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A story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her. People say the house is cursed. It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims. In Louth, they're called the Dead Girls. All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family's past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left t A story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her. People say the house is cursed. It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims. In Louth, they're called the Dead Girls. All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family's past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion. But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew—and destroyed half the house he'd so lovingly restored. The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don't want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she's discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home. The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town's haunted past, she might not either.


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A story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her. People say the house is cursed. It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims. In Louth, they're called the Dead Girls. All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family's past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left t A story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her. People say the house is cursed. It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims. In Louth, they're called the Dead Girls. All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family's past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion. But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew—and destroyed half the house he'd so lovingly restored. The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don't want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she's discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home. The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town's haunted past, she might not either.

30 review for Don't Tell a Soul

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "In the dark, it made no difference if my eyes were open or shut." Do you enjoy YA novels that lean more toward the mature side of writing, ones that are dark and eerie yet beautifully written with a powerful message? Then Don't Tell a Soul is the gothic novel for you! There are subtle similarities between this book and Rebecca, but more so via appreciative retelling rather than anything malicious like outright plagiarism. The plot feels two-fold; there's a focus on the mystery behind her family' "In the dark, it made no difference if my eyes were open or shut." Do you enjoy YA novels that lean more toward the mature side of writing, ones that are dark and eerie yet beautifully written with a powerful message? Then Don't Tell a Soul is the gothic novel for you! There are subtle similarities between this book and Rebecca, but more so via appreciative retelling rather than anything malicious like outright plagiarism. The plot feels two-fold; there's a focus on the mystery behind her family's tragic loss, and the local legend of the Dead Girls, the victims who have fallen prey to the haunted nature of "the house". I enjoyed unraveling the mystery on both ends, and I loved even more how this book had a huge sense of female empowerment, and even taking that sense back after the unimaginable happens. While this book may be too dark and graphic for some YA readers, I think it's an important read for those who can manage to open the pages and still turn out the light at the end of the night. CW: (view spoiler)[sexual assault. (hide spoiler)] *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Ghosts lurking around the gothic mansion where three women from different eras had died because the place haunts the weakest young women by taking their souls. And another troubled young girl named Bram, outcast, forced to leave NY because of accusations against her, estranged with her own mother who denies to believe her moves to uncle James’ eerie mansion located in Louth: a tiny town on the Hudson River to live with him temporarily! But the permanent spiritual night time visitors of the house Ghosts lurking around the gothic mansion where three women from different eras had died because the place haunts the weakest young women by taking their souls. And another troubled young girl named Bram, outcast, forced to leave NY because of accusations against her, estranged with her own mother who denies to believe her moves to uncle James’ eerie mansion located in Louth: a tiny town on the Hudson River to live with him temporarily! But the permanent spiritual night time visitors of the house and local people are hostile to the outsiders don’t let her spend some quality time at her new place peacefully. Caretaker Miriam and her son Sam get worried about Bram who keeps seeing a girl in white dress stepping around the rooms, looking exactly like one of the girls rumored to be died at the mansion nearly 100 years ago. And her uncle James still suffers from grief to lose his wife at the fire nearly destroyed the mansion. He still thinks his step daughter Lark who is institutionalized at the mental hospital may be the reason of the fire. But Bram thinks otherwise and as she starts to dig further, she realizes there’s something more threatening about this place! If she wants to survive, she’d better run without looking back! This is smart, riveting, twisty, exciting, unputdownable gothic story! Bram is survivor, fighter, brave girl even though she suffers from so many tragic experiences. Most of the women characters including Lark, Maisie were troubled but strong, clever girls who are determined to survive against their dysfunctional families and the shittiest life hands they were dealt! I couldn’t stop reading and the conclusion was more satisfying than I can imagine! This book is not only a horrifying, dark, gothic dark mansion story, it’s also about the young women who shouldn’t be afraid of standing for themselves. It’s truly inspiring and earned my five gazillion haunted, up all night, nightmarish, traumatic stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s / Delacorte Press for sharing this incredible digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Girls make the best ghosts. I loved the hell out of this book!! I loved the main character, Bram. I loved all of the supporting characters and the storyline wasn’t what I was expecting at all. The book isn’t horror per se, but it has its ghostly moments 😏😉 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 Girls make the best ghosts. I loved the hell out of this book!! I loved the main character, Bram. I loved all of the supporting characters and the storyline wasn’t what I was expecting at all. The book isn’t horror per se, but it has its ghostly moments 😏😉 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    Bram moves to a creepy manor that is supposedly cursed. Not a new concept but still one of my favorites to read. This reminded me of a lot of Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark which I absolutely loved but I thought there were a little bit too many similarities. Comparing those similarities would be spoilers so I won’t go into those but if you’ve read both books you will know what I’m talking about. I really liked that even though this is targeted as a young adult book, there are themes of female emp Bram moves to a creepy manor that is supposedly cursed. Not a new concept but still one of my favorites to read. This reminded me of a lot of Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark which I absolutely loved but I thought there were a little bit too many similarities. Comparing those similarities would be spoilers so I won’t go into those but if you’ve read both books you will know what I’m talking about. I really liked that even though this is targeted as a young adult book, there are themes of female empowerment and seeking justice. I liked that the women in the book all helped and supported each other and that there were some people you could actually trust. Some of the men were even helpful and I thought it was refreshing that our main character had help rather than having to do everything on her own. There was also no romance which is a plus for me. Described as a modern day Rebecca, I’m now interested in reading that book this year. I enjoyed this and the cover is absolutely incredible. Thank you to Netgalley and to Delacorte Press for an advanced copy of this book! ---------------------------------------- When Netgalley approves you for an ARC you really wanted!! Best feeling ever.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin A. Craig

