Book Title & Alexandra's Review

I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

Must be 16 Years or Older

Reader discretion is advised: strong language and references to drugs.

In her small town, seventeen-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago, she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again. At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true-crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way. When another little girl goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl, Sarah, at school. But how much is she willing to reveal about herself in order to uncover the truth? Dee’s about to find out what’s at stake in unraveling the mystery of the little girls who vanished.


Do you know what every suspense mystery protagonist needs? A tragic backstory. An event in the protagonist’s past that drives the character forward. And Dee’s backstory truly is tragic. At only seven years old, she witnessed the kidnapping of her best friend. And after ten years, she still blames herself for being unable to save her friend and believes that the town blames her for what happened to Sibby.


Dee spends part of the story learning what others went through and how they were affected by Sibby’s abduction. She’s so haunted by her own trauma that she doesn’t consider what others were going through. I get that. Sometimes your brain is so full of your own worries and anxieties that you don’t have room in your head to think about anyone else’s.


Dee’s podcast sounds really cool. Not only is she opening up investigations into missing person cases, but she’s also getting others involved in helping. The sad fact is that so many missing person cases go unsolved, leaving the people left behind with no explanation. That’s the worst part, not knowing what happened to them. Dee wants to help others to make up for not being able to help Sibby without drawing any attention to herself.


I see the appeal of true crime podcasts and podcasts in general, but I have so many things on my mind already that I can’t add anything else.


What I liked most about this story was the romantic relationship between Dee and Sarah and how it wasn’t the story’s primary focus. I’m happy to find a story that treats an LGBTQ+ relationship like any other romance.


Overall this was a great mystery. A little wordy at times, but most Young Adult books are. If you like April Henry’s “The Night She Disappeared,” you’ll enjoy this mystery.

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