"A propulsive mystery with high stakes and devious, masterful twists that will leave you guessing until the very last page. Diana Urban's latest had my jaw on the floor." —Jessica Goodman, bestselling author of They Wish They Were Us
Let’s play a game.
You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.
Are you ready?
When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a picture of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper’s game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call.
But then Crystal realizes that each task is meant to hurt—and kill—her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did...
Author of All Your Twisted Secrets, Diana Urban’s explosive sophomore novel, These Deadly Games, is a must-read, propulsive YA thriller with deadly stakes, stunning twists, and a shocking ending you'll never forget—perfect for fans of I Know What You Did Last Summer and One of Us Is Lying.
In Urban's (All Your Twisted Secrets) sometimes grim mystery, 16-year-old Vermonter Crystal and her six-person team of esports gamers prepare to compete in a statewide MortalDusk tournament. The stakes are high a $3 million prize but official rules stipulate that only five players may play, leading to an internal competition amid the group. As Crystal attempts to beat out the others, including Japanese American bestie Akira, she has bigger problems on her mind, including her parents' divorce, a dark secret she holds, and, suddenly, a text message saying that her 13-year-old sister has been kidnapped and will be killed unless Crystal takes part in a deadly real-life game "React to this, and she dies. Show this to anyone, and she dies." Accepting the challenge, the teen begins a series of strange, frequently harmful tasks that target her friends. Crystal's gaming skills prove useful as she works to understand who is behind the setup, but her tormenter is always one step ahead in this occasionally predictable but interpersonally strong, frankly told thriller that toggles between the present and the past. Main characters read as white. Ages 14 up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.