A thrilling debut, reminiscent of new fan favorites like One of Us Is Lying and the beloved classics by Agatha Christie, that will leave readers guessing until the explosive ending.
“Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.”
What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill...or else everyone dies.
Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead.
As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something.
And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?
In this intense psychological thriller, six teens "the queen bee, the jock, the brains, the stoner, the loner, and the orchestra geek" are trapped in a room with a bomb ticking down, a deadly syringe, and a note informing them that "within the hour" they must either select one person to die or face that fate together. Over the next hour, narrator and aspiring composer Amber; her boyfriend, baseball star Robbie; her former best friend Priya; her current bestie, overachiever Sasha; school valedictorian Diego; and resident drug dealer Scott must find a way to either escape or follow their captor's wishes. As the minutes slip away, tensions grow in the room, resurfacing hidden resentments and old grudges. Alternating chapters set over the previous year further fill in the blanks until an inevitable-seeming clash reveals the students' darkest secrets. Urban's debut is a powerful one, rich in emotional turmoil and intracharacter conflict, with a strong message against bullying and a focus on standing up for oneself and one's goals. Last-minute revelations will undoubtedly require a second close reading, however, and may prove polarizing. Ages 12 up.
Absolutely FABULOUS! A 2020 favorite!
WHAT A FREAKIN GREAT, WELL WRITTEN YA MYSTERY/SUSPENSE!!!
I enjoyed this so much!!! It was perfectly balanced, as far as going back and forth from the present to the past. It showed how awful bullying is and what it does to people. (There is mention of a past suicide. If that’s a trigger, be aware.) The mystery was hard to figure out, but towards the end I admit that I figured it out. I kept guessing all kinds of things. Haha! I love a well written mystery, it’s a lot of fun to try to figure things out. There aren’t a lot of good ones in the YA genre, but I think this is fabulous!!!