Cover Image: I Hope You're Listening

I Hope You're Listening

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Member Reviews

Review to come to blog on October 16th during my Blog Tour stop and on that day on Goodreads as well.

I received this book from the Tour Host in exchange of an honest review.

I was already looking forward to this book and so I was excited that I had the chance to read it early. In the end I managed to wait at least until October 1st as I wanted this one for Hallowtober. But boy this was a ride, I just couldn't stop reading. Thankfully, between all the exciting parts there were also some moments to breathe. 

Meet Dee, or Delia. A girl who had a very traumatic experience. When she was a kid her best friend got kidnapped while she was there. We see how that still affects her to the day and also that this is why she started the podcast. To at least help out others because she couldn't help Sibby. She is a strong character, or at least tries to be. I loved her from the first page and she only got better with each new piece of information we get about her.

At times we go back in time, 10 years, to the moment when the kidnapping happened. My heart broke when we got the last piece of the puzzle. Poor Dee. :( 

I am not a fan of podcasts in real life, probably for the same reason as I am one to read audiobooks. My ADHD just doesn't let me concentrate on things like that. But I do LOVE LOVE podcasts in books, especially thriller/mystery books as it definitely adds something to the story. I also liked, hopefully that is the correct word given what the podcast is about, the podcast and how much hard work Dee put into it. And how much good it did. We see several cases and we also read about other cases. Dee has quite a record with finding people, so I could only imagine how hard it is for her that she never could find her best friend. 

The romance was just perfection, it was there and it was fantastic, but it wasn't overpowering from the mystery, the exciting moments. Sometimes that happens, so I am happy with how it ws done here. You are definitely shipping these characters. I just love reading how Sarah affected Dee. Just by wearing something cute, or just by saying something. It was adorable. I loved seeing them get closer and I just loved how sweet Sarah was. How she listened, how she figured out Dee's secret but also kept it a secret, and so on. 

I absolutely loved Dee's parents, and my favourite would be the dad. He was just hilarious and wonderful. The things he said just didn't fit his age so that both his wife and daughter would at times cringe at it. I had a big laugh when Dee and Burke came home... to find Dee's dad totally baked. :P

I am still not sure about Burke. On the one hand, great character and I do understand why he changed and became more distant. HOWEVER, I was just pissed that he kept pushing Dee into doing a podcast about Layla while she clearly said no. While she clearly was uncomfortable with it all. Respect her damned wishes. Even later on he keeps saying stuff that just had me rolling my eyes. I get he was affected just like Dee, just like many people. But no need to chew her out. :| 

Quinlee (or whatever the bitch name was) was one of the worst characters in the book and I kept hoping that karma would dole out some justice because hot dang that woman is a mess. 

I loved that this all took place in a small town. There is just something special about mystery/thriller books that take place in there. Everyone knows each other. 

The ending and seeing Dee go full out on finding Sibby was just wonderful, exciting, the pages went by even faster than they already did. It was great to see Dee follow the snippets of information she had and make something out of it. She is always saying that she just finds the stories to tell on her podcast and that she leaves the rest to the Laptop Detectives, but here she is, along with Sarah, and she is doing something amazing. 
That scene when [spoiler]she found Sibby? TEARS, I was just so happy to see Sibby alive. Healthy. Then there was the scene when Dee was running away and broke out of the forest, OMG more tears. You had all that tension and then that scene happens in front of you and BOOM, tension just flows away. Beautiful. [/spoiler]

The Layla case was also an interesting one and the parallels with Sibby were creepy. I can just imagine how it is for Dee, for the town. Another missing girl. Exactly 10 years after. Copycat? The same person again? I am glad that this case also got closure, and no I won't tell you what happens. 

I was so happy with the last chapters. That was a great way to end this book. A great conclusion. 

All in all, if you are looking for an exciting and mysterious read with great characters and sweet LGBT romance? Try out this one. Perfect for this Halloween season.
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This time, the mystery is personal.

While Tom Ryan's debut, Keep This to Yourself, was a murder mystery at heart, I Hope You're Listening is a new mystery, one with a much more sentimental air. Ten years after Dee witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby, another child goes missing in her small town, and all signs point to the two incidents sharing common origins. What already rattles Dee starts to eat away at her more than ever, and forces her to face everything she's learned and felt in the years since Sibby disappeared. More than that, she has to acknowledge the role she can play as the Seeker, the voice for those missing, if she wants to find the latest vanished girl.

