Cover Image: Tell Me What Really Happened

Tell Me What Really Happened

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was a decent and clever YA mystery. Five friends go into the woods and only four come out. I really enjoyed the interrogation format in this book where everyone tells the story from their point of view. Talk about unreliable witnesses! It kept me interested and intrigued throughout the entire book. It was rather enjoyable! Thanks to NetGalley, Chelsea Sedoti and Sourcebooks for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

thank you to netgalley (@netgalley) and the publisher (@sourcebooksfire) for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review

it was really good, i really enjoyed how the book was written. it kept me on my feet. i seriously didn’t see the end coming


Was this review helpful?

I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

This novel was absolutely WILD! I REALLY loved the dual timelines and how this unfolded. This was really well written with interviews of all the participants with the police as the truth slowly comes out. I really, really enjoyed how this novel was written.

I have always enjoyed novels with multiple points of view, and having (almost) all the characters tell their sides to the police after a friend goes missing was super intersting. How the 'who done it' was revealed was just wild and so unexpected! And even more so, the ending! This was just so damn enjoyable and I blew through the entire story! I will definitely have to pick up this author again.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed how grounded this book was. Chelsea Sedoti definitely has a knack for creating teen characters who sound authentic and like they could be walking the halls of any high school. Her choice to tell the entire story through police interviews, too, was an interesting one, and it worked most of the time.

There were some times, however, where the technique wasn't as successful and the characters ended up sounding a little flat or two-dimensional. This was most evident with John. Without the benefit of any description whatsoever or any outside writing mechanics to fill in the gaps about him, at times John's voice sounded slightly under-developed. His struggle as a young Black man with a system that could often include a double standard for him because of his race wasn't as present because all we had to go on were the interviews and his friends' accounts of him.

With Petra it was the opposite problem; at times, she came across as much too forceful. I know part of her character description was to be aggressive, but there were times where her overt self-assuredness felt out of step with what was happening in the scene at hand. It was also never really clear how Petra felt about Maylee. Was it friendship or obsession? Or something else? (I imagined her as someone who doesn't blink a lot.)

Sedoti did an excellent job of developing Maylee's character, even though she's never on the page representing herself. The author's experience and self-confidence shine in this aspect. The other characters share enough of Maylee that it's easy to put together a mental image of the type of person she is.

Occasionally the dialogue didn't sound realistic, though. I don't know how many teenagers would say they "peered through the darkness." There were times when the conversations sounded less like conversations and more like traditional first-person narrative.

Of all the characters, though, my heart hurt most for Nolan, and not just for the most obvious reasons. Abigail, on the other hand, almost felt like an after-thought in some scenes. I don't know how much her being in the story actually moved it along or how much taking her out would have affected it.

While I enjoyed some of Sedoti's other works more, this one was also pretty good.

Was this review helpful?

This was definitely a book that kept me on the edge of my seat till the end. I think that the multiple POVs helped to add to the unreliableness of the characters. I think that the plot was simple and the ultimate reveal was a little lackluster in my opinion, but I do think that this was an enjoyable read. I think that each of the characters was well fleshed out and their flaws were what made them so compelling to follow. I think that this a story that fans of Good Girls Guide to Murder or the Truly Devious. I will definitely be picking up more from this author.

Was this review helpful?

This book was great! It was very suspenseful, and I could not put it down. I loved the way the author made you think you had figured everything out, and then gave a new piece of information that changed everything. I especially loved the ending.

Was this review helpful?


Thanks to Netgalley, Chelsea Sedoti and Sourcebooks for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Already available.


I am so glad this was a free ARC because I would have been PO'd spending money on a book that was such a waste of time. I did not like any of the charcters. An entire boring book about Bigfoot, really?! WTF?!

Not for me. cannot recommend. Do not waste your time.

Was this review helpful?

5 friend go into the woods, 1 goes missing … This story takes place over the course of one night, when a group of teens decide to go on an impromptu camping trip.

I enjoyed this style of writing (once I found the pace), it’s unique in that it’s told from alternating snip-it’s of each person's interrogation, the truth of “what really happened” is slowly unwound in a twisty tale from the different points of view. Everyone has a different recollection of what happened, and some are pretty far-fetched. Is there a serial killer in the woods, a Bigfoot, a scorned lover? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Was this review helpful?

"Tell Me What Really Happened" by Chelsea Sedoti is a gripping YA mystery that masterfully blends suspense with the exploration of truth and perception. Sedoti crafts a compelling narrative that pulls readers into a small town's biggest scandal, through the eyes of a relatable protagonist determined to uncover the truth. The storytelling is intricate, weaving together multiple perspectives in a way that challenges readers to question what they believe. With its clever plot twists and deep emotional resonance, this book is a standout, offering both a thrilling ride and thoughtful commentary on the nature of truth.

