Dead Girls Can’t Tell Secrets is a young adult thriller by Chelsea Ichaso. Piper is in a coma, and her sister is trying to prove it wasn’t from a suicide attempt- but something more sinister.
Piper Sullivan was in a strange hiking accident last month and has been in a coma ever since. Her older sister, Savannah, can’t pretend to be optimistic about it; things look bad. Piper will likely never wake up, and Savannah will never get any answers about what exactly happened.But then Savannah finds a note in Piper’s locker, inviting Piper to a meeting of their school’s wilderness club…at the very place and on the very day that she fell. Which means there was a chance that Piper wasn’t alone. Someone might’ve seen something. Worse, someone might’ve done something. But who would want to hurt the perfect Piper Sullivan…and why?To discover the truth, Savannah joins the club on their weekend-long camping trip on the same mountain where her sister fell. But she better be careful; everyone in the club is a suspect, and everyone seems to be keeping secrets about that tragic day.And Savannah? She’s been keeping secrets, too…
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
“This whole last month, I believed my sister tried to kill herself. But maybe that’s not what happened at all.”
This book had all the moving pieces of an enjoyable YA thriller, and yet, something about it wasn’t all that enjoyable. The characters’ interactions felt like watching a bad CW pilot, written by someone who has maybe never interacted with a teenager. There was a lot of dialogue in the book that I highlighted and questioned why it felt so unnatural. Because of the nature of this thriller, I also found every single character unbearable. Generally, you at least want to like your main character, but this wasn’t the case. She is your cookie-cutter popular mean girl, and she has some statements that were incredibly off-putting.
“Just the two of them?” I ask skeptically. “And if that were true -which would be super weird, by the way- why wouldn’t he have mentioned it?”
This is an example of a bit of a weird sentence that didn’t feel like teenagers and didn’t feel like our main character.
The pacing of this book doesn’t do itself any favors. I like fast thrillers, it’s my preferred pacing for the genre. Yet, everything in this book happens in 48 hours, and it never gives you time to stew on the clues you’re given. The red herrings become obvious, the plot holes feel like craters, and your first guess on whodunit is probably your best guess. An easily solvable thriller isn’t something I can rate highly, as it takes away one of the primary elements of reading the genre. If I can already guess, and my guess is right, then the book starts to feel like a waste of time.
“My stomach clenches, I knew there was something off about him.”
I also, knew something was off about him, Savannah. This is a bit of a snack book, and you can get through it quickly if you wanted to. It isn’t something I would necessarily recommend, or even read again, personally. The book tried very hard to live up to some of the more intense young adult thrillers, and unfortunately, it missed the mark almost completely.
“If I’m going to find out what really happened to my sister, I may have to put my faith in my least likely ally.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.