Title: I Hope You’re Listening
Author: Tom Ryan
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co.
Release date: October 6th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indigo
EVERY MISSING PERSON HAS A STORY.
In her small town, seventeen-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again.
At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way.
When another little girl in town goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much of her own story is she willing to reveal in order to uncover the truth?
First of all, thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and the publisher for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange of an honest review and the oportunity of being part of this blog tour. You can find the full tour schedule here. As always, all thoughts stated are my own.
I Hope You’re Listening tells the story of seventeen-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner, a girl whose life changed drastically after the abduction of her childhood bestfriend, Sibby, when they were playing at the forest ten years back. Ever since, Dee hasn’t moved on entirely and the survivors guilt she feels has lead her to creater her own escape, a podcast named “Radio Silent” where she’s The Seeker: an online persona who helps solve disappearance cases. Things take an unexpected turn when a little girl goes missing on her own town, in a very similar way Sibby did, and she starts to question if both cases are connected.
This is a very light book to read. Ryan does a great job at telling the events of the story in a very straight-forward and inmersive way. I Hope You’re Listening is the kind of book you could read in one go, partly because of this but also because once you familiarize with the plot and the characters, all you want to do is find out the whole truth.
Dee is a very well written character. I liked how as you read her story and get a look inside her thoughts, you can see how the events of the past have contributed to the girl she is today. She’s very mature, being forced to grow up so fast because of the tragedy that marked her life, but you can also feel her desire to be a normal girl and stay away from the limelight.
As this book deals with abductions and crime scenes, there’s the inevitable involvement of the media. Ryan portrays the different aspects of journalism, the lack of ethics of some reporters and the true and genuine intentions of real professionals who just want to report the truth.
More than anything, this book speaks about the importance of seeking the truth and answering all the unanswered questions hanging above your head. About fighting for justice and for closure, whether the outcome is good or bad. But it’s also about teenagers who were forced to grow up on the spotlight in a negative circumstance and how they deal with it. It shows the reader that while it’s not good to live in the past, it’s not right to let it go without doing the best you can to fix what’s wrong from it.
There’s just two things that make me rate this book anything under 4 stars: the mystery element and the romance. I like my mystery books full of plotwists and unexpected turns, and this wasn’t the case, though I was surprised a couple times throughout the book. If you like mystery books that are a little more “light” and relaxed, this one can be great for you.
About the romance included… I think it was a bit unnecessary. I feel like it didn’t contribute anything to the plot and the growth of Dee’s character, and I don’t think it would’ve make a difference if it wasn’t included. It also had an insta-love kind of vibe I didn’t like.
All in all, I’m happy I read this book. The ending was great and it tied all the loose ends and all the characters had a proper closure, and that’s always a good feeling. I felt satisfied when I closed this book.
If you liked Radio Silence, Sadie and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, check out I Hope You’re Listening!
Tom Ryan is the award winning author of several acclaimed books for young readers. He has been nominated for multiple awards, and was the winner of the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Best YA Crime Book. Two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections, and three of his young adult novels, Way to Go, Tag Along, and Keep This to Yourself, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013, 2014 and 2020. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction.
Tom, his husband and their dog currently divide their time between Ottawa and Nova Scotia.
Find him in his website, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Facebook.
Click here for a chance to win a finished copy of I Hope You’re Listening. This giveaway is US only and ends on October 20th.