Cover Image: Don't Tell a Soul

Don't Tell a Soul

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Member Reviews

Thank you so much, Random House Children's and Delacorte Press, for the chance to read this book!

TW: drugs, overdose, victim blaming, attempted rape, murder, attempted murder

Bram only wants to get away from her cold mother, her life and the scandal that haunts her. Her only remaining family is her beloved uncle James, who now lives in an ancient manor in Louth, a little town on the Hudson River. Both the city and the manor seem to be filled with dark and dangerous secrets. People say the house is cursed and preys on young women. Dead girls, they are called. Recently James' wife, Dahlia, died in a fire, apparently set by his stepdaughter Lark, who went insane, leaving James very different from the uncle Bram loved and remembered. Bram is determined to find out the truth about , but the locals don't like outsiders and between rumors and gossip finding the truth isn't easy. But Bram doesn't want to give up on Lark, she doesn't believe in rumors, mostly because the lies spread about her and her family. Finding out secrets, though, could be lethal for her.

I absolutely loved reading this book, it's deliciously creepy. The story is intriguing and I love Bram so much. She's a stubborn and fierce main character, weighed down by traumas and by her difficult relationship with her mother.
It was hard to read, but relatable, her reaction to men, her fears, her distrust. Harder to read was realizing how Bram was seen by her own mother, and by others, as too "villainous" to tell the truth, to be trusted. How in the "game" of "he said, she said" the rich guy was the winner.

In this book there's almost a dichotomy between women and men, big city and small city, past and present. The locals hating the outsiders and wanting to preserve their city against changes, the past that wants to be left buried, the difference, in trust, between men and women 
Bram trusts, almost implicitly, Miriam and Maisie, she mistrusts Sam and Nolan, she's afraid of other men. After her esperience, being alone with men is the equivalent of being in danger, but I've liked how the author made her and the readers realize there's no Absolute either way. 

I really enjoyed the creepy atmosphere of the novel, the mysterious noises and sightnings and how Bram investigated the past and how it was connected to the present. The plot is thrilling and I loved the mystery and how the characters were relatable. 
The author did a great job talking about victim blaming, traumas, losses and how difficult is to fight against rumors and gossip about oneself.
This book was also about bonds and family, finding justice and fighting for the truth.

“Nothing will change if we stay quiet."
(Quote from the earc, so it can be subject to change)
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Bram is no longer welcome in Manhattan after one-too-many scandals. Her mom ships her off to live with her uncle James in Louth where it's said the manor house is haunted by Dead Girls and the locals are aggressively unwelcome. Bram goes on the hunt to discover the mysterious of the girls who died in the manor or were deemed "mad."
This was a very interesting unravelling of a family and mystery surrounding a creepy house and creepier town. There were still a lot of questions and the build-up of the mystery was a lot more interesting than the revelations. The story shows how gossip and lies can destroy lives (and reputations). It was also great to see how the young women in the story work together against the untrustworthy (violent) male characters.
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Bram is on her way to stay with her beloved yet distant uncle in his up and coming Inn in a small town, basically in exile for her actions over the last few years and since her mother wants her away. But it seems that Bram just landed in the middle of a new unfortunate circumstance when she finds her uncle not exactly as she remembers him, a mystery of a mentally ill girl and a house that has a ghostly past of its own.

This was totally different from what I was anticipating, and I mean that in a really good way! The story kept me guessing, all the twists in the plot and possible suspects had me on my toes trying to predict who did what and why- all the while trying to determine whether this was a paranormal/ghost story or a psychological thriller. I really liked not knowing and I won't tell you here so now you have to read to find out. I do feel that the ending was a little too abrupt, the author using tell method instead of show to sum up everything that happened in a few pages instead of having it unfold for the reader which was disappointing (as well a few unbelievable/unreasonable things that didn't really make sense). Overall though I really enjoyed this standalone read and would love to get more books from this author in the future.

