We’ll Never Tell | Blog Tour |ARC Review

Book Info:

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.

Book Links:

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.

Author Links:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | TikTok

Do people still read blogs?

It’s been so long since I posted anything other than books. Feels weird to write a blog these days when people have moved on to Instagram and Twitter. Well , when I started using Instagram, this blog started dying too. it was easier to post something short with a picture and easier to comment and follow others there. Blog-hopping and blog contests were long forgotten. When I occasionally check this blog’s email account and see a mail notification for life update blog posts from friends from all those years, it always brings me a smile. I keep wondering what’s going on in their lives. But I’ve also changed a lot in all these years and avoid as much interactions 😅

I started this blog ten years ago, wrote a lot of personal rants and then archived them to show only very few personal ones and concentrated on book reviews. Now it feels like I’ve come back here again, wondering whether I should start writing here bcos I keep going between having a lot to say and don’t wanna over share. Now Instagram is full of real life friends and internet friends that I’m reluctant to share more. I may frequent this space depending on how much I wanna word vomit coz who still reads these blogs anyways 😅

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow- Book Review

“It’s more than romantic. It’s better than romance. It’s friendship.”

It comes as no surprise that I loved this book.

I’ve never read any book that was focused on platonic friendships with all its highs and lows told in a very compelling way. This book as it says in the cover, is not about romance but about love. Between friends and their love for video games.

Can I also say I’ve never liked any other book that talked about video games as extensively as this one? The book is well written and and keeps you invested in its characters – the kind of characters who are flawed and stay in our mind long after we close the book – and the games they develop, their creative process and how they design it.

Aside from gaming, the book deals with love, trauma, disability, grief, gun violence, sexism and Sadie & Sam’s on-and-off friendship that gets strained over the years. I could relate to their constant fights and periods of hating-each-other coz I do that with my best friend. At the risk of spoiling the book, I’ll just say I truly empathized with Sam when he learns about Sadie’s relationship.

Sadie and Sam were complex and annoying most times, Marx was easy to love. But Sam eventually became likeable. Even though he doesn’t like to talk about his disability or pain, they are cleverly constructed into the games they develop. At times, when Sam was suffering and Sadie couldn’t see through his pain or reach out, I resented her.

If you expect this book to give you the warm fuzzies, you will be disappointed. This isn’t a book you would ABSOLUTELY love, but it’s well-written and will

If you are looking for a character-driven, slow-paced coming-of-age book, this one’s for you.

Little Thieves | ARC review

Thank you to the publishers for providing an eARC of the book.

I read Little Thieves back in June and loved it. The story is a retelling of the Goose Girl which I’ve never read so I went in not knowing anything at all. Owen’s writing was slightly similar to Leigh Bardugo probably because of the German words mixed in with the plot but this isn’t a heist story to give off the exact same vibes.

The author provides content warning at the beginning of the book, kudos to that.

If you read the synopsis, you ought to know this is the story of the maid Vanja who steals the identity of a princess and is cursed by an immortal when she does something wrong.

Vanja is perceived as the selfish anti-heroine who is greedy and steals from nobility. Still, Owen has been successful in making this character likable because she is whip-smart and also there’s an obvious backstory for why she is, the way she is which makes her actions forgivable. Vanja assures herself to not panic when she gets into situations and I liked that sort of level-headed thinking. There’s also an equally show stealing character who is gender-fluid – Ragne who helps Vanja to break her curse.

I enjoyed the writing and after a certain point it started following the fairytale format where the wrongs are righted. I’m not a fan of the rushed ending but I’m very much excited about how the next book would go.

The world is a bit complex with its politics and currencies but keeps you engrossed. Other than Ragne we have few amazing secondary characters and the awkward LI.

Also I need more books told from the villain/anti-hero POV and more of the morally-grey-MC-falling-for -the-person-who-is out-to-kill-them trope.

My rating 4.5 stars , recommended for YA fantasy lovers (please check content warnings before reading)

Six Crimson Cranes | ARC review

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim is one of my  anticipated release of the year and it did not disappoint. 

TW/CW: physical abuse, kidnapping

What can you expect :

  • A lush retelling of The Six Swans fairytale
  • East Asian rep on point 👌🏻
  • Shiori – the female protagonist who is spoilt, judgmental (basically a flawed princess) but has an amazing character arc
  • Forbidden magic
  • A kickass side character who has no filter 😂
  • Sibling bond that forms the basis of the story
  • Twists from the original fairytale that make the story so much more better
  • Monsters and snakes lurking around
  • And did I say, dragons? 

*not summarizing the plot here *  But check out the blurb on Goodreads

Incase you are not convinced yet, If you have already read Spin the Dawn duology (I haven’t) I’m told there are recurring characters from there in this book, so a lot of Easter eggs to look out for.. 

If you are looking for a change from reading about faes and or fantasy royal families based on the west, or want to read something oriental AND YA, this book is for you. 

