Seventeen years ago, Layla Trello was murdered, and her killer was never found. Enter true-crime fan Piper Gray, who is determined to reopen Layla’s case and get some answers. With the help of Jonas—who has a secret of his own—Piper starts a podcast investigating Layla’s murder. But as she digs deeper into the mysteries of the past, Piper begins receiving anonymous threats telling her to back off the investigation or else. The killer is still out there, and Piper must uncover their identity before they silence her forever.
With the rise in true crime podcast YA books in recent years, it makes sense that April Henry would join the bandwagon.
Unlike the first true crime podcast book I read, this story goes more into the work of making a podcast. The following quote does a great job summing up what goes into making a podcast.
“It’s not like you can just flip a switch and have your podcast magically appear on everyone’s phones. It takes way more time than you think. For every hour of airtime, I put in at least seven hours. Picking the topic, researching, finding someone to interview, writing the questions, recording, editing, doing the voice-over, and then putting it all together. There’s a tone of work before you even upload your first episode.”
People have suggested that I make a podcast from my book blog. But between all the time and effort I spend maintaining this book blog and working on writing and illustrating my own books, I don’t have the time or the energy.
I love how it is pointed out that the reason people listen to podcasts is that “they want to listen while they do something else.” This is so true! My main activities while listening to audiobooks are exercising, brushing my dog, cleaning, putting together a jigsaw puzzle, and riding in the car.
Besides the talk of podcasts, the overall story felt familiar to other murder mystery books I’ve read. It follows the typical ‘popular white girl is murdered at a party, alive teen attempts to solve the crime and puts themselves in danger’ trope. It felt tame compared to April Henry’s earlier books.
If there is one lesson to take away from this story, it is DO NOT GO TO HIGH SCHOOL PARTIES! And if you do go to a high school party, do not leave said party alone. Because if you do, your odds of getting kidnapped and/or killed are high.