Cover Image: Everyone's Thinking It

Everyone's Thinking It

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Member Reviews

Well this book lured me in the easiest way a book can: by putting Black girls on the cover! So I was already on board and excited to read this and then I learned it was a thriller and I was even more hype. I'm just really loving this era of Black girls starring in thrillers/horrors/mysteries and I will honestly read anything with a Black girl in one of those genres. This one, I'm glad to say really lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed the slow burn of it and the hints we got along the way. It made me paranoid and nervous which is always the best way to feel when reading this genre. The characters were good and I was rooting for our main girlies the whole time. The twist was pretty good as well! I did guess it before it was revealed, but that didn't bother me so much! Overall, this was a really great read and I'm excited to read from this author in the future!
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I liked this despite the plot dragging a little in the middle. These were really well written teens that held my interest.
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This really did feel like a mean girls but it was so good. I am so glad I won it as a giveaway because I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise. Thank you!
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"Everyone’s Thinking It" immerses readers in the intricate lives of two black cousins, Iyanu and Kitan, who grapple with their identities while navigating the challenges of an exclusive, predominantly white boarding school. The story unveils a stark dichotomy as Kitan effortlessly ingratiates herself with the popular clique, while Iyanu is left on the fringes of the social landscape.

However, the plot takes a dramatic twist during a matchmaking event when a clandestine scandal erupts, punctuated by the release of intimate photographs and a vicious personal attack. The fallout casts a dark cloud over the school community, and suspicions coalesce around Iyanu as the prime suspect. What ensues is an enthralling journey spanning a week, a gripping quest to unveil the true culprit responsible for the damaging leaks, while the characters grapple with complex issues of identity, belonging, and the harsh realities of systemic prejudice.

The narrative's profound impact is further heightened by the author's skillful exploration of vital themes, including racism, sexism, white privilege, blackface, and biphobia. The relentless pursuit to uncover the perpetrator's identity maintains an unrelenting grip on the reader's curiosity. While I harbored my own suspicions throughout, the book's climactic revelations delivered a shocking twist that left me spellbound.

At the heart of the story is the resilient and deeply relatable character, Iyanu. Her predicament, compounded by the betrayals of her own cousin, elicits profound empathy. Iyanu's unyielding spirit and unwavering commitment to speaking her truth in the face of adversity make her a compelling and inspiring protagonist. Readers can't help but champion her as they follow her journey, hoping for a triumphant resolution to her struggles.

Though the story ultimately captivates, it does take some time to build momentum, only achieving its full, electrifying potential when the controversial photos come into play. The conclusion, while not conforming to conventional expectations, deftly underscores the pervasive theme of white privilege that underscores the characters' experiences.

In sum, "Everyone’s Thinking It" stands as a compelling and thought-provoking narrative that delves into the complexities of race, identity, and social dynamics. Aleema Omotoni's skillful storytelling sets a high bar, leaving readers eager for her future literary endeavors.
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This is great for Gossip Girl vibes in a book that deals with themes like racism (and particularly blackfishing/blackface) and sexuality (and particularly biphobia) where the central focus is secrets getting out and causing trouble. I had some trouble getting into this at first, especially because of the large cast of characters, but I ended up really enjoying it. This is the author's debut, and I will definitely keep an eye out for anything she writes next.
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This was so thought-provoking as well as very engaging.  I love the complexity shown in the characters and situations.  I hope more people will find this book and read it.
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This one was a little bit of a slow start for me. Feel like I saw the "twist" coming, but still a good read. Liked the teen elements it addressed, like bullying etc.
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The cover is what really drew me into this book but once I started it I never wanted to leave! This is essentially a mystery surrounding high school drama and racism, but I also love the coziness with family and friends that’s scattered throughout. 

I fell in love for so many characters and was rooting for them the entire time, they’re just so lovable. While I could kinda guess at the mystery early on, there was still so many aspects I never could have guessed. 

