Ryan (Keep This to Yourself) blends queer romance, podcasts, and amateur sleuthing in a rousing and propulsive thriller. When Delia “Dee” Skinner was seven, her best friend Sibyl “Sibby” Carmichael was kidnapped during a game of hide-and-seek in the woods surrounding their suburban neighborhood. Now 17, Dee is the Seeker, the incognito voice behind popular missing-persons podcast Radio Silent. With the help of her listening community, called the Laptop Detective Agency, Dee has solved many mysteries, yet refuses to investigate Sibby’s disappearance despite provocations from a needling journalist. When a young child goes missing from Dee’s childhood home, though, Dee’s anonymous world is upended as she searches for connections to Sibby’s case. Ryan nimbly moves from past to present as Dee interviews former neighbors and friends, leading her and love interest Sarah to a remote community with secrets to hide. Red herrings and brief Radio Silent transcripts add texture to the novel, while intriguing clues keep readers engrossed. Though resolutions are questionably serendipitous, Dee’s purposeful voice is engaging, and Ryan’s portrayal of the way a crime can create long-lasting impacts within a community is profound. Ages 13–up. Agent: Eric Smith, P.S. Literary. (Oct.)
"Tom Ryan has crafted a thriller that tunnels through grief and comes out the other side in fullempowerment. Each brick of the plot is laid with purpose, and every twist tied off with expert precision, as it barrels toward a heart-pounding finish. There were moments reading I had trouble catching my breath. Not to be missed." Kristen Simmons, author of the Article 5 series andThe Deceivers
"Tom Ryan has created a spectacular melding of true crime podcast culture, coming of age, queerness, and taut kidnapping thriller. I Hope You're Listening is a sharply chiseled gem and an instant classic." Derek Milman, author of Scream All Night
"Listen up, YA thriller fans and true crime addictsTom Ryan'sI Hope You're Listeningis a compelling mystery with a podcast I'd listen to in a heartbeat, characters I want to hang out with, and a pulse-pumping conclusion that will leave you reeling. Prepare to tune in and get hooked." Kit Frick, author of I Killed Zoe Spanos and All Eyes on Us
"You'll fall in love with Dee and her unstoppable strength as she uncovers the clues to a painful disappearance the adults around her would rather forget." Adam Sass, author of Surrender Your Sons
"A heart-pounding YA mystery/thriller that is at turns chilling, poignant, and nail-bitingly suspenseful." Wendy Heard, author of She's Too Pretty to Burn
"Dee's authentic, engaging perspective alternates between the day of Sibby’s kidnapping and the present, layered between episode transcripts that demonstrate her strengths as a storyteller and investigator...A compelling, satisfyingly queer mystery that explores human connection amid the pressures and pace of today’s news cycle."Kirkus Reviews
"Compelling…a page-turner of a mystery with a strong lead character who is a member of the LGBTQ community make this book a winner."School Library Journal
"Intriguing clues keep readers engrossed…Ryan's portrayal of the way a crime can create long-lasting impacts within a community is profound."Publishers Weekly
Gr 9 Up—When seven-year-old Dee Skinner walked into the woods with her best friend, Sibby Carmichael, she almost turned back—the woods were too dark, too ominous. But Sibby always had a plan, so despite her apprehension, Dee followed her in. Ten years later, Dee is still trying to make people forget that she's the girl whose best friend vanished. The trauma of Sibby's disappearance has led Dee to start a secret podcast: Radio Silent. She curates and assembles information from missing-person cases, and her listeners take it from there. Thanks to Dee's efforts, several people have been located. Dee longs to tell the gorgeous black-haired new girl across the street who she is, but she's worked so hard to keep people from seeing her as that little girl in the woods that she finds it hard to open up. With all the missing-person cases Dee has tackled, the one that drives her—and the only one that she can't bring herself to talk about on her podcast—is Sibby's. That is, until another little girl in Dee's town goes missing. Well-developed characters populate the story, and the dialogue is smooth and natural. The solution to the mystery is satisfying but somewhat forced, but the journey to get there is compelling—readers will find themselves pulled through the pages. Sibby is blonde and Dee's appearance and ethnicity isn't described. VERDICT A page-turner of a mystery with a strong lead character who is a member of the LGBTQ community make this book a winner.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
A small town erupts when a child goes missing from the neighborhood in which a still-unsolved kidnapping occurred years earlier.
It’s been 10 years, but 17-year-old Dee is still haunted by the day her best friend, Sibby, was kidnapped as they played together in the woods. Anxious and risk-averse, she leads a double life as the anonymous host of a viral true-crime podcast that highlights missing person cases. Her ardent listeners, who call themselves the “Laptop Detective Agency,” have successfully used tips she’s received to solve several cases across North America, but Dee’s never wanted to put Sibby—and herself—under their scrutiny. Navigating high school and her budding romance with edgy new girl Sarah is complicated enough. But after a young girl goes missing, the media makes a connection between the incidents, and an LDA tipster suggests that Sibby is still alive, Dee is forced to face the past. Dee’s authentic, engaging perspective alternates between the day of Sibby’s kidnapping and the present, layered between episode transcripts that demonstrate her strengths as a storyteller and investigator. In her unspecified location, a White default is assumed, although the podcast’s current case centers Latinx and Black residents of Houston, with mention of the ways women of color are often let down by law enforcement.
A compelling, satisfyingly queer mystery that explores human connection amid the pressures and pace of today’s news cycle. (Mystery. 12-18)