Really, though, with all the personal ties clouding the way is it even possible?

I Hope You're Listening finds its primary ingredient in grief.

It's more character driven than Keep This to Yourself, if you ask me, with a greater amount of introspection and interpersonal conflict. That's not to say it lacks mystery, though! Of course I loved the elements that give this its mystery flavor: Dee tracking down clues, the past rearing its ugly head, and so much more. 

The heart, though, is in the grief surrounding Sibby Carmichael's disappearance, and its links to the latest case. While it's one thing to be the anonymous Seeker for cases Dee has no connection to, it's entirely another to dig into her own traumatic past, even if it means saving a child's life. Ten years ago, she watched kidnappers whisk her best friend away, and could do absolutely nothing to help. What seven year old child stands a chance against adults in such a scenario? But she blames herself all the same. No one else does, but everything she didn't do to save Sibby haunts her.

And with the newest case, that haunting grows stronger. She's torn between not making the same "mistakes" over again (not that anyone would accuse her of making mistakes the first time), and confronting the overwhelming emotion that accompanies a revisit of her deepest trauma. Even worse, it affects her relationship with her loved ones, sometimes in ways that hurt, and with good reason.

Really, I marvel at the strength in Dee's character. She's remarkably well-rounded, and stands in a position no teenager should ever feel they must stand in. I can't fault her for the sometimes brusque way she treats others, or her secretive paranoia, or the ever-changing tension in her relationships. She feels utterly human, and I have to love what that brings to the book!

Relationships, really, form another important ingredient.

Dee's relationship to Sibby is the source of her grief and guilt. Her relationship with Sarah is a chance at a fresh start, or even understanding. Meanwhile, she can trust her parents to trust her, even if they don't always show their support in the way she would most prefer. Her best friend has her back, even when it hurts, her school enemy is trying to help, even if she's not particularly kind about it, and the Laptop Detective Agency trusts her direction and ability to find the truth, even if they don't know her beyond her podcast pseudonym.

This web is so deeply important to every facet of I Hope You're Listening. It's the deep tethers of relationships or the fragile lack thereof that spur everything onward, whether in the present or ten years ago, and I absolutely adore how cleanly this merges both character and plot.

I also appreciate that we do get another queer relationship from Tom Ryan, and that there's minimal bigotry to accompany it. Sure, I wish the LI had a little more substance, but also? Dee deserves some peace and happiness and support, so I can't really complain about her getting a good girlfriend. 

I Hope You're Listening deserves a place on your shelves.

Releasing October 6th, just around the corner, it's already earned a place on mine (once I have money again 😭). Between a high level of enjoyment, excellent characters, and threads that come to complete ends, I have to recommend it. Sure, it will require a little extra suspension of disbelief from you (similarly to Keep This to Yourself, which maybe stretched a bit in the final chapters), but if you can get past the tiniest bit of that, I fully believe you'll find an enjoyable, rewarding mystery. 

And maybe if you want the full experience, you'll give it a go on audiobook! It doesn't have big podcast sections like Courtney Summers's Sadie, but I suspect it will pair nicely with the audio experience. 

CW: loss of a loved one, kidnapping, suicide mention, smoking, drug use, animal death mention, homophobia

[This review will go live on Hail & Well Read on 9/29/20 at 10am EST.]
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I decided I needed to read this book after reading the synopsis. It gave me Sadie vibes and I absolutely loved Sadie.

I read this in one day. I loved it! I have a bit of an obsession with YA books and I always seem to reach for the mysteries. 

“Is there something you can do to help?
Listen up. 
Let’s try”

Ten years after witnessing her best friends abduction, Delia “Dee” Skinner runs a podcast called Radio Silent that helps find missing people. 

This was a really interesting book.

We get to see the aftermath of those events. How Dee feels about being the one  left behind and the guilt she feels from it. 

When we hear stories about abductions we don’t really think much about the people left behind. This novel definitely shows that side of it. 

