cover image All Your Twisted Secrets

All Your Twisted Secrets

Diana Urban. HarperTeen, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-290821-6

In this intense psychological thriller, six teens—“the queen bee, the jock, the brains, the stoner, the loner, and the orchestra geek”—are trapped in a room with a bomb ticking down, a deadly syringe, and a note informing them that “within the hour” they must either select one person to die or face that fate together. Over the next hour, narrator and aspiring composer Amber; her boyfriend, baseball star Robbie; her former best friend Priya; her current bestie, overachiever Sasha; school valedictorian Diego; and resident drug dealer Scott must find a way to either escape or follow their captor’s wishes. As the minutes slip away, tensions grow in the room, resurfacing hidden resentments and old grudges. Alternating chapters set over the previous year further fill in the blanks until an inevitable-seeming clash reveals the students’ darkest secrets. Urban’s debut is a powerful one, rich in emotional turmoil and intracharacter conflict, with a strong message against bullying and a focus on standing up for oneself and one’s goals. Last-minute revelations will undoubtedly require a second close reading, however, and may prove polarizing. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Mar.)