Rating: 4 / 5
Cambria Brockman’s Tell Me Everything is the fascinating and suspenseful story of a group of college friends whose freshman year begins with a lie and senior year ends with a death.
Malin arrives at Hawthorne College in small-town Maine with a promise to her father – try to make friends. And so she does. It was easier than expected to find a close-knit group of friends to spend the next four years with. What isn’t as easy is pretending to have fun at parties, making her friends believe she’s drunk, getting along with everyone in the group, and trying to forget her past and her dead brother.
By their senior year of college, the friends have lived together for three years but their dynamic is more foreign than ever before. Malin’s best friend, Ruby, is a shell of the vibrant young woman she met on the first day of college. On Senior Day in January, while they’re meant to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments, they’re trying to salvage their relationships. And the next day when they wake up, one of their own is dead.
Please take caution while reading Tell Me Everything if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Animal cruelty
- Mental illness
Tell Me Everything is a very good suspense novel for many reasons. First, it is wholly original. There’s something unsettling about the narrator, but she’s not untrustworthy or unhinged – she’s brilliant and dedicated and loyal. Her friends are questionable but have redeeming moments and qualities. The setting, in a small college town, lends itself to feelings of both comfort and potential chaos.
Brockman’s writing style is stellar. You know the entire time that someone is dead, but you don’t know who, by whom, why, or anything else about that night. Information is given in bits and pieces at a torturously, but deliciously, slow pace. The story shifts between the juicy drama of the friends’ freshman year, the deadly January day their senior year, and Malin’s childhood in Texas, which creates fantastic suspense and allows readers to get to know the characters in depth and at each period of time.
Not only was this story suspenseful, but it was also so nostalgic. If you went to college or ever had a close group of friends, your heart strings will be pulled by how seemingly fun and comfortable these friends and their early experiences are. The story is so good that it can provide you suspense and fun all at once.
The perfect suspense novel is hard to come by, but Tell Me Everything comes close. The twists keep coming, even to the very last page! Particularly if you’re a fan of narratives that err on the side of character-driven, young people drama, and slow burns, I definitely recommend this one!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Tell Me Everything. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!