    Delicious and dark, this is a gothic haunting for the modern age. It sank its teeth deep. I will be haunted by the Dead Girls of Louth for a long time to come.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Don't Tell a Soul by Kirsten Miller is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. As I read this book I truly forgot I was reading and not actually experiencing this story! The author presented the world so complete that I felt, heard, and experienced everything that the main character was going through. Terrific job! Wonderful, well developed characters and plenty of tension, plus unpredictable situations and possible outcomes kept me entranced! Our gal is sent to live with h Don't Tell a Soul by Kirsten Miller is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. As I read this book I truly forgot I was reading and not actually experiencing this story! The author presented the world so complete that I felt, heard, and experienced everything that the main character was going through. Terrific job! Wonderful, well developed characters and plenty of tension, plus unpredictable situations and possible outcomes kept me entranced! Our gal is sent to live with her uncle after an incident at her home. Life with her mother didn't sound pleasant anyway. Her uncle's manor has a history of death, a curse, and hauntings. What our gal Bram eventually finds is even worse!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    THIS BOOK SCARED THE HECK OUTTA ME ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 Stars! Don't Tell a Soul lends itself as part ghost story, part suspense, and as an avid reader of both I was *highly* satisfied. Here we follow Bram, a troubled teen with a spotty past, one parent in the grave, and a terrible reputation in her wake. When her mother sends her away from the city to live her with her estranged uncle in the Manor where a fire previously took his own wife and sickened her daughter. But the town of Louth is full of secrets, and THIS BOOK SCARED THE HECK OUTTA ME ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 Stars! Don't Tell a Soul lends itself as part ghost story, part suspense, and as an avid reader of both I was *highly* satisfied. Here we follow Bram, a troubled teen with a spotty past, one parent in the grave, and a terrible reputation in her wake. When her mother sends her away from the city to live her with her estranged uncle in the Manor where a fire previously took his own wife and sickened her daughter. But the town of Louth is full of secrets, and Bram is drawn to the stories of Dead Girls surrounding the manor she now lives in. Will she be able to uncover the truth before someone — or something — gets to her first? tw: addiction/drug abuse, attempted sexual assault, mentions of suicide, murder I love being scared. Blood and gore? Eh, not my style. But there is something to be said for the ability to create a tone of unease that carries throughout a book and Kirsten Miller definitely did that for me. There were moments where I was questioning myself reading this thing in the dark. I am a very visual reader, and there were instances where all it took were a few choice words and I was terrified out of my wits at the image alone. That made this a winner for me! There was also a quickness to the prose that launched the story along so nicely. We were given tons of information and backstory as we went, mixtures of legends and Bram's own thoughts. We know from the beginning that Bram has been through something horrible, but as she pieces it back together so do we, and she is a fiercely determined heroine that I think everyone wants to root for in the end. She tempers her aloofness with a natural kindness and a curiosity that won't quit. The supporting cast here was also phenomenal and you really don't know right up until the end who you can trust — but that made it all the more fun. The half a star down rating was because the ending propelled itself a little too quickly for my tastes and I found myself turning back the pages to make sure I hadn't skipped ahead. I think it could have done with a little more breathing room before jumping into the epilogue but despite that I found this a highly enjoyable, creepy, and satisfying read! Don't Tell A Soul will be out in three days! And if you love a good creep factor, this one is a winner. *My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for granting me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Feinen

