June 18, 2021

#BookReview: Don't Breathe a Word by @jordynhtaylor

Synopsis: Present Day:
Eva has never felt like she belonged... not in her own family or with her friends in New York City, and certainly not at a fancy boarding school like Hardwick Preparatory Academy. So when she is invited to join the Fives, an elite secret society, she jumps at the opportunity to finally be a part of something.

But what if the Fives are about more than just having the best parties and receiving special privileges from the school? What if they are also responsible for keeping some of Hardwick’s biggest secrets buried?

There is only one reason why Connie would volunteer to be one of the six students to participate in testing Hardwick’s nuclear fallout shelter: Craig Allenby. While the thought of nuclear war sends her into a panic, she can’t pass up the opportunity to spend four days locked in with the school’s golden boy. However, Connie and the other students quickly discover that there is more to this “test” than they previously thought. As they are forced to follow an escalating series of commands, Connie realizes that one wrong move could have dangerous consequences.

Separated by sixty years , Eva's and Connie’s stories become inextricably intertwined as Eva unravels the mystery of how six students went into the fallout shelter all those years ago . . . but only five came out.


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review: This romance is one with a chilling story. I loved the dual time POV it made the book feel so real.  Past and present crash together in this thrilling page turner with a fast-paced plot and killer story.  Twists and turns drew me in and the darkness of this story was just so good. I loved the characters and can't wait to see another story from this author. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—A group of teens who belong to a secret society at a private boarding school in New York are tested on how well they can keep secrets and follow the dean's strict guidelines. Eva, one of the newest students on campus, isn't sure what she is getting herself into when she is invited to a Fives recruitment party out in the woods. Trying to make friends, she accepts the invitation and the challenges she is asked to complete in order to join the secret society. Alternating chapters offer the story of Connie, a student who volunteers to test the school's nuclear fallout shelter in 1962, with tragic results. Readers will be engaged as Eva and Connie's stories intertwine and the suspense builds chapter by chapter. Many facets of this story could be relatable to high school students who have had to change schools, make new friends, and find their niche. Most characters are cued as white. VERDICT An engaging thriller, recommended for YA collections.—Cassandra Bland, High Plains Lib. Dist., Evans, CO


"A truly fun and riveting page-turner! Don’t Breathe a Word has it all—from a fascinating dual-era mystery to a sweet, heartfelt romance… plus a chilling examination of how good people can succumb to brainwashing, both past and present. I couldn't put this book down!"
-- Diana Urban, author of All Your Twisted Secrets 

"A fast-paced, exhilarating story. Taylor's plotting prowess is on full display with thrilling twists and unexpected connections. These characters are easy to fall in love with—and root for."  -- Jessica Goodman, Indiebound bestselling author of They Wish They Were Us

"Shines a light on the darkness hiding at an elite boarding school and the lengths one girl will go through to join its secret society. Full of mystery and heart, I loved this book!"  -- Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows

"A taut mystery that will have readers racing to the end. Jordyn Taylor does a masterful job of weaving the threads of a boarding school's dark past into its twisted present and offers a riveting exploration of how far we'll go to belong." -- Katherine Laurin, author of These Vengeful Hearts

“A timely, gut-wrenching story of how easily loyalty turns groups into cults. This suspenseful dual narrative of two iron-willed young women will have you guessing until the end!”  -- Adam Sass, author of Surrender Your Sons

About the Author

Jordyn Taylor is a New York City–based writer and journalist, currently the deputy editor at Men’s Health magazine; her work has appeared in the New York Observer, Mic, and Glamour.com.

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