Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims

Please Don't TellTitle: Please Don’t Tell
Author: Laura Tims
Series: No Series – Standalone
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: May 24th, 2016
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 out of 5)

Note: There is sexual assault in this book.
The summary of Please Don’t Tell from Goodreads:

Debut author Laura Tims writes an intense and utterly gripping contemporary YA tale perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars. Joy has done everything to protect her twin sister…including murder.

Joy killed Adam Gordon for what he did to her sister, Grace. At least, that’s what she thinks happened. Now Adam can’t hurt anyone ever again, and her sister can be free from the boy who harmed her.

But someone else knows what Joy did, and they’re going to out her as a cold-blooded killer if she doesn’t expose the scandalous secrets bubbling just below the surface of her mundane town. As the demands escalate, and she finds herself falling for Adam’s half brother, Joy must figure out the blackmailer’s identity before everything spirals out of control.

The description of this book pulled me in right away. Even before reading, I kind of had an idea of what Adam did to Grace. My knowing this didn’t really take away from the novel, though. The concept of the book and the characters are what make this book, although the entire book itself fell a bit flat of the “intense and utterly gripping” description.

I Liked:

I think my favorite things about this book are Joy and Grace. They are twins, but they are entirely different.

Joy is the “troublemaker.” She doesn’t work as hard at school, she drinks, she talks back to her parents. She feels as though her parents don’t view her as a unique person. Instead, they compare her to Grace and in every way, she feels as though she comes up short. She will never be as wonderful as Grace in their eyes, and so she doesn’t even try.

Grace is the “perfect child.” She studies hard, stays out of trouble, listening to her parents. Yet, she feels crushed by the pressure and trapped in the small box her “perfection” has confined her to. She has OCD and develops an eating disorder. Just as Joy feels like she can never compare to Grace, Grace feels as though there’s no way she’ll ever be as amazing as her sister.

What I found especially interesting is how both Joy and Grace, although they were once as close as sisters could be, don’t really understand who they are now. Joy only sees the perfection in Grace. She doesn’t see how she pushes herself, how she compares herself and always finds herself lacking, how she hates being in a box and wishes she could be more like Joy. Grace doesn’t see how much it hurts Joy to always feel like the second best, how she feels as though there’s no reason to try to improve because she’ll never be Grace.

They trust each other with secrets, but not how they truly feel. They want to be there for each other, but until they can fully trust each other with everything, there’s always this barrier between them. I though the contrast between the sisters, as well as how their relationship develops over the course of the novel, was very well written.

I Didn’t Like:

Despite the amazing characters and promise of an amazing storyline, it just felt a little flat to me. I never felt fully engrossed, fully drawn in to the novel. I wasn’t needing to read as fast as I could in order to find out what happened next. The characters are what really kept me reading. The storyline just didn’t grab me as much as I hoped.

I Recommend This Book To:

If you’re a lover of character-driven novels, I think this is definitely worth the read. If you don’t mind a bit of predictability to your novels, I think the mystery element might work for you.

Purchasing Links:

Barnes and Noble

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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