Elizabeth Lim surely has a way with words and I’m pissed at myself for not yet picking up her debut duology. I’m really really looking forward to this sequel.  I want more of a certain Dragon in book two ! 

Slight spoiler : There’s a curse in the book and I was acting up like I was the one inflicted with it and didn’t utter a word for hours while finishing the book 😂 But truth be told, one part of the curse made no sense to me, as to whether the bowl on the head can allow others from seeing Shiori’s eyes, whether she can see them or not.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for an eARC!! 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Do watch out for this amazing book that releases on July 8th 2021!!!

Ace of Spades | ARC review

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé was one helluva ride. 

An Anonymous texter known as Aces ruining the lives of two Black teens in an elite private academy that gives you ‘Gossip Girl- Pretty Little Liars- I know what you did last summer’ vibes but scarier. (I haven’t watched Get Out so these are the 3 comparisons I can make). That’s the one line plot summary I can think of but the book offers so much more!! One of the best books I read this year and to think it’s a debut, well done👏🏻👏🏻

Also +1 for the author to include trigger warnings at the beginning of the book. 

Even if you read the synopsis and go in with some knowledge of what the book is about, you will still not be prepared for it, I say!

Not sure how to be not-spoilery, but the horrifying things the main characters Chiamaka and Devon go through in the name of racism makes your blood boil and lose your faith in people. How hard is it to be just kind 😭

I hate that these systems, all this institutional shit, can  get to me. I hate how they have the power to kill my future, kill me. They treat my Black skin like a gun or grenade or a knife that is dangerous and lethal, when really, it’s them. The guys at the top powering everything.    

I liked the contrast between the two main characters and also the fact that they weren’t unnecessarily romantically involved just for the sake of the plot. Chiamaka is a complete badass and full of spirit, she knows what she wants and is willing to achieve it whatever it takes, even though she is rich she has to struggle her way through the top because of her skin color. Devon is an introvert with hardly any friends and a scholarship student who likes his invisibility. And when they are forced to join hands together to fight Aces, there evolves this beautiful friendship. The book also talks how being queer in a BIPOC community is like and the homophobia that exists. 

Totally recommended and I’m really looking forward to Faridah’s upcoming books. 

So so grateful to the publishers and Netgalley for the E-ARC. Also I’m very happy about the attention this book is getting and the way it’s getting special edition/ book of the month editions etc as compared to a white author’s book. I hope more BIPOC authors get this deserving treatment. 

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Yearbook | Arc review

Thank you to Netgalley and Usborne Publishing for providing me an eARC in return for an honest review. 

TW: Body shaming, bullying, suicidal thoughts, self harm, domestic abuse.

The Yearbook by Holly Bourne brings out the brutal side of secondary school bullying and how school isn’t a pleasant memory for everyone. The main protagonist Paige works for the yearbook and is the silent observer that notices everything that happens in school especially the bullying done by fellow class girls and notes them down in her journals for years. She doesn’t retaliate or step in for any of the victims out of fear of being the next target. Her home situation isn’t that great as well as she has to suffer in silence through her father’s domestic abuse, unable to get any help from her brother or aunt. Her only outlet for the rage she feels against all the injustice around her, is her journal and also annotating on her library books. In one of the library books, she notices a like-minded person’s scribbling on red ink and tries reaching out to the stranger. 

Can we read old books the whole way home and share the best bits we find in the margins while eating mint Aeros please?

Up until Paige meets red-ink the story was progressing at a very slow pace. 

There were a lot of trigger warnings that made me think school is definitely scary these days. But for all the anger that Paige has, the ending didn’t justify it. Like it feels powerless and not enough. 

Also the bullying is more focussed on the mean girls and not on the guys, and the way teachers chose to ignore it, showing all of them in a bad light was also slightly disappointing. 

I loved the friendship that evolves between red-ink and Paige and kept looking forward to their encounters.
Overall a 4 star read for me! 

If you have read this book, do share your thoughts on the same.

The Songbook of Benny Lament | Book review

This is my first Amy Harmon book and when I saw the e-book is available for free on Kindle Unlimited, I immediately downloaded it after reading some rave reviews on Instagram and Goodreads.

The Songbook of Benny Lament is written alternatively in first person POV as narrated by Benny Lament and his radio interview from the The Barry Gray Show. When I read the synopsis as well as the first few chapters, it sort of gave me a Daisy Jones & the Six vibe and since its one of my favourite books, I had huge expectations for this one.

This book has interracial romance, Italian mafia and the 1960’s music scene all etched in perfect detail and imagery but it lacked a little bit of angst, that punch I felt with Daisy Jones. The writing was amazing and the way the story is told through interview snippets and in-detailed POV made it interesting. Like a preview and the actual play.