Tom Ryan did a fabulous job with the characters and the mystery surrounding the town. I’m also happy to report I didn’t figure the mystery out until everyone in the book did. This almost never happens with me! 

The only negative thing I could say is I wish we learned more about the other characters. But that is mostly because I really enjoyed the book and wish we could have gotten more. 

I plan to read more books by Tom Ryan ASAP. 

Thank you netgalley and the publisher for the early copy of this book.
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3.50 Stars. This was a good YA mystery. I’m a big mystery fan and have been since I was a little kid running around with my Nancy Drew books. When I saw this book, about a gumshoe teenager, I thought that this could be a lot of fun and might even be a little reminiscent for me. I did enjoy this read but I do have to admit I’m a little bummed that I didn’t love it. There is a lot of really good here, so much potential for a fantastic story that I’m disappointed that there were too many bumps that just kept this in the good but not great category.

I loved the premise of the book. After surviving an abduction that led to her best friend’s kidnapping 10 years ago, Dee runs a popular podcast searching for missing people. While it’s too late to help her best friend, she can help find others. Podcasts are so popular right now especially true crime ones so I thought the idea for this book was not only timely but really interesting, I sure was not going to pass up reading this.

One of the main issues I found was that this book almost felt like two different books. I sat down yesterday and attempted to read this whole book but I could not get into it. There were a lot of podcast elements which I didn’t think were written all that interestingly and I wondered why is it so popular with her listeners? And I also felt like the main character was too stiff and I just didn’t understand or connect with her enough. I ended up putting the book down and watching The Incredible Doctor Pol fix-up animals instead.

Today, I sat down with determination that I was going to read and finish this book. Luckily, for me, the second half of the book was really good. It felt so different to me. There was finally a new secondary character who wasn’t wooden or yelling at the main character Dee for no reason. Sarah, who is the potential romantic interest for Dee, was just what the story really needed. She got Dee to actually talk and feel and all of a sudden I’m connecting and liking Dee too. Not only do the characters improve but the podcasts sudden becomes interesting and as readers we are in the middle of not one, or two, but three mysteries. While some mysteries are larger than others, they all kept me wondering and most importantly reading. I had fun with the last half and I just wish the whole book was that good.

As I mentioned there were multiple mysteries going on. The big mystery ended up being the climax of the book and was really exciting. It had my blood pumping a bit which was always fun. However, the medium sized mystery ended up with a disappointing end. It is solved but we don’t know how. Nothing is said how the pieces were put together and how the person solved it, nothing. Instead the person just knows all the answers and announces them. It was a bit deflating after the great ending of the big mystery. A similar thing happened midway in the book too when Sarah figures out something almost no one else knows. So how did Sarah know? I don’t know, we are never told because she never explains it and no one asks, which doesn’t make sense since it was a huge secret. I get why this was done because it moved the plot in an important direction, but it’s almost the equivalent of giving the lady knight the new power of flight right before she is blasted with a column of dragon fire. You’ve got to explain the “how and why’s” to your readers, you can’t just make it so.

As you can probably tell this was a bumpy read for me but I still liked it. Half the book is really good and well done, it’s a shame it all didn’t come together. Even with my issues, I would still recommend this to mystery fans. In fact I’d recommend this to any mystery fans from teens to adults. Had I read this as a teen I would have LOVED IT! The YA, FF romance is super cute and the second half of the book is fun to read. The thing is you just need to be prepared for some bumps and some big ones at that, but I still think this is worth the read.
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I loved Dee, I thought she was a great MC. Dee runs a podcast called Radio Silent where she tells the story of people gone missing and asks the internet or laptop detectives to help. She does this because 10 years prior, her best friend was taken and she couldn't do anything then, but she can do something about it now. When another little girl goes missing, Dee finds herself in the middle, trying to solve the mystery of the past and present. 

Dee was a quiet kind of brave and I liked seeing her struggle with finding who she wanted to be throughout the story. I was also a fan of the plot. I really enjoyed that she was hosting this podcast, telling a story within a story. I love mysteries and this book gave off 'Sadie' vibes mixed with 'A Good Girls Guide to Murder' that I could get down with. There were 'edge of your seat' moments that kept me saying "just one more chapter."

