Double Feature: Teenagers, Drama & Danger

Teenage drama…you know, when I was an actual teenager I wanted absolutley zero to do with it, but now that I’m an adult I LOVE indulging in a little guilty pleasure via book form!

And that’s great news because I recentley read two teenage-drama focused books. All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban and Clique Bait by Ann Valett. Both were different in plot, but they both revolve around a group of very real (no fantasy) teenage characters and some drama!

Here’s what I thought of them both!

Just before I start, if you’d rather watch my review of these two books, I shot a video during quarantine giving my thoughts. There are also cringey photos of me as a teenager during the video too – I dunno if that’s a bonus or a negative…that’s up to you!

But if you’d rather read my reviews – or watch and read then enjoy below!

All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban
Rating: 3.75/5
This book was one of my most anticipated reads for 2020 – so I was super excited to have been given the opportunity to read the arc earlier on this year!

I was hoenstly expecting this to be a 5 star read for me, after all, the premise is amazing. But I have to admit it lands at just under a 4 star read for me.

All Your Twisted Secrets is an excellent story, and the type is one I usually enjoy. I love books and films about what choices humans make when under pressure and when a group is faced with a kill or be killed scenario. Which is what we have here!

I enjoyed the tension of the ‘in the room’ chapters of the book, but kinda lost a little bit of interest in some of the ‘in the past’ chapters. Actually, a fair bit of interest was lost – depending on the characters.

I have to admit that if I was in this room with these people, and knowing what I know about the characters, I’d have killed the ‘queen bee bitch’ character damn near immediatley. But I have violent tendancies.

I also don’t really understand why the characters in the ‘in the room’ scenarios wouldn’t bring up the ‘in the past’ knowledge. Obviously it’s for the reader’s benefit, but I kinda think that’s lazy writing.

But the main reason for the dropped star and a bit? The characters were 1-dimensional. Like, SUPER 1 dimensional. The baseball player only cared about baseball, the queen bee bitch only cared about being popular etc etc. It got old. Real quick.

Also, I personally hated the ending. Not only did it feel rushed, but I literally closed the book and shouted ‘LAME‘ at it when I read it. Urgh.

I also didn’t like a lot of the diagloue, it was like a bot watched a bunch of high school drama films and tried to write a book. It just didn’t seem real at times.

But overall this was a fun thriller that I tore through, and the good outweighs the bad by far! Although I’m still a little bit angry at the ending. Not gonna lie.

But ending on a positive, I have to say that the cover is AMAZING!

Clique Bait by Ann Valett
Rating: 4.5/5

YASS! This is the kind of trash that I love – and please know, I’m not using trash as an insult. At all. This is amazing to me, but let’s be real – it’s not exactly hard hitting stuff is it? But holy crap did I enjoy this guilty pleasure! To me, it’s just as good as Mean Girls (the film, duh).

When I was younger, this would have been my nightmare. I never watched Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars or any of those types of trashy shows that this book is being likened to. So I’ve got no reference to that. I wasn’t interested at the time –probably cos I went to an all-girl’s school and it was a little too real!

But now?! As an adult? Give me this high school drama between rich, sexy people!

I’m going to be honest: I DID NOT EXPECT TO LIKE THIS AS MUCH AS I DID!

I was along for the ride, 100%, all the way through! I loved the characters! I was given conflict, both drama and internal, I liked the plot, I related to a lot of the situations and the characters. There’s not a lot that didn’t hit a mark for me!

The only thing I’m bothered about is that I personally thought that Monica was a total bitch and didn’t deserve the revenge plan that Chloe wanted for her. But I guess that’s potentially the point – we have to make our own mind up. But I didn’t like how obsesses Chloe seemed to be.

The writing was pretty good for the most part, and the dialogue was fantastic! I actually believed the speech, which is quite rare. Yes, the world was a kind of world I’ve never been a part of, but I still beleive that this is how these characters would speak.

This was a nice little bit of escapism for me and I really enjoyed it.
Plus Will Bishop has officially made it onto my ‘book partners’ list!

The ending was a little bit…well…one of the characters kinda…jumped out of her own character a bit – so that kinda through me. But all in all it wasn’t a bad way to end it.

So that’s it! Those are two pretty good books that have come out recently that are all about the teenage drama! I’d recommend both, but I preferred Clique Bait by far!

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