I felt that the ending was pretty realistic, but I do wish it had been lengthened our just a bit more. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Balzer + Bray for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I think due to my state of mind I had a hard time getting into this book but once I did I thoroughly enjoyed it I loved her cousin who sounded like so much fun and although this isn’t my favorite book this summer it is definitely in the top 10. I love teen thrillers and this one did not disappoint. I have never read a book by this author before but I will not be passing her books up in the future this is a fun team thriller that I definitely recommend for those who love the genre. I want to thank HarperCollins children’s books and Net Galley for my free ARC copy please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.
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This book was a lot of fun and had all the fall vibes. The school is obsessed with rugby, there's school drama, and a mystery to be solved. I haven't read a ton of boarding school novels but I think it's a genre I need to explore more of.

There's also plenty of serious topics, like racism, colorism, blackfishing, homphobia, and biphobia.
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yone’s Thinking it

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This story follows aspiring photographer Iyanu and her estranged cousin Kitan. When photos are stolen from Iyanu camera and spread about the school with people’s secrets written on them and it has the whole school in  an uproar. I enjoyed that this who dunnit plot didn’t involve murder but instead little things that happened in high school. cliques, racism, colorism and bullying are among the issues visited in the book. I loved how the story ended and this author’s writing style is top tier. I was engaged throughout the whole story and this is one I have to own a physical copy of. 

Thank you HarperCollins Children's Books, Balzer + Bray and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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I absolutely loved this book! It was fun and fresh but also had a nostalgia to it that was ONE OF A KIND!
Put quite simply this was another huge win for the YA BIPOC DARK ACADEMIA CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL HORROR genre loving girlies (gender neutral connotation because this book is for everybodyyy)👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

It gives Mean Girls meets Gossip Girl meets meets Heathers meets Dear White People. There's drama, Intrige, openly queer characters, conversations about colorism within (and even out of the Black community, and much much more!
Tough topics are explored and touched on m with grace and yet are gritty and real!! I could go on forever but I'll stop here!



Special thanks to @balzerandbray for the opportunity to read and review this book on its publication date.
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I thought this was alright. A mystery set in a British boarding school. The mystery wasn't as strong as I thought it would be, the characters were not as fleshed out as they should have been, and the ending had almost zero climax. Obsessed with the cover though!
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Everyone's Thinking It, is a great book for teens and tweens alike.  It follows Iyanu and Kitan, who are cousins and two of the only black girls that the elite boarding school on the English countryside.  While Kitan strives to fit in, befriending the popular crowd, compartmentalizing and ignoring some of their racist tendencies, Iyanu, does her own thing and for the most part remains wildly invisible at school.  That all changes when the photos that Iyanu took for a school event get stolen then posted around school with secrets written all over them, mainly surrounding Kitan's friend group.  When Quincy, Iyanu's former best friend turned popular kid, offers to team up with Iyanu and investigate and expose whoever stole her photos and outed the secrets, they go down the rabbit hole, learning all the dirty secrets of the school's most elite students.

Overall, I very much enjoyed Everyone's Thinking It.  However, as an adult, who wildly enjoys the YA genre, this one did feel a bit juvenile for me.  It's definitely meant for a younger YA audience.  That said, I realize that it wasn't meant for me and I do think that teens and even tweens would very much be able to relate to a lot of the secrets that the characters have in these books.  Additionally, I thought the book did a great job showing young people exploring their queerness and how that looks different for everyone, as well as showing the complications and prejudices queer kids have to deal with as they figure themselves out.  The book also does a good job pointing out the casual racism and microaggressions that POC people often unfortunately have to endure and that a lot of non-POC people don't even realize happen as well as showcasing the importance of having a safe-space and community around you that you can trust.

I would definitely recommend this one for teens and fans of contemporary YA.
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“If these messages are true, it’s not like anyone could know these intimate things about the group that practically runs our year. It has to be someone on the inside. Right?”

