Cover Image: I Hope You're Listening

I Hope You're Listening

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Member Reviews

An overall and enjoyable read, I Hope You're Listening does suffer slightly from characterization and pacing. That being said, the mysteries of Dee's childhood and current life are intriguing enough to keep the story going, and the romance, while a bit rushed, is also sweet and comforting. I think this novel would actually shine as an audiobook, though I may admittedly be biased considering those are my favorite mystery/thriller novels to listen to.
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Thank you to NetGalley for a review copy. 

3.5/5 Stars. Overall a fast paced and intense YA mystery/thriller with a fun true crime podcast element, though it is a bit predictable at times.  

When Dee Skinner was seven years old, her best friend was abducted from the woods while they were playing. The memory haunts Dee and inspired her to start a true crime podcast that covers recent cases in the hopes that listeners will help solve them. This book does a great job discussing the trauma of Dee's past and the pain, fear, and guilt of missing friends and family members while keeping the plot engaging and the mystery moving. There are a number of red herrings that will keep readers guessing but the big reveal is super unexpected. The last 20% is action packed but the interactions between the adults/"bad guys" seemed a bit unrealistic and contrived.  

I loved the romantic relationship that was developing between Dee and the "new girl" across the street, but it felt very rushed towards the end. A few more scenes of them together connecting emotionally would have been great. I also loved Dee's relationships with her friends and family, especially her dad who cracked me up. 

The e-arc had a lot of formatting issues, so hopefully those are cleared up before publication.
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I thought this was super well crafted mystery thriller. I really liked how this book was had podcast element mixed with two mysteries and also a strong LGBTQ realtionship. I really was so emotionally invested in these characters. I really liked the pacing of this novel. I really liked both mysteries a lot. I thought there was alot of plots and some of them, where not fully developed as i wanted and felt some of these plots pieces wanted a bit more from some. I really enjoyed this read and loved the diversity of this read. I loved how much this mystery impacted the main character. It was super fun read and wonder if maybe a second book is in the future. Some triggers warming's for PTSD, Smoking! It was the prefect thriller to kick off halloween season!
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As a fan of true crime podcasts, I was really excited to pick this title up. I will say for anyone interested in the story for the podcast angle, It is a light component of the overall plot. It's well intergrated but not in the same way the podcast in Sadie is but it does provide the reader with some insight into the main character.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the story, I was invested in the main character and the story behind *both* missing girls' disappearances. There's definitely things I wish had of happened differently (largely with the interesting subplots and the pacing of the final third) but I think the story takes unique turns and isn't as predictable as books can be in this genre. I would recommend this to my true-crime and thriller loving friends.
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I hope you're listening is a really great YA book. I love how a young girl finds a way to come out of a tragic situation to find a way to help other people even though it may just be a distraction. I loved the main character and how she's able to grow through the book. I hope you're listening is worth the read if you love YA mysteries.
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3.5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and AW Teen for this ARC!

Slight spoilers, nothing too descriptive! 

From the description alone, I knew that this book would be right up my alley. I love a good mystery/thriller especially one that keeps me guessing from start to finish, as this one did.

What I Liked:
- The writing style. I thought the writing was very straight forward, not too many frills or additional information that wasn't pertinent to the story being told. I also thought the author did a great job of setting the mood, for instance, the second that Dee stepped into Mrs. Rose's home, I knew that this would be important to the mystery unraveling simply from the feeling I got through the description.
- The mystery was well thought out and unraveled and a good pace. The story easily unfolded and the anticipation built as the story continued.
- The characters. I thought all of the characters were very interesting and well written, especially the main characters. There also were not many throwaway characters, there were a few but for the most part, we met characters for a specific reason and they were important to the story.
- The use of the podcast. I think the idea of the podcast was very cleverly worked into the book. I enjoyed the podcast transcript chapters, there weren't too many to disrupt the flow of the book, and they all were interesting. I also liked that the podcast followed one story until they found out what happened to the person the story was focused on.
- The WLW representation that, in my opinion, did not at all feel forced. It simply was who Dee was, it wasn't the only aspect of who she was and it wasn't a Whole Big Thing that needed to be addressed constantly

