Friday, June 3, 2016

Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims

Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims
Release Date - May 24, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 352 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong. 
Ever have a book seem like an absolutely perfect read for you, until you pick it up and discover it's just not for you? That's exactly what happened for me with Please Don't Tell. A fantastic premise that, for me, just wasn't executed to it's fullest potential.

There are two narrations that unravel this story for the reader. The first is set in present day and is told from Joy's perspective. The other details the events leading up to the present, including the night that changed Grace and the night Adam died. These flashbacks are told from Gace's point of view. The narrations felt, for me, very disjointed. There wasn't anything to really differentiate between the two and it left me not feeling connected to either story.

The mystery of who the blackmailer is obvious pretty early on in the novel. If the rest of the story had held my interest it would not have been an issue, but this element was the most interesting and this early certainty hindered the story a little bit. It made everything feel like just another step to revealing what we already knew, instead of allowing us to enjoy the journey to the answer.

The story is tried up in a satisfying way. There is plenty of closure without wrapping everything up into a nice little bow. This worked for the story and is perhaps it's strongest element. The ending makes everything that came before it mean something and adds a layer that was otherwise missing. I wish we had felt the emotional impact of what Adam did to Grace. I felt we were told it's impact rather than shown. The emotional element of the novel was what was missing for me. It could have taken this book to a deeper, more thought provoking place. It's especially necessary as this is a story that has been told before, and seems to be the premise of a few books coming out in the next little bit.

I would give another book by this author a chance, if only to see if this writing style is her usual or something she tried for this specific book. I, sadly, don't think it quite worked in this case. The plot itself was interesting and had a lot of potential but ended up not quite hitting the mark, at least for me. It didn't feel quite as nuanced, and developed as I would have liked. I am sure there are plenty of others who will enjoy this mystery much more than I did, but this is one that just didn't work for me at all.

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