Iyanu has always stayed on the outside at Wodebury, an elite boarding school in England. Hidden behind the lens of her camera, she’s observant, resourceful, and incredibly skilled at photography. Iyanu’s cousin Kitan couldn’t be more different – Kitan befriends the most popular girls, Heather and Sarah, and fits in perfectly as the orchestra’s leader of the first violin section. Iyanu and Kitan fell out long ago, only interacting during the year twelve committee meetings. After the school’s matchmaking event where students are paired up for dates to the ball, Iyanu’s photographs of the event are stolen. Iyanu’s pictures resurface as polaroids that circle the school with everyone’s secrets on them. As chaos ensues throughout Wodebury, everyone in the committee is desperate to uncover the truth. Will Kitan and Iyanu be able to unravel the mystery, or will the drama from the Polaroids stand in everyone’s way?

Everyone’s Thinking It addresses many pressing issues regarding race, class, and queer identities all while captivating readers in a gripping mystery. Wodebury houses a mixture of different races and cultures with students from around the world – Kitan from Nigeria, Nivan from Spain, and Luc from France to name a few. Omotoni not only highlights the beautiful differences in her expertly crafted characters, but also draws attention to Kitan and Iyanu’s real-life experiences as some of the few Black girls at Wodebury through a split point of view. Kitan observes again and again how the rugby players find ways to not be paired with her at the matchmaking event, and Iyanu faces microaggressions. Both girls become completely appalled at Heather’s blackfishing and eventual blackface. Omotoni expresses the clear issues with Heather’s actions, and, importantly, describes how deeply this affected Kitan and Iyanu as Black women. In addition to the principal focus on race, Omotoni includes representation of LGBTQ+ characters throughout, and infuses the novel’s language with words from the Nigerian language Yorùbá. These inclusions, along with all thrilling aspects of the novel, make this a must-read for fans of One of Us Is Lying and those looking for a diverse addition to the YA mystery genre. Alongside the mystery is also a wonderful, enthralling romance. Iyanu struggles with her crush on childhood best-friend, Quincy, while Kitan navigates feelings for fellow violin player, Oliver. In all, Omotoni deserves endless praise for this inclusive and meaningful novel full of twists, friendship, fights, lies, and an invaluable perspective on the experiences of Black women.
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Iyanu has been known as the school photographers for a bit now, so when polaroids are found with secrets written on their backs, everyone assumes she's written them. Except she hasn't, those were stolen and the thief also took negatives she needed for an article she's writing. So now, she has to investigate.
Iyanu's cousin, Kitan, is in with the popular crowd and the two don't really talk. Kitan is about to go to a dance with the boy she liked but then, the polaroids change everything and she doesn't really know who to turn to.

Not gonna lie, when I saw this was a mystery and thriller, I was expecting a dead body. But this did not need one. I loved this book. The intrigue grabbed me right away. The hierarchy of the school, the whole polaroid thing, the secrets, the drama. This also just had such a great cast of characters and I was so taken by some of them, not only the 2 points of view, but the side characters also (especially Iyanu's sister Feyi). I loved doubting the side characters and falling for them all throughout the story. I really had no idea who had done what and in the end, I feel like i should have known but this was so well crafted I could not tell. The blatant racism throughout the book was absolutely horrifying in how true it rang.
Overall, this was an amazing debut and I'm definitely gonna be looking for more by Aleema Omotoni.
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Everyone’s Thinking It has an ambitious premise, with comps to Mean Girls and Dear White People, and even a few sources mentioning parallels to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. The true comparisons to the latter are vague at best, but all these inspirations come together to explore a very multifaceted story about life as a Black teen in an elite British boarding school, chock-full of backstabbing bullies, high school drama, racism, and not to mention the usual issues of growing up and figuring yourself out when you don’t fit the white, cishet default. It’s super chaotic and messy, and I rooted for the central characters, Kitan and Iyanu, as they got tangled up in it. Both are compelling characters with their own unique narratives, even though they do share common issues within the overall story. 
And while I did like both, Iyanu in particular resonated with me as one of the queer characters in the narrative, and the way she speaks about the biphobia she is targeted with in particular resonated. At one point, she discusses how people assume that you have a “huge” pool of people to date as a bi person, “but all these ridiculous ideas that people have about being bi makes you have less people who want to date you.” 
Pacing wise, it feels like a bit of a slower burn, with things taking their time to start. But once the main “mystery” element with the photos kicked off, there was a solid foundation to build on, surrounding how all these characters are connected to one another. 
This was an engaging read, and one that made me feel seen in some ways, as I’m sure it will for others in that way and in others. I’d recommend it to readers of YA contemporaries with mystery elements  that discuss relevant social issues.
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thank you balzer + bray and netgalley for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!

