Cover Image: I Hope You're Listening

I Hope You're Listening

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Dee Skinner is your average 16 year old girl.  Except she's not.  She was a witness to her best friend's kidnapping 10 years prior and has never been able to get past the feeling of helplessness and guilt by being the girl who was left behind.  The girl who could never give enough information to catch her friend's kidnappers.  Now that girl has grown into a popular, yet anonymous, podcaster "The Seeker", appealing to legions of "Laptop detectives" to help her solve other missing person cases.  Now another child has disappeared and the case hits a little too close to home for Dee.  She's determined not to feel helpless again.  But can she do that and still be anonymous?

I enjoyed this book.  I wanted to know what was going to happen and I wanted to see it all tied up at the end, and I got that.  There were some extra things in there that didn't really need to be.  I didn't understand the romance with Sarah it happened so fast and contributed minimally to the plot.  I understand Dee needed to "out" herself as the Seeker to someone, but she ends up doing it with another character, anyway.  I know this is tagged as LGBTQ friendly, but it almost felt like the author threw the love interest in to get that specific tag.  It doesn't really have anything at all to do with the story.  Burke, Dee's childhood friend, could have filled the role that Sarah filled and it really would have made more sense.   That being said, I thought the plot as a whole was good and it held my interest. 

If you like missing persons stories, you will probably enjoy this book!
Was this review helpful?
“Sibby? Alright, I am counting down and coming after you.“ Never mind the chill in the woods, the nagging gut gnawing at her, it was hide and seek day for Dee and her best friend Sibby, to the treehouse, into the woods, pair of 7 year olds, nothing to stop Dee from buddy time with Sibby. 

Except Dee never caught Sibby that day. And she also never saw her best friend emerging from that forest again. 

10 years on, sitting in her bedroom, The Seeker is busy at work. Just over seventeen, scouring through requests to appear in her podcast, Radio Silent, her program to connect people who have missing persons in their lives. There are scores of enthusiasts and feelers alike ready to provide leads, all of them with the collective attempt, to break the silence for those who cannot be found. As a Seeker, this is Dee’s calling, to bring light to those who are lost, dead or alive, even if she still does not know what happened to Sibby. 

In Dee’s small town of Redfields, a decade after Sibby, another disappearance has cast a dark gloom yet again over its residents. Are the two disappearances linked, and what is the connection between Layla and Sibby? Is it enough for The Seeker to finally confront her own demons? To seek redemption for who she lost in the woods? 

This is an enthralling tale of hide and seek, where readers get to follow the trails of The Seeker, to discover, who are the ones who want to remain hidden? Who are those who are desperate to be found? And do they want to be found?
Was this review helpful?
I Hope You're Listening is a fantastic read, Romance, mystery and missing persons.... what more could you want from a YA novel? It's inclusive, thrilling and has strong characters with pasts that keep you wanting to know more and keep turning the pages to read more.
Was this review helpful?
The premise was promising, but yeah this didn't really work for me.
Almost all of my issues stem from the romance
1. They go from barely knowing each other to girlfriends like a snap of your fingers.
2. Given the premise and that the main character hosts this famous podcast that the other girl does listen to, it feels like there's an uncomfortable power imbalance there that is never discussed or acknowledged whatsoever.
So yeah, not really a fan of this book.
Was this review helpful?
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of I HOPE YOU’RE LISTENING by Tom Ryan in exchange for my honest review.***

Oh Tom Ryan, I’m falling in book-love with you. I HOPE YOU’RE LISTENING is even better than Ryan’s last year gem KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF. I’m a sucker for missing person stories, so I knew I had to preorder.  Billed as a cross between SADIE and TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET, I hoped the hype didn’t set me up for disappointment.  Reading I HOPE YOU’RE LISTENING is the opposite of disappointing.

I fell in love with seven-year-old Delia and her best friend Sibby. Ryan expertly captured Dee’s voice in a way that made me feel like a kid was telling me her story. Often, I can tell the gender of a writer by the representation of girls and women characters. Ryan’s female characters are as authentic as women writers’ in a way I haven’t read since adult literary fiction writer Chris Bohjalian.

I don’t want to give away any plot points for fear of spoiling a single word of  I HOPE YOU’RE LISTENING. Delia’s podcast episodes felt as real as Sadie’s. I hope publishers find a spectacular narrator to do the audiobook.

Rush right out and preorder or order  I HOPE YOU’RE LISTENING. Then schedule a day to read without interruption.
Was this review helpful?
5 stars 

I love YA, and I live for a great mystery or thriller, but I have been consistently disappointed when the two converge... until now! 

Dee has a fascinating backstory, and while the events of her past very much shape her current choices and traumas, she also demonstrates strength and resiliency that make her a riveting character and a positive model. When the novel begins, readers learn that Dee and Sibby, her childhood best friend, experienced a horrific event ten years earlier: Sibby's kidnapping and subsequent status as a missing person. Dee is understandably devastated by her perceived powerlessness, ongoing guilt, and crushing loss of her best friend. Remarkably, Dee takes action by building a well-known podcast (that is kind of a mashup of several podcasts on the Exactly Right network but not exactly) and using this work to hide herself and to exert some form of control and empowerment over other missing persons cases. At the same time, Dee is a typical high schooler who is also developing a  romance with her neighbor and working through some drama with her friends. She is both a realistic and exceptional character, and this makes her fun to read. 

Other aspects of this novel that work well include but are not limited to LGBTQ+ representation (a character living through a really wild experience who just happens to be gay and whose identity affords folks the opportunity to be human or close minded), a tightly constructed plot that is less predictable than really all of the other YA thrillers/mysteries I've read in recent years, and a lot of really cool angles (which I won't list here because I hate spoilers) that work together instead of jump a bunch of sharks. 

This is a great read, especially for folks who dig a solid YA novel and a good mystery/thriller. I loved the podcast angle, too, by the way. I'll be recommending this one to students, colleagues, and friends and family; it fills a lot of gaps in the genre and is just a fun ride overall.
Was this review helpful?