Keep in mind this book hits on some dark subject matter like mental illness, drug abuse/addiction, date rape as well as rape in general, violence, physical abuse, murder and not being given a voice.
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Fun, twisty thriller!

I read this with a buddy and it was so difficult to only read a couple chapters a day. There were creepy things happening and so many questions. This is really a story about several girls and their experiences at the manor and I was hooked from the beginning.

Bram has had a rough time lately and has been sent to live with her uncle. As soon as she arrives, she's drawn in to the tragedies of three girls and starts to look into what truly happened. There are unexplained noises at night, ghost sightings, and threats and I was impressed that Bram wasn't scared off. She handled everything so well and I liked seeing her put the clues together.

This book kept me guessing until the end and wove an entertaining story. I did think the ending wasn't quite as exciting as I hoped, but the rest was great.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I was very undecided about this book. I loved the mystery of the dead girls and the mystery of the scandal Bram was running from. I also love that name, btw. I loved that I never knew who to trust. 
Part of it just felt too weird to me. I dont know how to explain it. It just wasn't my kind of weird?

I would recommend if you like weird horror books. Maybe it will be your kind of weird!
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This wintery, gothic story is going to be right up the alley for YA thriller fans. 

What starts out as a classic ghost story quickly evolves into a stressful, high tension mystery. We have Bram Howland, our seventeen year old protagonist, thrown into the middle of a wolf den of suspicious locals and her own haunted uncle, James. And even worse, Bram is escaping her own devastating past that continues to follow her everywhere.

I'll start out by saying that I absolutely loved our main character. And I want more characters like her in young adult books. The thing that struck me about Bram was the way Kirsten Miller made her realistic and unwavering through out the novel. That's not to say Bram is a static character with no growth. But there's no fooling her suspicious, anxious nature. She has had a traumatic life, and she carries that trauma with her in the form of bear repellent and a box cutter. Bram meets multiple characters through out the novel who want to befriend her (or do they? what are their motives?) but her trauma never mysteriously and magically leaves her in the face of a pretty boy. 

I also loved the atmosphere of this novel. I am a true sucker for a novel set in winter (I mean, I love in Vermont, I love winter) and I felt chilled every time Bram was describing her setting around her. The small town vibes were immaculate, making Bram feel even more isolated, making it feel even more high strung and the tension even thicker. 

What I didn't particularly love was the plot itself. I found, unfortunately, for the plot to be very...well, tropey. There was nothing shocking about any of the reveals. In fact, most of the things that happen in the book seemed pretty formulaic. I felt like I could guess everything that was going to happen and so nothing really surprised me. It's very clear from the beginning what happened to Bram in the past even if you don't know the specifics until about 40% in. It's also pretty obvious that this isn't an actual ghost story either; which is fine, I love a good ghost story but I'm okay with the 'o it was a person all along!' reveal as well if it isn't so obvious.

The other thing that seemed to hinder the book was the first person narrative. I know that's far more popular in YA novels, but I felt like it was really stilted because as much as I liked Bram as a character, her POV felt very emotionless. All the right things were being said and done, but there didn't seem to be much behind everything. I think the book could have flowed better if it was told from third person. 

That being said, I still really enjoyed this book and I'm giving it a solid three stars. I think people who are into creepy YA books are going to really love this one!
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Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

A captivating thriller that follows Bram, a girl kicked out of her mother's house in NYC for mysterious reasons we eventually find out as the story unfolds. Bram's sent to live with her uncle whom she hasn't seen in a decade, only to find out his wife died mysteriously months earlier. Bram discovers more mysteries surrounding the mansion she and her uncle live in.

A really fun mystery novel that was entertaining from beginning to end. Only issue I had was that the ending wrapped up a bit too quickly for my taste but it was a well-written ending regardless. I liked that we couldn't really "like" a character in the book, all of them couldn't trust each other and thus kept showing their worst sides. Not to say no one's completely unlikeable, but it works very well for this mystery. Excellent writing overall!
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Don't Tell a Soul was a perfectly eerie midwinter read packed to the brim with twists and turns, from the manor in which the protagonist lives with her uncle to the past of the protagonist herself. Miller weaves together multiple mysteries into the perfect thriller. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this spooky tale. The characters and settings were perfectly fleshed out while the plotlines came together to create a veritable subway tunnel, keeping the readers in the dark in the dark and guessing until they reach their destination. 

Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Bram goes to her Uncle James estate in tiny Louth, New York, after an "incident" in Manhattan. Uncle James' mansion is rumored to be haunted and there are several "dead girl" stories associated with it. When Bram starts to see a white figure during the night at the mansion, she begins to investigate, making many acquaintances on the way.

I really enjoyed this book. It had several twists and turns and kept me guessing until the end. Highly recommended.
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I love the cover and the idea. Truly Devious was one of my fav reads of last year. I was more than eager to jump straight into this book as well. 

I am sad it did not meet my expectations in the end, but it was not a bad book overall. Bram is in a small town after her father dies, meeting her uncle and seeing how small town life is full of secrets and whatnot. 

I thought this was going to be more along the lines of Truly Devious, but this falls short of the mystery and shock factor that series has. 

The whole wondering what is going on with Bram was tiresome. I thought it would be creepy and strange, but it was more like trying to figure out what was wrong with her. I know she was. meant to be not trusted, but the way it was laid out just made me wonder why it seemed so fake and hard to believe. 

There were some plot holes which took away my enjoyment, and I wondered how it was going to be fixed. I know sometimes this does happen, but it meant the book was hard to enjoy when I was trying to discern pieces that did not make any sense. 

I think this would appeal to those new to the mystery genre because they would not know what tropes to look for or someone who just wants a quick read with some little bit of creepy happening. 

I would try this author again, this book just did not suit me. 

Thank you NetGalley and Delacorte for the review copy given for free reviewing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Don't Tell a Soul by Kirsten Miller was a spooky, almost gothic, YA mystery.   At the heart of the story,  is Bram, who wants to escape from her life and goes to live with her uncle in a creepy mansion.  She doesn't understand why the locals seem to despise her and she has recurring nightmares (or are they real?  She can't tell) about the house.  There are various rumors surrounding the mansion and legends about girls who have died there.  To make matters worse, her mother and uncle aren't supportive in the least.

While I loved the creepy mystery and the pacing of the novel (much of it had me on the edge of my seat), I found the relationship with her mother absolutely abhorrent,  and possibly a little farfetched.  The mystery was excellent and I loved how it all tied together in the end.  All in all, a solid read.

One more thing,  I love Rebecca,  but do not for the life of me,  understand the comparison. I hate when books are billed as a modern day version of a classic and end up bearing no resemblance.  I wish they would stop marketing books like that.
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'Don't Tell a Soul' by Kirsten Miller is a modern thriller with a hint of Gothic horror atmosphere about a house that's believed to be cursed and small town stories centering around a series of young women referred to as 'the Dead Girls.'

Bram is a teenage girl with a tough story of her own. Rocked by scandal and an unbearably complicated family situation, she finds herself in a small town on the Hudson called Louth.

Taken in by her uncle, she settles into the rose room at his stately manor. Unfortunately, he's struggling with his own problems.. the loss of his dear wife in a tragic fire that people say was set by her daughter and the destruction of half the house he'd restored with plans of opening an inn. 

Pretty much from the moment Bram arrives in Louth, it seems like the locals don't want her around. There's this whole 'us vs them' vibe that's common in small towns.. where even if a family has lived in the area for a long time.. there's no historical ancestry and that deems them outsiders. Miller did a great job conveying that imposing unease of everyone knowing your business and many of the locals have quirks that make them seem a bit off.

Though I knew within moments of her arrival at the manor where a good chunk of the blame was going to lie, I'm relatively certain that was due to the kind of media I like to consume and my own cognitive leaping skills. In fact, the author seemed to work hard to throw misdirects in the reader's path.. frequently.. and I think others may find a surprise or two along the way.