aleema omotoni did not disappoint with this debut novel! this was very much mean girls meets dear white people set in a london boarding school with dark academia vibes. 

while the beginning of the story was slow to start, once the polaroids were released, i was hooked. i was immersed in this story, trying to solve the mystery of who released the polaroids with the characters, and being just as surprised with each reveal. i think the storyline was paced really well, and i loved having both iyanu and kitan’s povs and reading about their internal thoughts. watching the character growth of iyanu and kitan was empowering, as they found their voice and place in this very prestigious boarding school. and i loved having a romance subplot! it did not take away from the main plot of the story at all, but helped enhance it.

this book was more than just a ya mystery filled with drama. it also explored and discussed topics such as racism, colorism, blackface, biphobia, and panic attacks. through these topics, aleema was able to weave together an uplifting story and how the characters chose to handle these topics within a boarding school setting.

this was a great ya mystery and i'm excited to read more of omotoni's work in the future! if you are looking for a contemporary novel with drama, romance, discovering who you are in an elite boarding school, look no further! 

4.5 stars
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This was everything my black dark academia heart wanted! The black girl magic, the narration, the feelings of belonging, god everything in this book was top tier! This will be one of my  most rec'd books this year!
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so imagine mean girls but as a midsummer night’s dream retelling set at an elite boarding school and that’s what everyone’s thinking it by aleema omotoni is. nigerian cousins iyanu and kitan couldn’t be more different, iyanu prefers being an outcast, feeling comfortable being behind her camera than the subject photographed while kitan has immersed herself in the popular crowd of wodebury hall. she seemingly checks all the boxes, she’s beautiful, wealthy and friends with the top of the social pyramid, though nobody knows the many personal sacrifices she makes just to fit in a predominantly white institution. photos of the student body are stolen from iyanu’s camera and released with their juicy secrets written on them, sending shock waves through the school. blame unfortunately falls on iyanu so her and kitan are desperate to get to the bottom of who stole the photos and why and they are wholly unprepared for how this mystery unravels.

aside from being utterly messy, i wasn’t prepared for how much this book resonated with me. if you’re a black girl who attended PWIs prepare to shed a few tears because both iyanu and kitan have their own ways of navigating this space that will feel so familiar. (blackface and blackfishing being a thing that i liked seeing addressed in YA fiction) it addresses the sheer psychological and emotional effects it has on your psyche, on your perception of self as a black woman, the compartmentalization in the face of blatant micro and macro aggressions to survive these spaces, the way you navigate dating and relationships in these spaces fearing you’ll never be loved for your true authentic black self, and the need of a safe space, a safe haven from these daily pressures. not to mention the prevalence of anti-blackness amongst other groups of POC. Aleema crafted a genuinely diverse, nuanced group of teenagers with so many deep ties to one another that i couldn’t help feeling attached to them all and their personal struggles. the addition of intricacies surrounding personal agency, privilege, mental health, homophobia and in particular biphobia which is severely overlooked in media just put it over the top for me. the way it all wrapped up and ended felt frustrating but also very realistic in how things take place in the real world. i can’t recommend this chaotic but thoughtful book enough, you need to read Everyone’s Thinking It by Aleema Omotoni.
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