There were also plenty of moments that had me shaking my head with frustration. Dee's relationship with Burke (the best friend) had some unresolved issues in my opinion. Her relationship with Sarah felt off at times. Then all the classic horror movie tropes that Dee just walked into.  

I still stand by that I was on the edge of my seat and I did pull an all nighter finishing this story. I enjoyed it. 

Thanks NetGalley and Albert Whitman & Company for the ARC in exchange for this honest review!
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Ten years ago, an adventure to a tree-house in the woods left Delia “Dee” Skinner alone after witnessing the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. Now seventeen, Dee, still haunted by her past, has vowed to help other victims by starting an anonymous true crime podcast, Radio Silent. Cloaked by her identity as the Seeker, she features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Dee carefully curates her cases and is able to keep her distance, but when a little girl goes missing from her old hometown, it opens doors previously thought closed and just might answer the questions she’s had since Sibby’s disappearance. But how far must Dee go to find out the truth?

It took me a while to get into this book, to be honest, but I chalk that up to only reading it while physically at my work office two days a week. I found it to be an interesting YA mystery thriller that once the action started up, it didn’t stop and I was in it for the long haul. After finishing, I really appreciate all the little bits of information sprinkled throughout the first half that came together in the end. Dee’s survivor’s guilt affects her almost every day since the incident, and I loved how the book explores how sometimes that makes you blind to other people’s feelings on the situation – you’re ostracized and believe no one can understand how you feel, and you know everyone treats you differently and walks on eggshells around you because they don’t want to say something wrong. Eventually that guilt eats away and makes you act irrationally. I wish we could have explored the characters of Burke and Sarah more, because I found them to be kind of filler. Sure, it was nice to see a f/f relationship that wasn’t questioned or side-eyed (ok, well, for the most part, there is one particular scene with a character that makes things uncomfortable), but I thought their romance progressed a bit too quickly, and while we do get some scenes with Burke towards the beginning and understand how important he is to the backstory, he does shy away for a major portion of the book.

Overall, I think this was a pretty intriguing mystery thriller. I didn’t predict the ending so I was surprised and I thought the chain of events was plausible when everything was revealed. I’m interested to see everyone’s thoughts when I Hope You’re Listening is released in just a few weeks. **Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Albert Whitman & Company, for the e-copy, all thoughts and opinions are my own.**
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I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan // ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you @albertwhitman for the eARC via @netgalley. I Hope You’re Listening by @tomryanauthor comes out on 10/6! 🔦

I Hope You’re Listening is a fun, YA mystery thriller perfect for any fan of true crime. The plot immediately grabbed my attention with the mysterious childhood kidnapping of Sibby, a terrifying act witnessed by our main character Dee. The mystery is rekindled when, ten years later, another child goes missing on the same street where Dee and Sibby once lived. From there, the plot takes off as the mystery slowly unravels and culminates in a tense, climactic series of events when Dee steps out from behind the sidelines of her podcast and takes the investigation into her own hands. 🎙👤

While the main plot itself was very compelling, the side romance could have had a bit more development. I loved that it was a casual, LGBTQ+ relationship, however, as non-heteronormativity is always a plus for me. It also helped that Radio Silent, the true crime, missing-person podcast secretly hosted by Dee, gave me huge “My Favorite Murder” vibes, which is one of my favorite podcasts. This was a quick and engaging read, and I highly recommend it if you love true crime, podcasts, or mystery.
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This will definitely appeal to fans of YA mysteries and thrillers, particularly those who enjoyed Tom Ryan's debut and fans of true crime, podcasts, and Courtney Summers' Sadie. The framing and the podcast are artfully done and Dee is a unique and enjoyable narrator. I really loved her family and Burke as side characters, but felt Sarah and their relationship could have been expanded on. In fact, I would have enjoyed the whole story even more if it was longer and more fleshed out. Both some of the relationships and the mystery wrap-up needed some extra room to breathe and be expanded upon.
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Major “SADIE” vibes which is why I wanted to read this book in the first place. I feel like a was missing the podcast element of it, the book title makes you think it will be a huge part but it only shows up in a couple of chapters and it’s disappointing because I felt like it was going to take up most of the book.