    "Nothing will change if we stay quiet." Bram is forced out of New York City. Escaping her mother, Bram's only choice is her Uncle James. Years before, James bought the old manor in Louth, NY - a very small community on the Hudson. The manor is shrouded in legend - Grace Louth's suicide, missing young women- the Dead Girls. A few months prior, James' step daughter Lark sents fire to a wing, placed in a hospital for mental health issues. Bram knows Lark doesn't have issues- though she has never met "Nothing will change if we stay quiet." Bram is forced out of New York City. Escaping her mother, Bram's only choice is her Uncle James. Years before, James bought the old manor in Louth, NY - a very small community on the Hudson. The manor is shrouded in legend - Grace Louth's suicide, missing young women- the Dead Girls. A few months prior, James' step daughter Lark sents fire to a wing, placed in a hospital for mental health issues. Bram knows Lark doesn't have issues- though she has never met her. Bram also hears the footsteps in the house, sees a young woman in a white wedding dress, feels the Dead Girls in the house. Excellent story. I read it in one day - amazing writing, great characters and chilling reality for women.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lady H

    wow that was so freaking good omg???? i gotta get my thoughts together and write a proper review because i LOVED this

  10. 4 out of 5

    M. [storme reads a lot]

    I love the cover and the idea. Truly Devious was one of my fav reads of last year. I was more than eager to jump straight into this book as well. I am sad it did not meet my expectations in the end, but it was not a bad book overall. Bram is in a small town after her father dies, meeting her uncle and seeing how small town life is full of secrets and whatnot. I thought this was going to be more along the lines of Truly Devious, but this falls short of the mystery and shock factor that series has I love the cover and the idea. Truly Devious was one of my fav reads of last year. I was more than eager to jump straight into this book as well. I am sad it did not meet my expectations in the end, but it was not a bad book overall. Bram is in a small town after her father dies, meeting her uncle and seeing how small town life is full of secrets and whatnot. I thought this was going to be more along the lines of Truly Devious, but this falls short of the mystery and shock factor that series has. The whole wondering what is going on with Bram was tiresome. I thought it would be creepy and strange, but it was more like trying to figure out what was wrong with her. I know she was. meant to be not trusted, but the way it was laid out just made me wonder why it seemed so fake and hard to believe. There were some plot holes which took away my enjoyment, and I wondered how it was going to be fixed. I know sometimes this does happen, but it meant the book was hard to enjoy when I was trying to discern pieces that did not make any sense. I think this would appeal to those new to the mystery genre because they would not know what tropes to look for or someone who just wants a quick read with some little bit of creepy happening. I would try this author again, this book just did not suit me. Thank you NetGalley and Delacorte for the review copy given for free reviewing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cesar

    3 stars. Ever read that book where you think it's one thing and turns out it's completely different than what you had originally thought? It happened to me with Don't Tell a Soul. And not in a good way. The first half, while having some issues, really made me invested in the story with the creepy atmosphere of the setting as well as the winter backdrop of a small town. Two of my favorite things coming together made the first half a creepy experience. During the second half, however, things started 3 stars. Ever read that book where you think it's one thing and turns out it's completely different than what you had originally thought? It happened to me with Don't Tell a Soul. And not in a good way. The first half, while having some issues, really made me invested in the story with the creepy atmosphere of the setting as well as the winter backdrop of a small town. Two of my favorite things coming together made the first half a creepy experience. During the second half, however, things started to turn and instead of being pleasantly surprised by it, I got bored and when I got to the end of the story, my experience went from creepy to downright bored. The story has the making of being a good paranormal story mixed with mystery but somehow the two went in entirely diferent directions that didn't make sense. Like, it did make sense when you put things together throughout the story but looking back to the beginning, I can't really understand why it went in this direction. It wasn't a bad read by any means, but I was expecting more but got less in the end.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn DeRouin

    Trigger Warnings: Mentions of parental death, mentioned death of grandparents, death (by suicide, fire), mentions of suicide (drowning), mentions of mental illness (nondescript, a character was committed, another character went to rehab), house fire, underage drinking and drug use, mentions of alcoholism, drug addiction, overdose, attempted rape, neglectful parenting, mentions of physical abuse, mentions of pedophilia, murder This book was absolutely wild. It starts off as a ghost story, but it's Trigger Warnings: Mentions of parental death, mentioned death of grandparents, death (by suicide, fire), mentions of suicide (drowning), mentions of mental illness (nondescript, a character was committed, another character went to rehab), house fire, underage drinking and drug use, mentions of alcoholism, drug addiction, overdose, attempted rape, neglectful parenting, mentions of physical abuse, mentions of pedophilia, murder This book was absolutely wild. It starts off as a ghost story, but it's so much more than that. I was hooked right from the start. The mystery unraveled so smoothly and everything made so much sense as the pieces all came together. A few of the twists I figured out fairly quickly, and then some I didn't piece together until Bram did, and the way everything fit together was done so cleverly.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fatirah Murtaza

