Keep This to Yourself
by Tom Ryan
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Pub Date 21 May 2019 | Archive Date 07 May 2019
Albert Whitman & Company, AW Teen
It's been a year since the Catalog Killer terrorized the sleepy seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people before disappearing without a trace. Like everyone else in town, eighteen-year-old Mac Bell is trying to put that horrible summer behind him—easier said than done since Mac's best friend Connor was the murderer's final victim. But when he finds a cryptic message from Connor, he's drawn back into the search for the killer—who might not have been a random drifter after all. Now nobody—friends, neighbors, or even the sexy stranger with his own connection to the case—is beyond suspicion. Sensing that someone is following his every move, Mac struggles to come to terms with his true feelings towards Connor while scrambling to uncover the truth.
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 97 members
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF by Tom Ryan in exchange for my honest review.***
What an unexpected gem!
Ingredients for a perfect mystery:
1 serial killer
1 estranged group of friends
1 murdered friend
1 kickass narrator
A bunch of interesting minor characters
1 possible love interest
A generous handful of clues
A sprinkle of red herrings
An ending I didn’t see coming
KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF is one of those novels I wanted to reread immediately after I finished to figure out the clues I missed. How did I not know of Tom Ryan before KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF?
Ryan gave protagonist Mac a likable and sympathetic voice. He’s not only grieving for the loss of his best friend Connor, he’s also harboring an unacknowledged crush for his pal. Additionally, Connor was the glue that held his friend group together, without him they’ve splintered. As much as I liked Mac, I didn’t his other friends, at least for the first 90% of the book. They were interesting people with individual personalities and nuances, whom I wouldn’t have chosen to befriend. Quill, Mac’s new friend and possible love interest, stole my heart.
The plot moved quickly, with my list of suspects constantly changing. They all made sense, until they didn’t.
A strong recommendation for KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF THIS BOOK!!! I loved the storyline and how Mac slowly uncovered the mystery of the Catolog Killer. I never would have guess who the killer was!! I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read this early!!
This book is so twisty in all the right ways. You're kept guessing the whole time and nothing really comes together until the end. And that's coming from someone who figured out who did it, but was so very wrong on the reason why.
Mac is a lovable MC who just can't get past his best friend Connor's murder and will do anything to solve it. But Camera Cove is not the picturesque town that it looks to be from the outside. As in any small town, there's a multitude of secrets and they seem to be getting people into a lot of trouble. This mystery is layers deep and I was shocked at every revelation and every piece of the puzzle solved. The setting really amps up the creepy factor and you're not sure who you can trust, not even the MC. The characterization in this one is stunning and I felt like Mac was my best friend and we were solving this mystery together. The side characters are just as lovely, with Quinn being my favorite,
I can't say anymore as I'm afraid I'll give something away. If you love thrillers, you'd be stupid not to pick this one up.
I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
One year after a serial killer terrorized the small coastal town of Camera Cove, Mac is trying his best to move on. He has just graduated high school, reuniting with some of his childhood best friends to dig up a time capsule. One member of the friend group cannot be there because Connor was the final victim of the serial killer that has not been caught.
After going home, Mac decides to finally open up a bag of comics that Connor had left on his door on a day that ended up being the last day of Connor’s life. In there, Mac finds a small note that tells him that Connor may have actively been investigating the serial killer.
Instead of moving on, Mac begins to investigate this. Under the guise of seeking items for a rummage sale, he begins to make contact with each of the victim’s families to search for clues that the police may have missed.
This was so good. YA thrillers have always tended to be a hit or miss for me, but the YA thrillers that are getting published within the last couple of years have all been outstanding. Keep This To Yourself manages to explore the obsessive nature of unsolved crime, the early beginnings of a romance, and the uncertainty of the summer after high school graduation. The main character is also gay, and it’s nice to read a thriller where that’s the case. (This is still a great rarity!)
If you have read Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig and loved it, you will definitely love this one. Similarly, if you have read The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas and loved it, you will definitely love this one too.
KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF was the kind of thriller that kept me stressed to the very last page. At one point I literally had to tell myself to relax my jaw...which is the sign of a good thriller, right!? It captivated me with easy and engaging writing and an intriguing plot that I couldn't quite guess how would end up. Getting to take the journey with Mac was equal parts sad, stressful, and heartbreaking.
The plot definitely kept me glued to the page (I read it in one day!) and that's the main thing I ask for in a thriller. Mac is trying to get answers for a mystery no one's solved in over a year. Everyone's telling him to move on, but this is his best friend that died...and he can't seem to settle on closure. His life feels so pointless unless he finds out who was the Catalogue Killer. But he suspects Conor wasn't just a victim - what if Conor was trying to solve the case?! Mac takes it on himself to piece together the old old clues. And he starts turning things up. I appreciated that this was rather a 'cold case' because it gave the characters more room to be prying since the police had given up. Of course the incompetent police plot line was a bit predictable, and at the end, I confess I couldn't believe in the decision the cops had made?? It seemed WAY too far fetched. But I lvoed unravelling and unwinding the clues with Mac.
It also featured a group of childhood friends who've since split apart since Conor died. They had all such complex and interesting personalities, and it was interesting seeing how they all fit together...and broke apart.
Mac was a really soft sort of boy, totally quiet and shy, and he did have a nicely solid arc that didn't involve him changing personalities, but he did become a bit more assertive. His romance with Quinn, a cousin of another of the serial killer's victims, was super cute and I adored how rambunctious and bright Quinn was. Definitely a splash of fun in a very grim plot. Their relationship erred on the side of instalove though, but it's still just so so good to see queer characters taking the lead in genres other than contemporary!
Overall?! This was a solidly good thriller that I'm super glad I requested on impulse from Netgalley! It will make you chew your nails and ask questions and throw yourself wildly down rabbit trails that lead to nothing...until Mac unwinds the mystery and you discover the shocking truths with him.
Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan is different from other books that I have read because it so complex. This is a very addictive page-turner because in almost every chapter is mysterious. Mac Bell is a gay 17 year old who tries to solve the murder of his best friend Connor Williams. The end is a real surprise to the reader, but understandable. Amazingly done!!
Wow, wow, wow. Amazing novel. Great plot, awesome love story, terrific characters and a fantastic twist at the end. I cannot think of enough superlatives to properly hype Keep This To Yourself, but you should definitely put this on your TBR list.
From a teacher's perspective this book is a great offering for an independent read. The fact that the book is a mystery that features a young gay man as its protagonist, but doesn't spend time addressing his coming out will help young queer students feel represented in what is otherwise a normal mystery. It also doesn't completely ignore the adversity experienced by gay people and shows how one character deals with minor acts of homophobia with confidence. Finally, the novel provides an opportunity for character study, and could spark class discussion on how people can perceive the same person in different ways. To the teachers out there, I definitely recommend this mystery for your shelves.
Putting my thoughts on this book into words is something that I'm still finding really hard to do. In short, though, it was easily one of the most addicting books that I've read this year and I absolutely loved the journey and the end product quite a bit.
Doris is easily one of my new favorite characters of all time, the moments where we got to spend quality time with her were easily some of the highlights of the book. Mac though I felt was also a really solid character, especially when used as the character we experience the story with. I was never really annoyed by any of his actions, despite how reckless they seemed to be at times. I also was just a big fan of how Mac's love life was handled and balanced with his investigation into the Catalog Killer. That integration is always what I want from a story and I think that it workes really well as a B level plot without me ever feeling like it was functioning as a distraction.
My only real gripe is with the final quarter of the book, and even then it's not really a major complaint. I will say that I didn't see it coming, and while I felt that the explanation is given didn't fully feel like a cop out I don't know if it was all that satisfying? I'm still struggling with it and it's still something that I'm debating with myself, so in that regard, I'm happy that it's the ending we got. If nothing else actually getting to that point was one hell of a ride, full on a roller coaster of emotion so for that least I'm really happy it's the ending we got.
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