What I Didn't Like:
- While I loved the WLW rep and thought that Sarah was a perfectly fine character, I don't think the romance was really necessary and moved a little quickly
- I wanted more Burke, I thought that he was a really interesting character and would've liked to have seen more of him
- While I liked the idea of the laptop detectives, I found their involvement toward the end of the book a bit unrealistic, it happened just a bit too quickly to be believable for me.
- While there weren't many throwaway characters there were a few and Dee's family fell victim to that. Her brothers were mentioned like 3 times toward the beginning and then never mentioned again, and her parents weren't super involved which tends to be a trope amongst YA literature that kind of bothers me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and read it it almost 1 sitting. I would recommend this to any fan of mystery/thriller novels.
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Ten years after witnessing her best friend's kidnapping, Dee is sucked back into the mystery of her disappearance. This thriller certainly delivers all the twists and turns a reader could hope for and, in classic Tom Ryan fashion, is impossible to put down.
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Thank you to NetGalley and AW Teen for the ARC of this book.

4.5 stars. This was just SO good! It was a pleasure to follow Dee's journey along with her: while searching for others, she also learned so much about herself. The dread built up throughout the story, but I was completely in the dark until the last quarter of the book, where stuff got REALLY real, REALLY fast. I was definitely on the edge of my seat. Plus, the ending is poignant and satisfying. My only real plot-related gripe is that I felt like the romance could have been more developed, but I still thought it was sweet.

(The e-ARC I got definitely needs some intense editing, so I hope that gets cleared up before final publication.)
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This was a wild ride from start to finish. I knew just from the summary that this would hit all my buttons, and it really, truly delivered. I love a good mystery/suspense/thriller, and this novel had everything to keep me both on the edge of my seat and feeling oddly unsettled the more I read. 

Things I loved here: 
-The writing style was simple, but still descriptive. I had a really good idea of what Dee's town was like and the action scenes were exciting and fun. 
-The mystery was well laid-out and unraveled at the perfect pace for me. 
-I felt the snippets of Dee's podcast were laid out well enough to be interesting but not distracting. I like that it stuck to one case throughout with a solid resolution.
-Also of course love the LGBT representation and how it was there and felt natural and normal and not like it's A Whole Big Thing. This is the kind of the representation I always want.

Things I didn't love as much: 
-While I love the WLW rep, the pace of the romance itself felt weird to me. I understand that the romance was not meant to be a central part of the novel, but it felt rushed and there was little to no build up between "oh the new girl is cute" and Dee telling Sarah "I love you". I felt like Sarah herself added little to the story and that honestly the story could have worked just as well without her/with Burke in her place as Dee's adventure buddy. 
-Speaking of, would have loved to see more of Burke, period. 
-Lots of Dee's decisions felt wildly impulsive to me. For a girl who was involved in a kidnapping scenario when she was younger, Dee sure seems to be weirdly trusting of everyone she encounters on her journey to find the truth. Sarah was a good voice of reason, but of course, Dee rarely listened to her warnings.

Overall, this is a very solid 4/5. It had me turning pages and the small problems I had with the book weren't enough to keep this from being a captivating and engaging story.