I do have to give the author props for the tasteful way they dealt with romance and relationships in the book, it’s not in your face but you still feel for the characters. I hate thrillers that are overwhelmed with a romance and the fast paced ness of the book is gone.

To be honest around the halfway point was was lagging, I wanted the podcast and I felt like nothing was getting resolved and then BOOM A CULT, which is the way to hook me into any book and I think the author was smart in putting it in the middle to keep people guessing.

BUT everything was resolved in less than 80 pages. WHAT THE HECK? There was such a huge build up, so many details and then it was like 0 to 60 with no stopping and no details. I didn’t want a slow burn but I didn’t want to feel like I was on a three second roller coaster.

I just felt let down from the hype of the book.
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I thought this was another great entry to the true crime podcast YA genre. Definitely fits in with Sadie and The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. I definitely wasn’t expecting the turn that the mystery took, and it kept me guessing until the end. I also loved that the MC’s sexuality is never explicitly discussed. Like, it’s not an issue or named. You know based on teasing comments from friends and family, the MC’s reaction to the new girl. It was extremely refreshing, for it to feel so commonplace.
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This is a middle of the road YA mystery that is surprisingly compelling. It falls flat on the details, but makes up for it with its premise and solid execution. When Dee and her best friend Sibby went into the woods in their neighborhood, only one came out of them. Ten years later, Dee is still struggling to cope with the crushing survivor's guilt and maintaining her friendships. Yet, Dee has one way to keep her head up: She is the host of an popular and growing missing persons podcast. She finds fulfillment in helping solve or provide closures for other cases like Sibby's, but that gets turned upside down when another in town is abducted so close to the anniversary of Sibby's death.

I love the premise, the implied darkness and the hope that Dee is desperately seeking in helping close other cases like her own. I feel like it does a good job of balancing the bleakness of the situation with moments of optimism and hope (most of them coming from Dee herself, even as she feels hopeless as well). While I do think that Dee has a hard time seeing past her own pain to understand that of the other characters' - they all went through similar trauma, even if Dee was at the epicenter of that event - I wish that was communicated better throughout the book, so when the big blowout happens, it doesn't feel like she's being blindsided. Because I don't believe that Dee would be that shortsighted, given how she set up a whole podcast and refused to identify herself.

Dee also gets to have a love interest in the new girl, Sarah. The protagonist falling for the new person in town is a bit cliche, but Sarah is an empathetic listener, smart, and energetic. She's a great foil for Dee, and is also just the person Dee needed to help her cope with the current missing girl case. I do have questions about how Sarah is used in the plot (I know its vague, but spoilers, and I don't want to put a spoiler tag on the review), though. Also, there is a very cringeworthy moment at the climax when Dee screams out "I love you!" to Sarah. It was unnecessary and took me out of what was otherwise one of the best moments in the book.

Even with some of the details pulling me out of the book, I actually enjoyed it. I only gave it 3 stars because those details were missing and left some pretty emotionally charged points hanging. It was a little too easy, at times as well. While Dee is exceptional at gumshoeing, there were times when the solution came too easily, especially since Dee is so adept at putting clues together. That ending, especially, was way too easy. Overall, though, I can see a young high schooler enjoy this fast paced mystery story, even with some of the more cringey moments.
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I love a good mystery, and Tom Ryan has knocked it out of the park once again. I Hope You're Listening is such an intriguing story full of twists and turns, fascinating mysteries and more than one happy ending. I love the relationship between Dee and Sarah, they're so cute together and it's so refreshing to see an f/f relationship where there's no big coming out scene or any homophobia, they're just together and it's accepted, as it should be. I really enjoyed Dee's podcast and the Laptop Detectives Agency working hard to search for missing people, the cases were really interesting. I really enjoyed reading this, as I have with all of Tom Ryan's books, and I can't wait to see what he'll write next.
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I read this book because I read and loved Tom Ryan's first book, Keep This To Yourself. 
I Hope You're Listening is definitely a wild ride and a great teen thriller. I found myself racing through the book to make sure everybody ended up okay and find out the ending! That said, it felt as though this book could be just a bit shorter. Until I read halfway through, I didn't realize where the story was going, and I'm still not sure how the podcast plot fell into the whole thing. It didn't add to the story, other than that we then had to remember other missing person stories and try to keep them all straight. 
Overall, I'm still not sure how she solved the more recent kidnapping. It seemed like a lucky guess. But it was a good book and these are nit-picky responses from an adult reader; I think teen readers would not be so bothered by them.
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Major thank you to publishers and NetGalley for providing me with the opportunity to review this ARC. 