    3.8 Recommend me a book that can get you back into reading or a book that can get you out of your reading slump. I’ll start first. - Don’t Tell A Soul is a kind of book that made me forget I was actually reading it. With a simple use of language driven by a riveting multi-layered story, it’s easy for me to get absorbed into the story and have a TV playing inside my head. I finished this book within a day and I’m ready to recommend this book to anyone who wants to start reading a horror book (begi 3.8 Recommend me a book that can get you back into reading or a book that can get you out of your reading slump. I’ll start first. - Don’t Tell A Soul is a kind of book that made me forget I was actually reading it. With a simple use of language driven by a riveting multi-layered story, it’s easy for me to get absorbed into the story and have a TV playing inside my head. I finished this book within a day and I’m ready to recommend this book to anyone who wants to start reading a horror book (beginner) with less inclination towards romance. This book instead is full of riddles, mystery, and something that you can’t get enough of – the chilling vibe exuded by the ghosts inside this story. “All the best ghosts are girls.” Bram Howland is forced to be sent to a desolate countryside of New York, burying her dark pasts behind by living in her Uncle’s manor. In Louth, it’s a small town whereby everyone practically knows everyone. It’s a typical story about a newcomer moving into a new place and feels unwelcomed by its locals. However, it’s in a different font because I felt betrayed at the end when things that I’d guessed and predicted came out all wrong. The manor she’s living in is rumoured to be haunted and the locals acknowledge that its existence is a curse to young girls - someone who scream trouble at the same time seemed as an easy prey; someone like her. Having a two-faced Uncle and a suspicious housekeeper along with her brusque son doesn’t help accommodating her stay. What would be more unsettling when the room she’d lived in contains stories of dead girls and worse, the sightings of them that keep appearing in her sight? I found myself shaking head so often when Bram always puts herself in situations that most people would probably stay out; like going alone into the basement or wandering alone in a dark hallway. She’s built different I guess, but it doesn’t irk me because I have some hots for independent and intelligent women. The main theme in this story would be women empowerment as I’ve witnessed girls helping out each other in upholding the truth of their miseries – and that’s a pleasant thing to see! I was also awed by the revelation in the final part of the story as there’s quite a sum of red herrings left by the author and thought that this book is quite a fitting read for young adult horror fiction. On a side note, if I’m going to review this book on a level of scrutiny, there’ll be issues of info dumps at the final part, how some characters felt uncanny and some plot holes that make your questions or doubts left unanswered and unfulfilled. But I’m not going to do that here since I don’t want to discourage anyone from picking up this book as I still think it’s a quite decent horror read for the targeted audience. It’s a clean read by the way! cw: drug abuse, sexual assault. Thank you @timesread and @putrifariza for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. This book is out in all good bookstores.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Aristodemou

    I was between three and four stars This book was a fast read. The author wrote it beautifully, and wasn't one of those that tried to overdo it and sound cool. Not too much effort. It felt like a campfire story, you know, you were sitting down with friends and someone was telling you a scary story. The book goes from "The haunting of the hill house", to "You", to "Home before dark" I know it is an odd combination, but it did kinda work. I would prefer to be honest if it stayed at one genre, rath I was between three and four stars This book was a fast read. The author wrote it beautifully, and wasn't one of those that tried to overdo it and sound cool. Not too much effort. It felt like a campfire story, you know, you were sitting down with friends and someone was telling you a scary story. The book goes from "The haunting of the hill house", to "You", to "Home before dark" I know it is an odd combination, but it did kinda work. I would prefer to be honest if it stayed at one genre, rather than going from a ghost story to a mystery one. I was kinda disappointed with the ending, but not so much. I didn't expect it yes, but that does not mean it was awful. The ending was too fast though. It was like BOOM. This book would translate amazingly as a limited TV series, to be honest. It has something so captivating, that you want to keep reading. Did I fall in love with it? No. Did it scary the shit out of me? No. Would I watch a show based on this? Definitely. Should you read it? Yes. It's not like you have anything better to do, anyway.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    Fun, twisty thriller! I read this with a buddy and it was so difficult to only read a couple chapters a day. There were creepy things happening and so many questions. This is really a story about several girls and their experiences at the manor and I was hooked from the beginning. Bram has had a rough time lately and has been sent to live with her uncle. As soon as she arrives, she's drawn in to the tragedies of three girls and starts to look into what truly happened. There are unexplained noise Fun, twisty thriller! I read this with a buddy and it was so difficult to only read a couple chapters a day. There were creepy things happening and so many questions. This is really a story about several girls and their experiences at the manor and I was hooked from the beginning. Bram has had a rough time lately and has been sent to live with her uncle. As soon as she arrives, she's drawn in to the tragedies of three girls and starts to look into what truly happened. There are unexplained noises at night, ghost sightings, and threats and I was impressed that Bram wasn't scared off. She handled everything so well and I liked seeing her put the clues together. This book kept me guessing until the end and wove an entertaining story. I did think the ending wasn't quite as exciting as I hoped, but the rest was great. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    I was expecting a creepy thriller but this was just MEH.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Merve K

