I Know Your Secret by Daphne Benedis-Grab

Disclaimer: I received this finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: I Know Your Secret

Author: Daphne Benedis-Grab

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: Adopted MC from Kazakhstanian who is orphaned and lives with her grandparents

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: Middle Grade readers, thriller, mystery, single day books

Genre: MG Thriller Mystery

Publication Date: December 7, 2021

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Pages: 226

Recommended Age: 12+ (Covid, Parentification, Anger issues, Power imbalance relationship, Misogyny, Violence, Racism, Depression, Anxiety, Blackmailing)

Explanation of CWs: Covid is mentioned throughout the book and is apart of the book and character’s history. Parentification shown in the book. Power Imbalance relationship between a 7th grader and a sophomore in high school mentioned. Misogyny, Violence, Racism, Depression, and Anxiety mentioned. Blackmail is a key component to the plot of this book.

Synopsis: The email arrives Sunday night: Do exactly what I say, when I say it, or I will reveal your secret.

On Monday morning, seventh graders Owen, Gemma, Ally, and Todd, who have nothing in common and barely know each other, must work together and follow the instructions of an anonymous blackmailer. None of them want to go along with the blackmailer’s instructions, but each of them have a secret they must protect at all costs.

Set during a single day of school, the students race against the clock to complete a disquieting set of tasks, with fast-paced chapters detailing each moment of the day interspersed with a later interview-style recording made by the quartet.

I Know Your Secret is an exploration of why we conceal the truth, how far we’ll go to keep it hidden, and the power of being honest.

Review: Overall I like the book a lot. I really like the mystery part of it and how the book kept you guessing from person to person on who is blackmailing these kids. I thought that the World building was pretty well done and that the character development was pretty good for two of the main characters. I also felt that the pacing was very on point and I liked the back and forth between what was going on and the recordings that they made.

However, there was a couple things I didn’t like about this book. I felt like Gemma and Owen weren’t well developed unlike Ally and Todd. I also felt like the book was a bit muddled at the end and the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, there’s no real consensus on what happened to the kids in the aftermath. The book just kind of ends and it’s very disappointing considering that the reader was on this journey with these kids for so long.

Verdict: It was good except for that cliffhanger.