Middle school is hard enough but what if someone knew your deepest darkest secret and held it over your head? Four tweens find themselves in this exact situation in I Know Your Secret, a new YA thriller from author Daphne Benedis-Grab. Read on for a full book review of I Know Your Secret!
“The email arrives Sunday night: Do exactly what I say, when I say it, or I will reveal your secret.”
I Know Your Secret Book Review
COVID has calmed down and students are back in school. A group of kids ( Gemma, Ally, Owen and Todd) are being blackmailed by an anonymous person who is demanding they do uncomfortable tasks. If they don’t complete the steps being texted to them their personal secrets will be revealed to the world.
The tasks range from the mundane (putting a bag of clothes in a locker) to tense (hacking into the principal’s computer.) The group doesn’t trust each other but they work together well to try to figure out just who is making them do the tasks and more importantly why they are being targeted.
What makes I Know Your Secret unique is that it takes place during an entire school day. Because this book takes place on a single day, the plot moves fast and after a quick introduction to the characters, we get into the meat of the plot- how these young students navigate a day of secrecy, intrigue, and tense social interactions.
The story is told from the different perspectives of each of the students, but the secrets aren’t revealed until the end of the book. I kept wondering what would make these kids put themselves in danger by hacking the principal’s computer and setting up another student. Most of their secrets are revealed and they are pretty serious which makes the situation realistic as some of the secrets should be protected.
The characters aren’t friends at the beginning of the story but that changes as they navigate the day. What they do have in common is that each has insecurities but deep down they are good kids. They struggle with the morality aspect of the tasks, and each character has theories that make good sense even if the real culprit isn’t revealed until the very end.
I Know Your Secret is a well-done young adult mystery novel in the same vein as Lois Duncan and RL Stein- just creepy enough to entertain and short enough to keep the reader engaged.