    Excellent! 4.5⭐

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    TOO MUCH GOING ON. Also the trope of The Plot Only Exists Because the Characters Are Keeping Secrets. And every question/mystery seems like a rumor or lie so you can't believe one way or the other. Bram leaves her mom's house to move in with her uncle who bought a creepy manor. (Q #1 why did she move? Why doesn't her mom trust her? Well you don't find out for 150 pages... when she just plain tells you.) The manor caught fire. (Q #2 how was the fire set/by whom?), and it's rumored that the manor is TOO MUCH GOING ON. Also the trope of The Plot Only Exists Because the Characters Are Keeping Secrets. And every question/mystery seems like a rumor or lie so you can't believe one way or the other. Bram leaves her mom's house to move in with her uncle who bought a creepy manor. (Q #1 why did she move? Why doesn't her mom trust her? Well you don't find out for 150 pages... when she just plain tells you.) The manor caught fire. (Q #2 how was the fire set/by whom?), and it's rumored that the manor is haunted. (Q #3 is it really haunted?) Then you find out Bram's dad and aunt Sarah died, on the same day. It's mentioned early on. (Q #4 How did they die? If it was murder, who and why?) Then Bram starts trying to figure out more about the ghost, Grace Louth. (Q #5 Did the mural in her bedroom predict Grace's death?) There's bad-boy Nolan, who local girl Maisie says is dangerous, who everyone hates because he supposedly ran a girl out of town. (Q #6 Is he really dangerous? What happened to the girl?) James, Bram's uncle, lost his first wife Sarah, and then his second wife Dahlia dies in the fire- again, mentioned early on. (Q #7 was Dahlia a target? Why do his wives keep dying?) Lark, James's step-daughter, Dahlia's daughter, is said to be insane (Q #8 is she?), and she is sent to live with her father, who is also said to be insane. (Q #9 Why would they send her to live with him if he's crazy? Why are so many characters crazy?) Then the fire happens. James says her dad and Sarah, Jame's first wife were having an affair (Q #10 were they?) Maisie's mom is an unstable drunk who got pregnant young... ok... Some guys throw rocks at Nolan's house while Bram is inside... ok... Sam and his mom Miriam are like housekeepers. (Q #11 do they know more than they're letting on?) And then once you DO get answers to all this, there are more at the end that would be too spoilery to say... stuff about Lark's behavior. I used 6 different colored tabs to keep track of all the side plots. It was just too much and not necessary. All loose ends are tied up ALL AT ONCE in the form of Bram just asking her uncle and him telling her. The only Q I still have is why there were 4 locked doors in the manor. It IS a good book, don't get me wrong. But if you read just for fun and don't really like a million things to have to remember and keep track of, you might not enjoy this one fully.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    4.5 stars. “Waiting for me in the distance was the house. It seemed even more massive than I remembered. Three stories of stone crawling with ivy, with a dozen dark windows on every floor. Two wings branched off a central hall. I knew one wing had recently been destroyed in a fire, but from where I stood, it was impossible to tell which one was damaged. The snow had stitched the house back together. It sat there, still and silent. I had the sense it was watching, like a camouflaged beast stalking 4.5 stars. “Waiting for me in the distance was the house. It seemed even more massive than I remembered. Three stories of stone crawling with ivy, with a dozen dark windows on every floor. Two wings branched off a central hall. I knew one wing had recently been destroyed in a fire, but from where I stood, it was impossible to tell which one was damaged. The snow had stitched the house back together. It sat there, still and silent. I had the sense it was watching, like a camouflaged beast stalking its prey.” I’m not going to review this one, I’m just trying to add the books I’ve read the last few days for my Goodreads reading challenge (I will review again one day, I swear).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    3.5 stars, almost 4 Note: I was provided with a free ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. The creepy atmosphere Miller creates in this book harkens back to the gothic classics of du Marier and the Brontë sisters. Though the prose, voice, and style may feel a little old-fashioned, this story is wholly contemporary. Women aren't rivals. Instead, they are support networks, and they work tirelessly in a world where women's stories are d 3.5 stars, almost 4 Note: I was provided with a free ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. The creepy atmosphere Miller creates in this book harkens back to the gothic classics of du Marier and the Brontë sisters. Though the prose, voice, and style may feel a little old-fashioned, this story is wholly contemporary. Women aren't rivals. Instead, they are support networks, and they work tirelessly in a world where women's stories are downplayed to have their truths heard. My full review will be featured here at the end of this month: https://gatewaybookreviews.blogspot.c...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brit