Thank you to Albert Whitman & Company as well as NetGalley for providing me a copy of this eARC!
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This is the first book by Tom Ryan I have read and its great! I like books that play out like a movie in my head and thats exactly what this book does. I found myself trying to guess what would happen next throughout the book and I believe thats what makes a good thriller. The last couple of chapters I could not put down; everything was happening so fast and so well written that it continued to intrigue me.
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Thank you Net Galley for this ARC.  I literally could not put this book down.   I'm sitting here in a pontoon boat that we rented,  reading this book instead of fishing and swimming.   Awesome read,  will definitely keep this author in my sights!
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I Hope You're Listening is a YA thriller that is coming out at the perfect time! It has enough spookiness and mystery to make it perfect for October. When Dee Skinner was 6, she was playing in the woods with her BFF Sibby, when Sibby is captured by strange men and never seen again. Fast forward 10 years, Dee is still dealing with the guilt of being left behind. She started a podcast called Radio Silent, bent on solving some missing persons cases - when her case can't be. She's had major success with it. When another young girl goes missing from the same house Dee lived in when Sibby went missing - it brings the original case back up. A Radio Silent listener sends Dee a clue to Sibby's whereabouts, and Dee is thrust back into the past. Can Dee figure out the two cases?

I LOVED THIS BOOK. I stayed up until 1am reading it (which only upped the thriller ante), and gobbled it up whole. Were there some problems, sure, but overall this book was so well written and interesting that it's easy to overlook them. Starting with the plot, I loved the podcast element. The fact that a young woman an create such a successful enterprise & actually help find missing people (with the help of the Laptop Detectives) is so cool to read. I also just love missing person mysteries, they are the hardest for me to predict! And I could NOT predict where this book was going at all. Every revelation was a shock.

In terms of characters, Dee had some issues. She wasn't exactly the nicest, and she was pretty self-absorbed at times. I think she made decent growth over the span of the book, but she also wasn't held responsible for any of her mistakes or actions. And a lot of what she does is somewhat unrealistic for a 16 year old. BUT, in her own way, she made for the perfect character in this story. Also, there was a touch of LGBTQ romance, which is always a plus!

**Thank you to Albert Whitman & Company and Netgalley for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
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Okay. So I just finished this book. I started it earlier today and it’s now 12:15 am. I couldn’t stop reading it. Thoroughly enjoyed devouring this one and now I’ve gotta watch something funny before I go to sleep with nightmares.
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I Hope You’re Listening was provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was a ride. I totally thought I had everything figured about what was going on, but boy was I wrong. This story follows Dee ten years after she witnessed her best friend, Sibby, get kidnapped. She was just a child, and powerless to stop her best friend being taken away. In an attempt to try to make a difference in the world (after being unable to help save or find Sibby) she creates a podcast, Radio Silent, that talks about missing persons cases and utilizes the public to help try and solve them. I loved the concept of this podcast. A real life, true crime podcast. I thought it was a fascinating idea. I just liked Dee. She never really got over what happened with Sibby. She goes to school and tries to keep a low profile. She has her best friend, Burke, and that’s about it. I liked Burke. He seemed like a good friend to her even though Dee wasn’t always the best to him in this book. I’m happy with how they worked things out toward the end of the book. Now, the romance in the story wasn’t totally necessary. That’s not to say that I didn’t like it. I did like Sarah and Dee together. But I feel like we didn’t get to know Sarah as well as we could have. It was also a bit of insta-love which isn’t my favorite. 
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It took turns that I wasn’t expecting. It had characters that I was interested to know more about. I think this was a great thriller.
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Dee still can’t get over the fact her friend Sibby was taken when they were children. Ten years later she lives in a different house with her parents and secretly runs the podcast: Radio Silent. Dee and her peeps across the web, help find missing persons. 

Dee’s friend, Burke, helps her with the technical parts of the broadcast. I love him and wished he was in the book more. He made me laugh out loud, as well as Dee’s father. He was a hoot and I loved his 90’s vibe. 

I would have given the book more stars but as I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. For me, there was a bit missing. 

I did enjoy the book overall. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company for a digital copy of this book. 

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
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I really enjoyed this! I don't usually read a lot of mysteries, because I'm all about a happy ending, but this was kind of like a best of both worlds and I enjoyed the mystery/thriller aspects without ever getting too anxious. The main character Dee is a WLW and has a girlfriend through this, but she never has to come out nor is it ever made a big deal, which was really nice. It felt like a side romance of any other mainstream YA mystery novel. I love queer books about being queer, but it's great that we've come this far as well! 

