale brings the two timelines together so clearly and perfectly. I wasn’t expecting an ending like this one, not only was it surprising but it was heartbreaking and emotional, something which made me forgive Urban for figuring out the reveal halfway through the story.
So, to conclude this review I must say that Diana Urban did a fantastic job of creating a well detailed and thorough story which is perfect for a wide range of audiences. I definitely recommend reading this, and if I could just forget I read it to read it for the first time all over again, I would. If there is one thing I could comment critically on it however, it would be that I would’ve liked a little more from the ‘after’ timeline to give of it more of a thriller feel and less a YA genre and to see more characters. I definitely see a sequel being made…