Benny’s family are part of the Italian mafia and he shares some complicated relationship with his father and his mobster uncle. He wants nothing to do with them and makes his own life through music and becomes reasonably popular for all the songs he writes for famous musicians. When his estranged father takes him to watch Esther Mine singing in a nondescript club, Benny is hooked to her voice and couldn’t deny the hold it has on him. Benny and Esther join hands together to make music and turn up a revolution instead. Because Esther is a woman of colour and this is the 1960’s and added to the mixture are some secrets that threaten their lives.

What I loved

I loved the father-son relationship however rocky and complicated it might be. I also loved the entire process of making a song and how Benny flawlessly puts in words and together with Esther, he creates magic. A lil reminder of Daisy Jones again!

The World building – loved the near perfect depiction of the 1960’s world – with a side of mafia and racism portrayed to the T.

What failed me

The actual chemistry between Esther and Benny. I didn’t “feel” as much as I wanted to. The forbidden romance should have pulled all the strings but as much as the lyrics to the songs they write enamoured me, the chemistry wasn’t enough ?!

I was easily able to guess the suspense that was a part of the story, so that fell flat too.

The perfect way to describe how I felt about the book, using a quote from book itself..

All I know is that I fell in love very.. reluctantly.

Overall its a beautiful story that has to be read and also good enough for TV as well. Stories of interracial couple ought to be told, fictional or real.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It Only Happens in the Movies | Book Review

I’m back after half a century to post a review of Holly Bourne’s book that was gifted by a dear online friend of mine for Christmas.

I was looking for something that wasn’t sappy but still YA to read during February and this couldn’t have been a better a choice. This book, just like its title says so, points out the flaws in romance movies and how they sort of give an unrealistic idea of romance or love and end up hurting them because of the big expectations they tend to give.

TWDrug abuse, Divorce, self-harm.

The Protagonist, Audrey (named by her parents after Rom-com star Audrey Hepburn, ofcourse) has had a tough couple of months, what with her dad’s affair and her parents divorce, her dad’s remarriage and her own break-up and her mom gone completely ballistic over the fact that her dad is living his life with his new family. Her elder brother abandons her most of the time, leaving her to take care of her mother solely and she has had it with romance movies and boys. Enter Harry, a guy she meets at her new job in the local ‘posh’ theatre and he is all sorts of danger and cute and exactly what she doesn’t need at the moment.

When Audrey is required to pick a topic for research as part of her Media studies coursework, she chooses – “Why Love is never like the movies”. I really loved how she broke down the rom-com tropes available in all popular movies and analyses them. One of the reasons I liked the book was because it wasn’t just being critical and nit-picking on the popular rom-coms that we know but also talks about some great ones like Cinema Paradiso.

I did not like Harry. Or his friends so I have nothing much to say about them. But Audrey’s friends? There’s a lot of complicated relationships discussed in the book and one among them is her all-girls friends gang. They are good people. The ones that wait for their friend on the sidelines and let her have her crazy moments and be there for her. I loved that bunch and Leroy.

The book just like the movies, has its cheesy moments but it does break out of that cliché. It brings about some mature conversations about your first time, first love and is also slightly feminist. And that ending ? I stan.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I highly recommend this book, if you are in the mood for a complex and cynical read, that’s also YA.

Anxious People |Book Review

“We are just strangers passing each other, your anxieties briefly brushing against mine as the fibres of our coats touch momentarily on a crowded pavement somewhere. We never really know what we do to each other, with each other, for each other.” ⁣

I had the chance of listening to an Audiobook listening copy (ALC) of Anxious People by Fredrik Backman through Libro.fm

This book is probably the first Backman I managed to finish and even before reading his books I’ve shelved him in my favorite authors list.

Suicide , Anxiety, Depression

A bank robbery gone wrong, a hostage situation that shouldn’t have happened. That’s it – this forms the outline of this brilliant story that talks about how a bunch of strangers’ life gets interconnected with each other. The story line sounds simple, but its told in a kind-of-beating-around-the-bush, prolonging-the-ending kinda way. Which can be a little off-putting to some.

If you have seen any hostage movie, they generally have these emotional scenes about the captives and in some cases the people who held them hostages. (Stockholm syndrome, ofcourse!) So this book also follows the same but what makes it more beautiful is “a book is always better than a movie” and the writing that’s so satirical and whimsy and touching. It reads like a study on people, behavior of people who have some common ground experiencing the same thing but going through their own stuff, own back stories.

The book might trick you into thinking its lighthearted but some of the stories and anecdotes are so heavy but not kinda preachy. There are a lot of sensitive subjects discussed and some of them with a hint of humor. I don’t wanna give off spoilers but the way few characters life where interlinked without them being aware of it and the teeny tiny twists in the story will keep you engrossed. I also loved the emotional bonding between some of the characters specifically the father-son police duo Jim and Jack.

The book definitely made me laugh and dab my eyes at some places. So ofcourse I give it a solid 5 star!!