Trigger warnings: Child abduction, cults, kidnapping

It's been ten years since seventeen year old Delia "Dee" Skinner watched her best friend, Sibby, get kidnapped before her eyes. As a way to channel her guilt and process her feelings from being a bystander, Dee starts Radio Silent - a true crime podcast that highlights missing cases - under the pseudonym of  "The Seeker". What had originally been started as a coping mechanism turned into a phenomenon; Radio Silent is the eleventh most listened to podcast, with its own fanbase called "Laptop Detectives" - a group of avid listeners who, using the clues given from the podcasts, try to help solve missing cases.  When another young girl goes missing from the same house Dee lived in when she was little, the town is reminded of Sibby's disappearance - an unsolved case still to this day - and  Dee has to decide between protecting her identity as The Seeker, her privacy, and herself from all the memories. After a Radio Silent listener sends a clue about Sibby's whereabouts,  Dee finds herself following the words she says at the end of every Radio Silent episode- "Is there something you can do to help?
Listen up. Let's try." 

I found I Hope You're Listening incredibly captivating, and had chills running down my spine after I'd finished it. While I tend not to read a lot of mystery thrillers, I really enjoyed I Hope You're Listening. As a narrator, Dee felt very well-fleshed. I found myself very sympathetic for her; We've all wondered what it was like to have something go differently, relieved moments and wondered how things would be now if something had happened. I can't even imagine how that would feel if I had watched my best friend get abducted at seven.  I felt all the emotions while reading I Hope You're Listening - I found myself putting the book down at times, gasping again and again, holding my breath along with Dee. This is the first of Tom Ryan's books that I've read, and I loved the writing style. I enjoyed how easy it was to read, and the alternating chapters between what was going on in present day, Dee's flashbacks, interspersed with scripts from the podcasts. 

On the other hand, I found myself really wishing that we'd found out more about the other characters. I felt like Burke and Dee had an interesting friendship, and it wasn't until near the end of the book that I found out more about it. I also wish that we'd found out more about Sarah, the love interest - I loved the way that Dee's sexuality wasn't a big part of the book, that it was just something that was normal, but I found Dee and Sarah's relationship 
distracting to the plot. The same could be said about Dee's family; I wish we'd gotten to see more of them, and their dynamic. What was it like for her parents after Sibby had been abducted? What about her brothers? I had so many unanswered questions. 

Overall, I would give this book 4 stars - I really enjoyed this book, and would encourage others to read it, although there were some parts I didn’t connect with.  If you're a big fan of mysteries and thrillers, this one's for you! I Hope You're Listening is perfect for spooky season.
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TW: child abduction
I Hope Your Listening is about Dee, who was the sole witness to her best friend’s abduction ten years ago. That friend has yet to be found and Dee has lived with the guilt ever since. Since then she’s created her anonymous podcast, Radio Silent, to help find missing people across the nation. Now, another girl has gone missing from her small town. 
The thing with this book is that it was just okay. I never really felt connected to any part of the story, so that took away from any deeper enjoyment of this book. It was a slow-burn mystery with a small cast of characters and it was just okay.
Apparently, the original summary included comps to SADIE, and I just want to say that while this book does have podcast transcriptions that I’m sure would be lovely on an audiobook, this didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat like SADIE. The podcast, by the way, Is very much like the TV show “America’s Most Wanted,” where a story is presented and then Dee asks armchair detectives to see if they can look more deeply into these cases. That part was an interesting take on the true crime podcast.
Dee is a flawed character and those flaws aren’t properly addressed. The biggest thing is her selfishness because she knows she could use her podcast to help the new missing girl (or even her best friend), but she doesn’t because she’s terrified of being found out that the podcast is hers. Side note, she has her other friend, Burke, set up all these firewalls and protections on her laptop to make sure no one can track the podcast to her, but then in the next breath, she’s logged into the Radio Silent social media platforms on her phone?? It seemed like a misstep in logic if she’s trying to keep her affiliation with the podcast a secret and she has very incriminating evidence on her phone.
Even at the climax, which I expected to confront this selfishness, wasn’t really what I felt the book was setting up.
Also, yes, Dee is sapphic and has a female love interest. In my opinion, I felt their relationship was rushed, but it still had its cute moments.
I rated this book 3 stars. It was a perfectly fine mystery book.
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The beginning was a bit slow, but I liked the characters and I liked the way the podcast was utilized to tell the story and help us get to know Dee. The second half really picked up and I flew through it because I was so curious about where it was going to go - I definitely didn't see it coming. Also yay for queer books!
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My favorite part about this book is how progressive it was. 

