October 25, 2021

#BookReview: Don't Tell a Soul Kirsten Miller

Synopsis: 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.


Rating: 1 Stars
My Review: This one was just ugh. It was full of plot holes and just well kind of boring.  I didn't really like any of the characters and the story was just very slow.  This one for me was just a mess of a story. I didn't like it at all.  I think it might find its audience but it just wasn't me. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Miller's spooky gothic mystery starts with Bram, a white teen girl, plowing through a blizzard on a train. She's on her way to her uncle's expansive manor in Louth, a town along the Hudson River. Bram is escaping a bad situation in New York City, but it soon becomes apparent she has left one complicated misery for another. Stories about "dead girls" have haunted the manor for ages, and the fates of these young women seem to be tied up in strong community distrust of the gentrifying behavior of visitors and transplants from the city. Miller sets an effective gothic vibe: a creepy old house, town legends that are not what they seem, and things that go bump in the night. Family, townsfolk, house staff, and potential allies lurk around, giving Bram bits of information as she tries to get to the bottom of what happened to the dead girls and how it might be tied to her own family tragedies. It is clear that Bram is in danger in Louth, but no one will tell her why, and from whom, and that is the strength of this novel. Both the "what is happening," and "who can you trust" suspense is tight until the very end. Bram has been through a lot (repressed memories of trauma around family death, addiction, sexual assault), and has not had a lot of support, and Miller has a lot to say about how much easier it is for society to paint an unhappy woman as "crazy" instead of listening to her. VERDICT A spooky, satisfying mystery.-Beth McIntyre, formerly at Madison P.L., WI╬▒(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Twists abound, and numerous plot threads are satisfyingly tied together in the powerful ending." --Kirkus Reviews

"...a feminist twist on gothic horror that thrills and chills while exploring the myriad ways that society tries to silence “problematic” women." --Publishers Weekly

"...pure gothic horror with nods to du Maurier’s Rebecca." --Bulletin

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