Don’t Tell A Soul by Kirsten Miller #bookreview #YA #mystery

Stay up all night with this modern day Rebecca! Perfect for fans of Truly Devious—a haunting story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her.

People say the house is cursed.
It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims.
In Louth, they’re called the Dead Girls.

All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family’s past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion.

But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew—and destroyed half the house he’d so lovingly restored.

The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don’t want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she’s discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home.

The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town’s haunted past, she might not either.

I’d recently watched the remake of Rebecca on Netflix when I read this book description. Ghosts, an old manor, a string of dead girls – what about this description doesn’t grab you?

I loved the setting of this story – a small town full of layers upon layers of secrets, an old mansion with disturbing rumors surrounding it, locals who don’t trust the newcomers and vice versa. It takes place during winter in the northeast, so the snowstorms and occasional loss of power just add to the atmosphere. The story unfolds slowly, and I had several questions concerning Bram – Why was she sent away? Why was she immediately on guard around males? Why was she so obsessed with Lark? All were eventually answered, and I feel the gradual reveal adds to the mystery. Between the manor and the town, Bram meets several people, all who seem to be telling her who she should trust. Suffice it to say, it’s all conflicting advice.

With so many deaths connected to the manor, I formed several theories and actually figured out one of the biggest twists early on. It seemed pretty obvious to me, so the final reveal didn’t come as a big surprise. Being a fan of the supernatural, I was excited for the paranormal aspects of the story, but things didn’t develop exactly as I’d hoped. It may not have been the story I’d expected, but I appreciated the underlying positive themes of overcoming adversity and reclaiming control.

This is an atmospheric story, and Bram is a plucky, determined MC who’s dealing with more than anyone her age should have to. A couple other reviewers mentioned the cover, and I agree it doesn’t seem to fit the book. Although there are a couple of plot holes (I read an ARC so this may change), the mysteries (there are several) may keep you guessing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

18 thoughts on “Don’t Tell A Soul by Kirsten Miller #bookreview #YA #mystery

  1. I forgot about the remake of Rebecca on Netflix. I’d really like to see that.

    From the blurb, this hits all the right marks for me, especially the creepy old mansion and the whispers of earlier tragedy. I don’t care for the cover at all, but there are enough plot elements to make me want to investigate further.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That cover really doesn’t do justice to what’s inside, Mae. I nearly passed by it on NetGalley because I didn’t think it would interest me until I read the blurb. I read Rebecca years ago and don’t remember much about it, but I sure enjoyed the Netflix movie.

      Liked by 1 person

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