✓ LGBTQ main character
✓ stay-at-home Dad
✓ minority representation, especially in mentioning that minorities in missing-persons cases are much more likely to be under-investigated
✓ positive light on cannabis consumption 

This was a good read. It wasn't extraordinary; I think it lacked a deeper meaning. Dee was a very private main character, both as the Seeker and as the POV. There are a lot of times I wish the author had delved deeper into her psych, into what she was directly feeling as things unfolded. 

I liked the incorporation of the podcast of this mystery, I thought it added a nice twist to your typical abduction-centered-teen-novel. I would recommend to pick this up for a good read!
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I received an ARC of this book thanks to NetGalley and publisher Albert Whitman & Company in exchange for an honest review.

This book is at risk of being called a Sadie copycat and it really deserves so much better than that. I Hope You're Listening is the story of Dee, a girl whose best friend was abducted in front of her when she was very young. As a teenager, she now secretly runs a podcast which aims to help find missing people. When another girl is taken from the house her best friend used to live in, Dee finds her worlds starting to collide as she struggles to keep the podcast a secret and find out what happened to her best friend.

This was a really enjoyable YA contemporary with some thrillery elements thrown in. Dee was a fantastic protagonist who felt very real and also very likeable. She's queer and I loved how a female/female relationship was woven effortlessly into the story. Early on I was worried the solution to the mystery was obvious, but thankfully it went in a different direction and things were not as predictable as I suspected. I actually felt the plot went in a really interesting direction and that helped distinguish it a lot from similar things. Tone-wise, it really is nothing like Sadie and has a more down-to-earth and less bleak vibe, so also be aware of that if you're interested in reading this.

Overall, I would definitely recommend checking out this book. It tells an intriguing story using characters with a lot of heart, with some nifty representation thrown in. The podcast element is a core part of the story and isn't an attempt to cash in on the trend, and I really liked the plot and writing style.

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
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I HOPE YOU"RE LISTENING gave me everything that I wanted from a YA thriller involving missing girls, a traumatized protagonist, and a podcast device. The two mysteries at hand, being what happened to present day missing girl Layla and and what happened to long missing girl Sibby, are well constructed and easy to get invested in. In part that's because of the ties they have to our protagonist Dee, who is a complicated, realistic, and likable heroine who has a lot of baggage she's trying to work through. I thought that Dee's lingering trauma was well thought out and developed, and thought that her actions (for the most part) made sense for who she is as a character. I thought that the podcast angle was also really well done, as the transcripts read like what I enjoy about my favorite true crime podcasts. I also liked Dee's interactions with the various side characters, from her love interest Sarah to her best friend Burke to her kinda quirky parents. Dee's relationship with Sarah is especially enjoyable, And I definitely was kept on the edge of my seat in regards to what happened to Sibby and Layla, and worried that Dee might be getting into something bigger than she can handle. The suspense moments were on point.

I HOPE YOU'RE LISTENING feels like a great autumn read and something that thriller fans and true crime podcast fans alike should look into!
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This was an enjoyable fast paced mystery novel with a likeable main character and an intriguing mystery. Tom Ryan did an excellent job at drawing the reader in the mystery and making you care about it. I couldn't put this down because I needed to find out what had happened to Sibby. I liked Dee a lot and enjoyed the development of her romantic relationship, even if it felt a little rushed at times. My only objection is that I felt at times Dee could have been a better friend, but overall a very good read.
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