Reviews for Don't Tell a Soul, by Kirsten Miller

akshaya's review against another edition

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3.0

I would say this is more like a contemporary mystery than horror. 

So we follow this girl Bram who goes to live with her uncle James in his manor in this place called Louth. And the town and the manor has many rich history and many town gossips. Like many girls have been died there before and people think the manor is cursed. And recently Bram 's uncle lost his second wife in a fire accident and now his step daughter has gone mad with a brain injury. Bram feels that this incident is suspicious and there is something odd so she is trying to prove the girl is not mad and to give a clear logic. 

This book was solid. It had some very eerie and creepy elements and a mystery aspect. It reminded me so much about the books,  "watch over me" and "horrid". The vibes were very similar and I really liked those two books. I wont say I loved this book but it was good. Even though I gave it a 3, I think my rating might increase if I sit on it. 

rinkitaynezha's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

hailandwellread's review against another edition

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5.0

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

mithah's review against another edition

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mysterious tense medium-paced

3.0

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I was very undecided about this book. I loved the mystery of the dead girls and the mystery of the scandal Bram was running from. I also love that name, btw. I loved that I never knew who to trust. 
Part of it just felt too weird to me. I dont know how to explain it. It just wasn't my kind of weird?

I would recommend if you like weird horror books. Maybe it will be your kind of weird! 

nightwing's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

A captivating thriller that follows Bram, a girl kicked out of her mother's house in NYC for mysterious reasons we eventually find out as the story unfolds. Bram's sent to live with her uncle whom she hasn't seen in a decade, only to find out his wife died mysteriously months earlier. Bram discovers more mysteries surrounding the mansion she and her uncle live in.

A really fun mystery novel that was entertaining from beginning to end. Only issue I had was that the ending wrapped up a bit too quickly for my taste but it was a well-written ending regardless. I liked that we couldn't really "like" a character in the book, all of them couldn't trust each other and thus kept showing their worst sides. Not to say no one's completely unlikeable, but it works very well for this mystery. Excellent writing overall! 

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whatellisreadnext's review against another edition

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dark mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

𝘏𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘧𝘭𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘮𝘦. 𝘐 𝘨𝘪𝘨𝘨𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘐'𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘨𝘪𝘳𝘭𝘴 𝘨𝘪𝘨𝘨𝘭𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘹 𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘱𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘵.

All Bram wants is to disappear. The only place she can go is to Louth, a small town where her Uncle James is in the process of renovating an old mansion. The house is creepy, but so are the locals. They don't want outsiders infecting their town, and most frightening of all, are the stories they tell of the girls who died in the very house Bram now calls home. 

Big creepy house? ✔ Sad protagonist? ✔ Small town? ✔ Several unravelling mysteries? ✔ Things that go bump in the night? ✔ This book is AMAZING. It had all the elements I love in a ghost story, and then some. I am so thankful to this creepy cover for grabbing my attention. I am obsessed.

It is very rare I give young adult novels a 5 star rating, they have to really knock my socks off. Don't Tell A Soul was that good. It felt like a mash up of The Haunting of Bly Manor and Truly Devious. You're scared, but you're also dying to unravel all of the mysteries surrounding the house. I really struggled to put it down.

Bram is such a fantastic protagonist, I loved reading her unconventional coming of age story. How she rose from the ashes, and her strength grew throughout the book was just wonderful. She was all heart; helping people she barely knew, determined to bring justice upon those that deserved it. 

If you're looking for a character driven ghost story/mystery that'll keep you on your toes, I couldn't recommend this enough!!


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fyoosha's review against another edition

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5.0

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

catchats's review

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dark mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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steelsings's review

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3.0

**I was provided an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**

Kirsten Miller presents a YA mystery thriller in Don't Tell a Soul. Readers follow Bram, a troubled girl going to live with her uncle in the country after something has happened to make her leave Manhattan. Bram soon follows that there are rumors about her uncle's manor being haunted, and begins to experience things that seem to be unexplainable. Of course, that just means Bram has to seek an explanation.

Miller's writing is readable and fast-paced, with a good build. Unfortunately, I never really got hooked, which left me a bit middle-of-the-road. It was interesting learning about all the small town rumors and secrets, and I felt that Miller did well at intertwining them. Everything established followed good logic and solid explanations, which is great, but contributed heavily to me finding the ending disappointing. I really wanted a paranormal thriller, and didn't find that here.

In addition, the characters were established, but I really wasn't invested in any of them. I never felt the stakes were high enough to be truly thrilling, and didn't particularly have enough attachment to care about the characters even if the stakes had been high.

That being said, I feel like this book would be great for its target audience of young adult, possibly folks new to the thriller genre, or folks interested in thrillers but don't actually want to feel scared. As an adult who knows their way around a thriller or two, the book came across as well-written but a little lackluster.

I do look forward to seeing what else Kirsten Miller comes out with in the future, and would be interested in potentially reading other works.

caidyn's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

The second I saw that this was a Rebecca-esque retelling, I got very interested. It seems that the 2020s are the revival of Daphne du Maurier so far! And this one was really good. It blended in modernized gothic horror elements with YA tropes. I also liked how this tackled multiple difficult topics that teens commonly face. From parental death to drug use to sexual assault, etc. It really balanced things well. With all the difficult themes, it never felt too heavy for me as a reader and I thought everything was handled very well. Definitely a book that I'll want on my shelf as a finished product!

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