Was this review helpful?

I was flying through this book until the very end. I loved the interview format and felt like it made it a really quick read. However, the ending absolutely ruined it for me. There was a lot of hype built up to figure out what happened to Maylee, but the final conclusion was just not it..... while i understand the direction the author was heading in, i don't think it is an ending that will appear to many readers. I also did not like how all of the characters are high schoolers, but are all being interviewed alone. Sure, maybe they have all turned 18 by now, but I didn't get that vibe. Overall, a decent read, but don't go in with high expectations for the ending.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for accessing this book.

2.5 star

The first half of the story is good but starting in the middle of the story gets me bored. I love the interrogation format of the story is a clever way to get the attention of the readers. I hate all the characters, The word BIGFOOT in this book is annoying. OMG! I'm waiting for the moment to scare me but nothing scary at all haha.

Overall, it was okay and not bad even though I planning to DNF this when I reached 30% but because I am a stubborn reader I did finish this haha

Was this review helpful?

I was completely sold on this book from the blurb! I love a good mystery, and the camping in the woods element attracted me. It took me a minute to get used to the storytelling here. The whole book is told in interrogation snippets, and the reader keeps track of four characters this way. However, the flow really simplifies this process. There isn't a whole lot of jumping around, so you can keep things straight. Also, it was very interesting to read this way! The tension was definitely higher. Honestly, reading the four viewpoints is also helpful because I didn't find Maylee to be a sympathetic character. She was hard to like. The variety of perspectives and experiences gave me plenty of other material to keep me reading.

Great book! Very unique presentation. Definitely going to be added to my high school library.

Was this review helpful?

{3.5 stars}

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions below are my own.

This story takes place over one night when a group of teens goes camping in the woods. They are being interrogated by the police the next morning after one of them goes missing. In alternating snips of each person's interrogation, the truth of what happened is slowly revealed to us from the different points of view, not all of which are accurate... or sane... 

I liked the pace and because they are teens, the red herrings along the way are fantastical. But also, told in such a way that you think to yourself, well, maybe... There is definitely teen drama but I wasn't annoyed by it the way I some times am with YA stories. Here the characters were nuanced and all of their quirks and drama fed into the story. Definitely a fun read.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the early ARC!

This book is your typical - 5 friends go on a camping trip and one turns up missing - whodunit type of story.

I loved the layout of the book! It’s told from the POV from the 4 remaining friends in a police interrogation setting. Everybody’s got something to hide. Nobody can quite remember what happened. Everybody is blaming each other, but yet everyone is innocent.

This book kept me entertained enough to find out what happens at the end.

Pub date: 04/01/2024

Was this review helpful?

This was a quick read and a decent mystery for a teen or YA fan. I love a twist on format, so the questions at the beginning of each chapter (and resulting one sided “dialog”) and multiple points of view was engaging for me. While I’m personally in my “Where are the parents?!” Era when it comes to YA reads, I could definitely see this being a hit with younger crowds and fans of the genre. Nothing too scary, some important social topics to discuss and just enough mystical red herrings to hit a variety of different readers.

Was this review helpful?

Told in such a unique and clever way. A great young adult book. I loved the overlapping interviews and truly didn't see the five friends went into the woods and only four came out ending. It has never been told like this.

Was this review helpful?

I've been reading a decent amount of YA thriller/mystery fiction lately, and this one is up there in terms of ratings - I was completely hooked from the start, and NEEDED to know what would happen. I did think there was a little bit of a slow burn to this, and maybe it could've been condensed down into something a little shorter, but I still enjoyed my time with it - I read it over the course of like 3 sittings, which isn't bad at all!

Was this review helpful?

This book was good. But not something I would rave about to someone to have them read it, but I wouldn’t stop them from reading it. The police interviews scattered throughout was a nice touch and helped the story go along. The characters were basic and not too thrilling in my opinion. The end really took the hit for me with it being rushed and basically thrown together.

Was this review helpful?

Teen readers will enjoy this one, but it was a little inconsistent for me. I liked the format- each chapter begins with a question that you presume is asked by police. Teens are giving info on a camping trip where one of the five campers has gone missing. It’s a mystery with some pretty stock characters and themes. I can see older middle schoolers and high schoolers enjoying this one,

Was this review helpful?

Book kept my interest it was a fast read. Liked the overall concept of the book and the points the author was trying to make, it just felt rushed at the end. I think having the disappearance earlier would of helped.

Was this review helpful?