There's definitely a love of lost girls and ghost stories on display in this book and I enjoyed the paths Miller chose to take us down for the most part. I think what's scary about the story is that it could literally be ripped from the headlines somewhere.. though some plot points seem a bit exaggerative, I've read stranger truths. 

Nolan is probably my favorite character in the book and I loved Maisie too. I think they both had a lot of potential in their backstories which I would have loved to see more of.. but they were clearly just side characters as the story really focuses on Bram. Either way, they added a wonderful burst of color and texture to this wintery, gray tale.

While it's not quite as robust or eloquent as 'Rebecca' or 'The Woman in Black,' fans of similar types of soft, Gothic ambience should enjoy this book. It was a quick read, that never got dull and there are plenty of puzzle pieces for those like myself who are adept at figuring out the mysteries before they're revealed.
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Manhattanite Bram shows up in the middle of the night to a small town near the Hudson, with nothing but one suitcase, her phone, and a chip on her shoulder that no one knows anything about, headed for her estranged uncle’s dilapidated mansion. All the reader knows going in is that she’s been basically thrown out of her mother’s home in Manhattan, Bram has secrets, and—after the end of her first night—her new home might be very, very haunted. 

This is a spooky ghost story with a lot of twists. For starters, Bram is definitely a skeptic, and definitely not a damsel in distress. She is positive there’s more to the legends of the multiple girls that have died in the mansion than is being told, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it and clear the latest girl—her step-couin’s—name. There is a definite feminist twist to the ghost stories and the detective work that Bram does and it’s refreshing while still remaining creepy. This is a great winter book to curl up under seven blankets and read in the dark. 

The author did a fantastic job with the atmosphere of the book, remaining true to the character of everyone that had been introduced, Bram’s story and past were integrated nicely into the narrative and at no point did I feel like anything was introduced needlessly or at the wrong time. Everything wrapped up into a nice little bow at the end and it was a very enjoyable read.

TW: sexual assault, drug use, death of a parent (and parent figure), alcoholism

Thank you to the publisher & Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for a review.
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4.5/5 Stars
This book came out this past Tuesday and if you’re a fan of ghost stories or unique (and feminist) mysteries then you will want to check it out asap!! The beginning was full of confusion for me, but everything was cleared up as the story progressed and by the end just… wow… this author was a plot genius! Every piece of this mystery fit together like perfect puzzle pieces and it was so satisfying to read. Also, the level of spookiness was perfect for me. I’m not really a fan of paranormal novels, but this had the right amount of tension to engage me, while not totally freaking me out. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes the idea of a spooky manor with a history of *disappearing girls* but with a healthy dose of feminism. Thank you so much to the publisher for the arc! I loved this book!
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Sadly I was not able to get to this before the release date, and I will not be getting to it before it's archived. I am interested in picking it up.
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This was a really great book start to finish. Dark and atmospheric, it kept my attention the whole time and I loved the way they revealed the ending. The twists were timed in a good way as well. I really liked the characters, for the most part, but I really tend not to like when everyone but the main character knows something. No one told Bram a key detail that definitely would have made her life easier and safer, yet for some reason, she was the only one who didn't seem to know. I realize it was written that way for suspense, but those are just the small things that bug me in this genre as a whole. I love haunted house stories and I think this was done in a fairly unique way. Overall this was a solid book that had some spooky vibes and great pacing.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s Books for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are exclusively my own.

Wow what a thrill. It gave me all the spooky winter vibes that I didn’t know I needed. 

Nothing is what it seems in this mystery/paranormal story. You don’t know who to trust…are they all lying? The suspicion and doubt kept me on edge for so long! There was no one I could trust but Bram!

I had guesses, I had some gut instincts but the reveal was so much more than I could expect. 

I loved the female empowerment presented in this book as well! 

Although Bram’s motivation for pursuing the Dead Girls’ mysteries didn’t seem convincing enough at first, once you realize what she’s been through, it seems more plausible. 