    This book left me speechless. This book read super fast and i was on the edge of my seat the whole time while reading. It was 60% in when i was piecing everything together. I feel like this should be a movie because thats how it played out in my head. But over all i highly enjoyed the creepy atmosphere of the story. And the so called haunted mansion

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    I received this as a free ARC on netgalley. This wintery, gothic story is going to be right up the alley for YA thriller fans. What starts out as a classic ghost story quickly evolves into a stressful, high tension mystery. We have Bram Howland, our seventeen year old protagonist, thrown into the middle of a wolf den of suspicious locals and her own haunted uncle, James. And even worse, Bram is escaping her own devastating past that continues to follow her everywhere. I'll start out by saying that I received this as a free ARC on netgalley. This wintery, gothic story is going to be right up the alley for YA thriller fans. What starts out as a classic ghost story quickly evolves into a stressful, high tension mystery. We have Bram Howland, our seventeen year old protagonist, thrown into the middle of a wolf den of suspicious locals and her own haunted uncle, James. And even worse, Bram is escaping her own devastating past that continues to follow her everywhere. I'll start out by saying that I absolutely loved our main character. And I want more characters like her in young adult books. The thing that struck me about Bram was the way Kirsten Miller made her realistic and unwavering through out the novel. That's not to say Bram is a static character with no growth. But there's no fooling her suspicious, anxious nature. She has had a traumatic life, and she carries that trauma with her in the form of bear repellent and a box cutter. Bram meets multiple characters through out the novel who want to befriend her (or do they? what are their motives?) but her trauma never mysteriously and magically leaves her in the face of a pretty boy. I also loved the atmosphere of this novel. I am a true sucker for a novel set in winter (I mean, I love in Vermont, I love winter) and I felt chilled every time Bram was describing her setting around her. The small town vibes were immaculate, making Bram feel even more isolated, making it feel even more high strung and the tension even thicker. What I didn't particularly love was the plot itself. I found, unfortunately, for the plot to be very...well, tropey. There was nothing shocking about any of the reveals. In fact, most of the things that happen in the book seemed pretty formulaic. I felt like I could guess everything that was going to happen and so nothing really surprised me. It's very clear from the beginning what happened to Bram in the past even if you don't know the specifics until about 40% in. It's also pretty obvious that this isn't an actual ghost story either; which is fine, I love a good ghost story but I'm okay with the 'o it was a person all along!' reveal as well if it isn't so obvious. The other thing that seemed to hinder the book was the first person narrative. I know that's far more popular in YA novels, but I felt like it was really stilted because as much as I liked Bram as a character, her POV felt very emotionless. All the right things were being said and done, but there didn't seem to be much behind everything. I think the book could have flowed better if it was told from third person. That being said, I still really enjoyed this book and I'm giving it a solid three stars. I think people who are into creepy YA books are going to really love this one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    The Reading Raccoon

