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Please Don't Tell Hardcover – May 24, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Joy Morris truly hates Adam Gordon for what he did to her twin sister, Grace. So when Joy ditches Grace to go to Adam's birthday party and blacks out from drinking and Adam ends up dead in the quarry, Joy worries that she may have been the one to kill him. And just when Joy begins to think Adam's death may not be her fault after all, she receives a letter. Someone was at the quarry; someone saw what happened to Adam; someone has proof that Joy is a killer. If Joy doesn't expose a scandalous school secret exactly as the letter instructs, someone will report her to the police. But if she does, will this nightmare really end? Although this debut work addresses classic coming-of-age questions and touches on many important contemporary issues—mental instability, crime, physical differences—the combination is disappointing. The twins' self-reflective tendencies frequently overshadow their actions. This shortcoming is often used to reinforce a weak plot, resulting in a repetitious story line. Strong language is used throughout, and sexual situations are included. VERDICT An additional purchase for fans of crime-driven thrillers.—Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University R.M. Cooper Library, South Carolina
“Tims weaves a taut YA thriller...Readers of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why (2007) will find this to be a perfect complement.” (Booklist)
“As real as it gets, not only with its believable dialogue and diverse cast of characters but also its reflection of the world...teens will find this story easily relatable...mature themes are handled tastefully and appropriately...an excellent debut that will leave readers hungry for more.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“The twins’ drama accelerates quickly, taking readers down shocking rabbit holes. High-octane drama that thrills.” (Kirkus)
“Suspenseful debut. A compelling mystery. Tims expertly depicts the awkward uncertainties of teen life and the sometimes-blurry line between right and wrong.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Addresses classic coming-of-age questions and touches on many important contemporary issues” (School Library Journal)
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One Word: Riveting
Joy and Grace are as close as identical sisters can be, or they were before Adam Gordon raped Grace. Now Adam's dead, murder or accident? Joy is receiving blackmail letters, from someone who saw her kill Adam. But her best friend, the awkward Preston, says he saw Adam slip and fall.
Wow. Laura Tims hit a home run in her debut novel. Her major and minor characters were rich, damaged, flawed, mostly sympathetic and unique. I ached for Grace, the quiet, perfect twin who saw only her flaws. I wished Joy could see her strengths.
Alternating chapters were narrated by Joy and Grace were glimpses into their souls, insecurities, fears and secrets. Tims' impeccable writing held my interest with perfect tension and pacing. While the mystery components of what happened to Adam and who was blackmailing were the central themes of PLEASE DON'T TELL, Tims touched upon issues of body image, self esteem, insecurity, rape and other problems many teen girls face by weaving them seamlessly into the narration without screaming Eating Disorder or Depression. Mental illness was handled without stigma or judgment.
THEMES: death, murder, mystery, rape, friendship, family, twins, siblings, self-esteem, mental illness
PLEASE DON'T TELL is a heartfelt mystery with engaging, life-like characters and a stronger plot.
The story line kept me guessing the entire time. The novel opens with readers finding out that a high school student is dead. At first readers are under the impression that the main character was the one who did the deed, but as the story unfolds and more evidence is brought to light, readers will become unsure of who actually did it.
I really liked the characters in this novel. It is written from the POV of twin sisters, Joy and Grace. Joy is rash and loud and always says what’s on her mind while Grace is quiet and shy and devotes all her time to studying. Both characters are very complex. Joy is unsure of whether or not she actually killed Adam for what he did to Grace, but she knows that she very well could have because of the hate she has for him. And now she is getting blackmailed for it. Grace just wants everything to go away…she wants him to go away…but after Adam is killed, she still can’t get him out of her head. These two characters weren’t the only well written characters. I very much enjoyed all of the secondary characters as well. Without them, this novel would have been greatly lacking.
Laura Tims writes a fantastic story of love, betrayal, and hurt. She took a thrilling story line and inserted very deep and complex characters that, when combined, create an unforgettable story. I cannot wait to see what this debut author has in store for her readers next.
Please Don’t Tell looks like just another thriller on the outside, and while it is technically a thriller, it’s also so much more than that at it’s core.
Joy and Grace are twins, but the couldn’t be more different. Joy is the loud one with the I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude, and Grace is the quiet one who’s constantly worrying about college and studying. At least, that’s what you think at first. As it turns out, there’s so much more to each girl and this book is about them coming to terms about who they are as separate people, although it isn’t as easy as it sounds cause they have both been through some rough things and there’s some underlying mental issues that need to be addressed also.
Although Joy and Grace are different, they are alike in one way. They both idolize the other, they put the other on a pedestal and refuse to see the warning signs that something isn’t right, which really isn’t what the other sister needs.
As for the thriller aspect? I loved it! Of course I developed theories around about 40%, but I can’t tell you if I was right or wrong because I don’t want to give anything at all away. For that reason I can’t go into too many details regarding the twist because one tiny thing will ruin it, but let me just say, OH MY GOSH, THAT WAS CRAZY. Well played, Laura Tims, very well played indeed. You got me.
The story was compelling, with a cast of interesting and diverse characters. I didn't predict the ending, which is always a plus for me when reading any book. I really supported the way Tims depicted Grace's rape. Instead of writing the kind of "traditional" rape, where the woman clearly says no and tries to fight off her attacker, she chooses to write that Grace had a crush on Adam, but she was much too drunk to consent and she clearly did not want to have sex on him. I think that books and all media should write about these kind of assaults more often simply because they are often not seen as being as "serious" or valid as other kinds of assault. Which is simply not true. Showing teenagers in a date-rape situation helps highlight that kind of sexual assault and tells survivors that their experience is valid.
Most recent customer reviews
Joy and Grace Morris might be twin sisters but they could not be more different.Read more