We’ll Never Tell
Young Adult Mystery Thriller
Christy Ottavino Books
published May 16, 2023
About the book:
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.
Before I list some of the quotes I found noteworthy, I wanted to mention that it is much more difficult for me to find quotes in a mystery/thriller book, while also trying not to spoil anything.
- All good things must come to an end. We’ll Never Tell you’ve had a sweet ride. Time to go out with a bang. (Chapter One)
- But in reality, there is no romance in a crime of passion. There’s just the ending of a life, small and quiet, and the broken people that get left behind. (Chapter 2)
- I want to tell you three something he says. I’ve worked with teenagers before and I know y’all aren’t going to give me the truth on the first try. (Chapter 10)
- I did not inherit the flexibility gene. I can barely touch my toes. (Chapter 11)
- There’s something I’ve always wondered about with eyewitnesses: When a crime happens you aren’t expecting it. Your brain is jarred, shocked. No wonder witness statements are so contradictory and unreliable. (Chapter 12)
- Sometimes grief seizes me in a violent grip, and when it does, I almost double over in pain. I pause, breathe, try to release the image of how my life was meant to be. (Chapter 19)
- If this were a movie, the audience would be screaming at us to get out. (Chapter 26)
I think this is my first Wendy Heard book and I am wondering why. I’ve found the last few YA books I’ve read have skewed really young and the characters acted immature, but that wasn’t the case with this one. Don’t get me wrong, they are high schoolers, but it doesn’t scream high school as you read.
This one hooked me from the start. I liked the premise of creating YouTube episodes. I’ve always been a fan of books about podcasts, but this works too. Breaking into locations to film and show what other people aren’t privy to. There are dual timelines, multiple POVs, newspaper articles and letters to help tell the complete story. In addition to the present and past mysteries, I liked the friendship and relationships in the book. The close knit group of friends tested their friendships as they worked through the mystery.
I had lots of theories as I read this one and none of my wacky theories panned out until the start of the unraveling. I really fell for the red herrings in this one. And to see this is based upon the infamous murder house. It’s an interesting premise about whether a location is cursed. And of the most memorable quotes for me was the second to last paragraph in the book, but I am all about staying away from spoilers and wasn’t sure if it told too much.
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.