    Don‘t Tell A Soul by Kirsten Miller is a contemporary young adult gothic mystery about a girl who flees Manhattan for her uncle’s mansion in the Hudson Valley. But the house has tragic tales of injured, dead and missing women and girls attached to it and the locals in the small town don’t trust Bram or her uncle. This is feminist spin on an old idea (estranged uncle + creepy mansion + suspicious townsfolk) but Bram isn't your normal damsel in distress. She refuses to believe in ghosts and thinks Don‘t Tell A Soul by Kirsten Miller is a contemporary young adult gothic mystery about a girl who flees Manhattan for her uncle’s mansion in the Hudson Valley. But the house has tragic tales of injured, dead and missing women and girls attached to it and the locals in the small town don’t trust Bram or her uncle. This is feminist spin on an old idea (estranged uncle + creepy mansion + suspicious townsfolk) but Bram isn't your normal damsel in distress. She refuses to believe in ghosts and thinks there is a logical explanation for each mystery of the “dead girls”. There are a lot of red herrings and misunderstandings that keep Bram and the reader on their toes. Slowly the reader uncovers what has really happened in the mansion as we are also discovering Bram’s true reasons for leaving Manhattan and what happened to her father. I appreciated that Bram was sassy and bold and didn’t just cower in her room. But this also means she throws herself into dangerous situations and takes a lot of snow and blizzard related risks. She keeps her eyes on her goal so even though there are several cute boys hanging around she is clear that she isn’t trying to date in the middle of a murder mystery. And although I could follow the many threads of tragedy that created both Bram‘s last five years and the entire 130 history of the mansion it could feel like a lot of excessive drama. There is also an odd “adults can’t be trusted“ note of cynicism that runs through the entire novel. Almost every adult present is rude, cruel, murderous or mentally ill and the best of the bunch are already dead. Overall, I found Don’t Tell A Soul a twisty mystery with lots of fun elements. This is a great one to snuggle up with on a cold winter day and watch this teen sleuth stand up for all the “dead girls” that went before her. 4 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ My copy of Don’t Tell A Soul was provided by NetGalley and the publisher for reviewing purposes

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Paschal

    Bram is on her way to stay with her beloved yet distant uncle in his up and coming Inn in a small town, basically in exile for her actions over the last few years and since her mother wants her away. But it seems that Bram just landed in the middle of a new unfortunate circumstance when she finds her uncle not exactly as she remembers him, a mystery of a mentally ill girl and a house that has a ghostly past of its own. This was totally different from what I was anticipating, and I mean that in a Bram is on her way to stay with her beloved yet distant uncle in his up and coming Inn in a small town, basically in exile for her actions over the last few years and since her mother wants her away. But it seems that Bram just landed in the middle of a new unfortunate circumstance when she finds her uncle not exactly as she remembers him, a mystery of a mentally ill girl and a house that has a ghostly past of its own. This was totally different from what I was anticipating, and I mean that in a really good way! The story kept me guessing, all the twists in the plot and possible suspects had me on my toes trying to predict who did what and why- all the while trying to determine whether this was a paranormal/ghost story or a psychological thriller. I really liked not knowing and I won't tell you here so now you have to read to find out. I do feel that the ending was a little too abrupt, the author using tell method instead of show to sum up everything that happened in a few pages instead of having it unfold for the reader which was disappointing (as well a few unbelievable/unreasonable things that didn't really make sense). Overall though I really enjoyed this standalone read and would love to get more books from this author in the future. Keep in mind this book hits on some dark subject matter like mental illness, drug abuse/addiction, date rape as well as rape in general, violence, physical abuse, murder and not being given a voice.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maria F.

    A gothic mansion. A cold winter town. Mysterious deaths. A mystifying mural. And one girl on a mission to find the dark truth that could possibly kill her. This book was so addicting, enthralling, heart-pounding and suspenseful. I found myself staying awake to finish- I could feel the tension through the pages and it was honestly brilliant. This book follows our protagonist Bram- a “troubled” teenager who has been sent to live with her uncle after some unfortunate circumstances in her hometown Onc A gothic mansion. A cold winter town. Mysterious deaths. A mystifying mural. And one girl on a mission to find the dark truth that could possibly kill her. This book was so addicting, enthralling, heart-pounding and suspenseful. I found myself staying awake to finish- I could feel the tension through the pages and it was honestly brilliant. This book follows our protagonist Bram- a “troubled” teenager who has been sent to live with her uncle after some unfortunate circumstances in her hometown Once settled in this new and strange small town, Bram is set on discovering the truth of the “dead girls”- girls who have mysteriously died in different eras in the house- and the truth about Lark- her uncle’s stepdaughter who burned part of the mansion down and went insane However, everything is not what it seems and the haunting truth could doom Bram in the process... This book had me guessing and doubting the entire time and the twists and turns were impeccably done- right until the end I honestly had no idea what would happen and I LOVED that! Highly recommend this one! TW: attempted rape, drug abuse *thank you to Netgalley for sending me an earc in exchange for an honest review*