The mystery was, in my opinion, really well crafted and was one of those that sets up the clues and paths throughout the whole thing so the reader can connect the dots and look back at the end to realize that the answers were there all along, instead of one of those plots that relies on plot twists and cares more about shock value than wrapping up nicely. I do wish we'd seen more of Dee's girlfriend (it feels like she's mostly there to move along the plot with her car most of the time) and the reactions of people around her reacting to her massive podcast secret, 

Still, overall, I enjoyed this! I think it'll be really popular with the teen crowd when it comes out in October
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Keeping this review "non-spoiler," the only things I'll say are the following: SUSPENSE WILL GET YOU WITH EVERY PAGE, AND YOU WILL NOT WANT TO PUT DOWN THIS BOOK! I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. I say that because this isn't my normal genre even though I love movies in the genre. The suspense really built upon each passing page. My attention was held the entire time that I read the book in a day and a half. I highly recommend it. The plot was so well written and thought-out. Every character was relatable which made the story even better.
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For any mystery/murder podcast lovers this book speak volumes. Dee has some serious baggage in the form of a friend who was snatched in the forest while they were out playing in a tree house. In her real life she is somewhat recluse, shy and unwilling to delve into her past. But 'seeker' her online podcast persona is anything but- she's solving mysteries with her listeners weekly- just not her own. 

Tom Ryan is a true tour de force thriller author who has sunk his teeth into this story with writing that keeps you on the edge of your seat in true anticipation. The weaving of seeker and Dee is realistic and all too true in this world of social media. Let me also point out- a lesbian romance is weaved into this novel which is handled appropriately, albeit a little too quick and easy. 

I highly recommend you purchase a copy of this (but maybe read it somewhere other then the forest..)  

Net Galley has provided a copy of the novel to me in exchange for an honest review.
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My actual rating is probably between 3&1/2 and 4 stars. Overall, I really loved this book. Mystery thrillers are not usually my thing, but I was surprised by this. The plot is solid, the story compelling and fresh. My only issue is with how flat some side characters fall. 

IHYL is a great mystery novel with a refreshing concept and a very well developed narrator. Dee is a great character and I believed her desires to help those who need helped. She was fleshed out and complicated with an interesting past and reason for her story to be told. 

The book starts out really strong. I loved the idea of Dee and her podcast, and the love grew stronger the more I learned about Dee and her story. I was compelled by the writing and the story so much that I flew through the first 60% of the book in a few hours. From around the 70%-85% mark I did find it lull a bit and be a little predictable, but it kicked back up and finished very strong.

I think the plotting is great and the mysteries of the missing girls is great. It kept me motivated to see what happens. 

***some spoilers below***

My only real issue with the book is that I feel like the side characters are a bit flat and just there to be there. Dee's parents might as well not even been mentioned. One of my biggest gripes in YA is parents who are just set pieces. And Dee's parents felt like set pieces. 

I really liked Burke and I felt like something was building for a character arc for him but it just vanished. I would have loved to seen him be more developed and well rounded. It felt like a missed opportunity. He seemed to be going in this downward spiral and needed to be dragged out, but Dee never got the chance. I wanted more of their relationship because it did feel special to me. At the end it just seemed the author didn't have time to finalize Burke's arc.

And Sarah and Dee's relationships seemed forced, or maybe it happened too fast. I liked Sarah, but much like Burke, she seems to just be filler space and fell flat. I appreciate this is a queer novel with a queer protagonist, but it didn't feel the romance between Dee and Sarah added anything. Sarah could have just been a friend who wanted to help.
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I really liked the majority of this book. I liked the characters and the story and I especially enjoyed the lgbt+ romance and the podcast aspects but the second half of the book was really lacking for me.
While I felt the first 50% was well paced the second half felt rushed. This felt true both in terms of the romance: they went from cute flirting, to kissing, to girlfriends, to love really quite fast, and the conclusion to the mystery which, while kind of cool, didn't leave me as satisfied as I would have liked.
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