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Meet the Characters
Illustrations by Evgeni Koroliov.
Acclaim for All Your Twisted Secrets
“Talk about frightening page-turners! I kept reading chapter after chapter. I had to know what happens next! And trust me—the scares just keep on coming!”
—R.L. Stine, bestselling author of Goosebumps and Fear Street
“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.”
“The Breakfast Club meets One of Us Is Lying in Urban’s adrenaline-fueled thriller, pitting the six teens against one another in a satisfying and delightfully claustrophobic ode to Agatha Christie.”
“All Your Twisted Secrets is an absolute nail-biter. Diana Urban takes the locked room puzzle mystery and gives it a modern, scary, young adult twist. Young fans of Agatha Christie will be entranced. A stellar new voice to watch.”
—J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Good Girls Lie
“An ingeniously structured page-turner, All Your Twisted Secrets is a thought-provoking commentary on bullying’s destructive and far-reaching consequences.”
—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and The Outliers
“With mystery layered on intrigue layered on suspense, Urban delivers a fast-paced, unforgettable escape room thriller—a gripping debut … I can’t wait to see what Urban has for us next.”
—Wendy Heard, author of The Kill Club
“Buckle up: this riveting, expertly-plotted YA thriller goes instantly from zero to sixty. You’ll want to devour it in one exhilarating, twisty gulp.”
—Kim Culbertson, author of Catch a Falling Star
“In her smart and gripping debut, Diana Urban crafts a classic Agatha Christie-style mystery with a thoroughly modern twist. Cleverly plotted and full of surprises, All Your Twisted Secrets marks the arrival of an exciting new voice in YA suspense.”
—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger Inside
“A compelling thriller… readers will be captivated as layers of each teen’s life are peeled back to complicate the mystery.”
—School Library Journal
“Debut author Urban’s high-pressure revenge thriller puts a sinister twist on the escape room motif.”
“Like a diabolical version of The Breakfast Club with equal parts murder and angst, All Your Twisted Secrets is a tense and exhilarating rollercoaster, sprinting against time to a shocking ending that will make you immediately want to read it again.”
—Mike Chen, author of Here and Now and Then
“Reminiscent of an Agatha Christie, All Your Twisted Secrets will keep you guessing to the end. A page-turner with characters you will love and hate. Simply, a fabulous mystery!”
—Kaira Rouda, USA Today bestselling author of Best Day Ever
“A heart-pounding thrill ride until the very last page. All Your Twisted Secrets has it all—a closed room, a long list of suspects, and secrets worth killing to keep.”
—Eileen Cook, author of With Malice
“If you’re looking for an edge-of-your-seat page turner, look no further than Diana Urban’s heart-pounding debut! All Your Twisted Secrets is a worthy descendant of And Then There Were None, with classic Christie vibes in a wholly modern scenario.”
—Rachel Strolle, Teen Librarian, Glenside Public Library District
One of them will die, or they all will…
“Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.”
What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.
Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?
Content Advisory: This book contains themes and/or mentions of bullying, suicide, death, violence, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug abuse.
FAQs for All Your Twisted Secrets
Why did you decide to alternate real-time and flashback chapters?
As you know if you’ve read, six teens are locked in a room with a bomb, a syringe of poison, and a note saying they have an hour to choose who to kill, or else they’ll all die. And one hour is a pretty limited time to get to know each character. I thought integrating flashbacks into the locked-room narrative would kill the tension, so instead I alternated real-time chapters with flashback chapters—all from Amber’s POV over the past year. Amber’s dream is to be a film score producer, and the flashbacks track her struggle to win over the intimidating queen bee Sasha (who’s drama club director) to score the school play and get into her dream music school. These flashback chapters get to the heart of the story: the characters’ relationships and how they deal with many of the pressures teens face today, from bullying to college admissions to losing a loved one—all while dropping clues about whodunit and who the victim while be.
How did you come up with the idea for All Your Twisted Secrets?
One day my husband and I were just sitting around speculating the shortest timespan you could set a book or movie to, throwing ideas back and forth. Could an entire book take place over just fifteen minutes? No way, that’s not enough time to accomplish anything. But what about an hour? What if you locked a group of people in a room for an hour? What if someone died at the end of the hour? What if the trapped people killed one of them? What if they had to choose someone to kill, or else they’d all die? We exchanged this look that was like, “Bingo,” and I raced to my desk and started scribbling down ideas for characters I could put into this crazy situation.
What was your inspiration for the themes in All Your Twisted Secrets?
I was inspired by so many things. The Escape Room apps and franchises surely crept into my subconscious as I developed the hook for six teens getting locked in a room and having a time limit to decide which of them to kill. I grew up addicted to listening to movie scores, and my protagonist Amber fiercely wants to become a film score producer. I was bullied and ostracized as a teenager, and those experiences helped shape some of the major themes in the book. So it includes an amalgamation of influences from my life—the good and the bad.
What made you want to write a thriller?
Thrillers are my favorite genre! I’ve always relished high-stakes situations, stunning twists, and stories where you feel like you’re piecing together a puzzle right alongside the protagonist. I adore a book that will keep me up way past my bedtime because I simply have to know how it ends. And I love that feeling when the rug is pulled out from under me, but I should have spotted what was coming all along. So I want to write what I love to read! Nothing’s more gratifying than hearing I kept a reader up and turning the pages until 3 a.m., or that I shocked them with a good twist.
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