  26. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan - H&WR

    DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. EXPECTED JANUARY 26TH, 2021 4.5 STARS Most characters run from ghosts, but Bram Howland runs toward them. Fleeing Manhattan and the controlling grip of her mother, Bram heads to Louth to stay with her Uncle James in his half-burned mansion. In the wake of a house fire that killed his wife, a house fire apparently set by his step-daughter, he’s not the uncle that Bram remembers. Without her uncle’s help, DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. EXPECTED JANUARY 26TH, 2021 4.5 STARS Most characters run from ghosts, but Bram Howland runs toward them. Fleeing Manhattan and the controlling grip of her mother, Bram heads to Louth to stay with her Uncle James in his half-burned mansion. In the wake of a house fire that killed his wife, a house fire apparently set by his step-daughter, he’s not the uncle that Bram remembers. Without her uncle’s help, Bram must explore the truth behind the manor, dodging cagey Louth locals and vicious rumors at every turn. The Dead Girls of Louth are waiting for their stories to be heard. And maybe even waiting for Bram to join them. Don’t Tell a Soul is sharp, even prickly, and perfect for the height of winter. Opening in a snowstorm swirling around the half-burned mansion, this book sets its tone immediately. Everything about it is cold and crisp, and it layers itself in one shadow after another. And like the environment, Bram is equally chilly and sharp, clutching box cutters in her pockets and constantly weighing the depths of her trust for others. From the very first page, you cannot trust anyone but Bram. You must not. It’s a critical facet of horror, this ability to heighten the sense of setting, and I’m always pleased when I can report that a book has done it well. Don’t Tell a Soul toys with all manner of smoldering wreckage even while lakes and rivers freeze over in a glittery sort of wonderland, forming a tiny riverside town with secrets tucked into every single shadow. “The truth always got buried along with the girls.” More important than the setting, though, is the plot of the book. I don’t often read horror, so when I make an exception, I want it to throw every punch full force. Thankfully, Don’t Tell a Soul understands how rumor flies in small towns, how scandals twist to take looming, threatening lives of their own. And more than that, it knows how to spin the bones of a ghost story at the same time as it brews approaching, so very real danger. Even as the pieces of the Dead Girls of Louth come to light, the tension never quite relents. Bram wades through nearly two centuries’ worth of ghosts while trying to put her own to rest, and it takes the full sum of the book to put it all to bed. As a result, Don’t Tell a Soul is a phenomenally fast read. This is probably why it played such a strong role in busting my reading slump last week. The pages keep turning, the answers keep coming, and yet the questions remain, darker than ever. Additionally, this book manages to take horrors of past and present and tie them together. Grace Louth, the first Dead Girl, and Bram Howland are closer than they could ever know, and theirs stories touch along unsettling parallels. This rings true for the other Dead Girls, too. Bram and her sharp, wary nature are the key to everything that this town has hidden over the years. If you can handle horror sometimes more realistic than paranormal, read this book. At times, the topics can grow heavy; there’s no denying that. If you’ve read this far and want to give Don’t Tell a Soul a try, I recommend you read the content warnings I’ve listed below. And if you’ve done that and still want to pick this book up, you don’t have to wait long! Next Tuesday, January 26th, Don’t Tell a Soul makes it way onto shelves. You still have time to place a pre-order or library request, if those options are within your means, and before long, this book will be here, all wrapped up in bitter winter chill. Are you ready to meet the Dead Girls of Louth? CW: loss of a loved one, suicide, drug use, addiction, overdose, underage drinking, gaslighting, domestic abuse, alcoholism, rape, animal death

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Where to start •The story is unbelievable •The book itself is very slow to the point I was feeling tired and fed up reading it. •There were a few times I was going to quit finishing it but i made it to the end •It took me 3 hours to read the last 40 pages (no joke)it was that bad. If you still want to read this book I'd only read it when you've nothing else to read. Where to start •The story is unbelievable •The book itself is very slow to the point I was feeling tired and fed up reading it. •There were a few times I was going to quit finishing it but i made it to the end •It took me 3 hours to read the last 40 pages (no joke)it was that bad. If you still want to read this book I'd only read it when you've nothing else to read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Cresse

    A mansion full of ghosts -- all young women who have disappeared while living there -- and now Bram is living in the rose room (their bedroom in the mansion) trying to solve the mystery. A spooky read that feels familiar...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zac

    3.5 Stars Ngl I was enticed by the cover but I'm so happy it turned out well. The rating could have been higher but I'm just nitpicking on the few plot holes. 3.5 Stars Ngl I was enticed by the cover but I'm so happy it turned out well. The rating could have been higher but I'm just nitpicking on the few plot holes.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What I thought was a paranormal figured turned out not to be.

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