I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan is a rollercoaster of emotions, from terrifying, to romantic, and to intriguing. In I Hope You’re Listening, you follow Dee as she works through both the trauma of being the last one to see her best friend before she was kidnapped, and, possibly the only one with enough information to save her- ten years later.
17-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner runs a podcast called Radio Silence, where she asks for laptop detectives to help solve mysterious disappearances. It’s one part curiosity, and two parts dealing with trauma without seeing a therapist. A new family moves into her old house, the very same one she lived in when Sibby was kidnapped, and things shift. Their daughter has gone missing, and everyone is linking it to the previous disappearance. Dee does not want to work this case, nor does she want to use her podcast to do it either. She doesn’t want people to look at her, or ask her if she has the answers to all their questions. Dee just wants to stay out of it, and not dig up the past. But sometimes, the past is the only way to save the present.
Overall, I really enjoyed the characters in this book.
Dee was just grumpy enough to be realistic, but not so grumpy that you wanted to punch her in the face. There were times Dee was completely selfish and reacted badly with her friends, but her friends actually call her out on this behavior and don’t allow for that common toxic friendship trope. The romance, while a little rushed, was still very “teen love” soft, and enjoyable. I appreciated the queer representation without it become a focal point in the mystery thriller. Our main character is a lesbian, and it is what it is.
My complaints about the book are small.
I didn’t enjoy reading the podcast transcripts until the final chapters and found them boring. They didn’t have much to do with the timeline- and this was a distraction. Additionally, weed was constantly talked about in the book, and it felt strange. As if it was going to be used as a plot device, and then the author changed his mind. Finally, Dee, at one point, tells Sarah that she loves her. Considering they’ve only known each other a little over a month, seemed a bit more rushed for me. Without spoiling though, given the circumstances, I think that one gets a pass.
I Hope You’re Listening is an enjoyable mystery/thriller YA. It keeps you just on the edge of your seat right up until the very end.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me a copy of this book for an honest review!