We’ll Never Tell by Wendy Heard
Genre: Young Adult Mystery Thriller
Publishing Date: May 16, 2023
An ambitious and juicy whodunit doused in Hollywood lore, perfect for readers of sexy summer thrillers like The Twin by Natasha Preston and The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson.
No one at Hollywood High knows who’s behind We’ll Never Tell—a viral YouTube channel where the anonymous creators trespass behind the scenes of LA’s most intriguing locales. The team includes CASEY, quiet researcher and trivia champ; JACOB, voice narrator and video editor, who is secretly dating EDDIE, aspiring filmmaker; and ZOE, coder and breaking-and-entering extraordinaire.
Now senior year is winding down, and with their lives heading in different directions, the YouTubers vow to go out with a bang. Their last episode will be filmed at the infamous Valentini “murder house,” which has been left abandoned, bloodstained, and untouched since a shocking murder/suicide in 1972. When the teens break in, they capture epic footage. But someone trips an alarm, and it’s a mad dash to get out before the police arrive—at which point they realize only three of them escaped instead of four. Jacob is still inside, slain and bleeding out. Is his attack connected to the historic murder, or is one of their crew responsible?
A week of suspicions and cover-ups unfolds as Casey and her remaining friends try to stay alive long enough to solve murder mysteries past and present. If they do, their friendship may not survive. If they don’t, the house will claim more victims.
Its been a long time since I participated in blog tours and decided on a whim to restart it. This YA book about four teens was an engaging read from start to end. What I liked majorly about it was the premise. These days YA whodunnits are centred around kids in detention, pranks and anonymous blackmailers but this one was different in that it revolved around the teenagers behind a viral Youtube channel who film content in places that are hard to get into – for the thrill of it and “satisfying people’s curiosity”.
Zoe is the programmer who can hack into security systems to gain access, Eddie supplies the filming cameras and directs the shots while Jacob edits them and Casey – the narrator of the story, is the researcher and voice-over script writer. It all seems so cool, a bit unrealistic for someone like me but I get it.
The 4 misfits decide to shoot in an abandoned villa where a famous Hollywood couple were murdered, for their latest (last) video but things get out of control and one of them gets hurt seriously. The rest of the story is Casey trying to figure out who did this and why.
The plot also focuses on the murder from the past told in the form of news articles, letters etc. Among the characters, I loved Casey’s grandma and JJ, Jacob’s dad – both the adults that are more commonly mentioned in the plot.
The author is very good at maintaining the eeriness and suspense throughout the book which is really important to keep the reader engaged. Also I liked that the queer characters were the “main” couple of the story as its usually straight couples who rule the plot and queers are mere side characters.
I was able to predict how all the plots would be tied up but still this was an engaging and enjoyable read.
I rated it 4/5 stars!
If you are interested in checking out the book, please do check the links given below.
Thank you to TBR and beyond tours for the opportunity to read this book early, I am also leaving a link to the tour schedule, if you want to check out what other reviewers have to say about this book.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound
About the Author:
Wendy Heard is the author of suspense and thrillers for adults and teens, including THE KILL CLUB, SHE’S TOO PRETTY TO BURN, and DEAD END GIRLS. Wendy has spent most of her life in Los Angeles, California, which is on fire more than she would honestly prefer, and can often be found haunting local hiking trails and bookstores. She loves all things vintage and has a collection of thrillers and adventure books from the 80s.