After a slow beginning, the book quickly hooks you and doesn’t let go. It is creepy and mind boggling yet so freaking intriguing. 

Ugh do yourself a favor and check out this book when it releases January 26! 

Just be careful… you never know when a Dead Girl will come looking for you
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Don‘t Tell A Soul by Kirsten Miller is a contemporary young adult gothic mystery about a girl who flees Manhattan for her uncle’s mansion in the Hudson Valley. But the house has tragic tales of injured, dead and missing women and girls attached to it and the locals in the small town don’t trust Bram or her uncle. 

This is feminist spin on an old idea (estranged uncle + creepy mansion + suspicious townsfolk) but Bram isn't your normal damsel in distress. She refuses to believe in ghosts and thinks there is a logical explanation for each mystery of the “dead girls”. There are a lot of red herrings and misunderstandings that keep Bram and the reader on their toes. Slowly the reader uncovers what has really happened in the mansion as we are also discovering Bram’s true reasons for leaving Manhattan and what happened to her father. 

I appreciated that Bram was sassy and bold and didn’t just cower in her room. But this also means she throws herself into dangerous situations and takes a lot of snow and blizzard related risks. She keeps her eyes on her goal so even though there are several cute boys hanging around she is clear that she isn’t trying to date in the middle of a murder mystery. And although I could follow the many threads  of tragedy that created both Bram‘s last five years and the entire 130 history of the mansion it could feel like a lot of excessive drama. There is also an odd “adults can’t be trusted“ note of cynicism that runs through the entire novel. Almost every adult present is rude, cruel, murderous or mentally ill and the best of the bunch are already dead. 

Overall, I found Don’t Tell A Soul a twisty mystery with lots of fun elements. This is a great one to snuggle up with on a cold winter day and watch this teen sleuth stand up for all the “dead girls” that went before her. 

4 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️

My copy of Don’t Tell A Soul was provided by NetGalley and the publisher for reviewing purposes
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"That was when I knew there was something wrong with the story. It sounded like a million old tales I'd been told - simple and tragic with a clear villain and victim. But in the real world, girls don't just lose their minds. If they kill their mothers or beat up their boyfriends or burn down their houses, they tend to have reasons."

Bram arrived in small town Louth hoping to leave her past behind in Manhattan - her controlling mother, the scandal, the tragic family history. She found a different past to explore, that of the town, the manor where her uncle now lives, and the Dead Girls. Uncle James also has a sad past - a first wife dead from carbon monoxide poisoning, and recently, his second wife passed away in the manor, in a fire speculated to have been caused by her daughter Lark. Lark's side of the story is unclear - she was found afterward wandering the grounds, talking about the girls who died at the manor and with little memory of the night. Bram has experience with not being believed, but she can't convince Lark to confide in her; she's been institutionalized. The locals in Louth don't approve of Bram and others from the city moving into their town, evident from their chilly reception. But Bram won't stop investigating. She wants to know what happened in the past - Grace Louth was the first girl from the manor to die, drowning herself in the Hudson River after her fiance married another. But she wasn't the only girl to die. And while Bram looks into the mysteries of the past, all isn't right in the present either - sounds around the house, doors opening that she definitely locked, furniture in different spots than where it was when she fell asleep... People have said that the manor is cursed, but Bram wants to find the truth.

I had a hard time putting this one down! Just a really engaging gothic thriller, with a constant feel of "who to trust?". There are multiple layers of mystery here, and everything tied up satisfactorily for me. Good depiction of mental illness/addiction. The book's description calls it a "modern day Rebecca" - I haven't read Rebecca and can't speak to that. If you like atmospheric gothic, this is it for sure. I thought of The Turn of the Screw (what is going ON in this creepy house?) and A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel (what's the truth?/why don't you believe me?) You may want to be aware that this book contains death of a parent, sexual assault, and drug abuse. 

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the eARC. Don't Tell a Soul will be published January 26th, 2021.
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4/5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley for the e-arc!

Great ya novel that kept exceeding my expectations with how lush the story is
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