A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Brynn's work at Motive gives readers a bit of an inside look into how a nationally syndicated podcast is produced.
Broken friendships can be mended and painful misunderstandings between family members can be healed.
Positive Role Models
Brynn has all the expected qualities of a fictional girl detective (smart, courageous, and persistent), but this story allows readers to see how Brynn successfully deals with trying, and sometimes failing, to do her sleuthing while working in an adult setting like Motive. Tripp is more often than not a bad role model. He drinks heavily, has a broken and unforgiving relationship with his father, has lied to the police. But he confronts these issues as story unfolds and finds strength of character to work on resolving them.
Brynn and Tripp are White. Brynn's friend Mason and her younger sister Ellie are queer. It's not an issue with any of the students at Saint Ambrose when Mason takes his new boyfriend Geoff (who reminds Brynn of Chidi from The Good Place) to the winter dance. The ethnicity of other characters, both major (Shane Delgado and Nadia Amin) and briefly mentioned (Ramon d'Arturo, Pavan Deshpande, Sanjay, and Spencer Okada) could be assumed from their names.
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Violence & Scariness
Two people are murdered; very short descriptions of bloody crime scenes. A girl is briefly abducted. A car chase ends in a death. Teens are threatened by adults brandishing guns. During a scuffle over a phone, a girl is punched in the head. A minor adult character was fired from his job for sexual harassment.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several breathless and passionate kisses. Someone hacks a high school newspaper and posts "d--k pics."
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Occasional profanity ("f--k," "a--hole," "s--t," "damn," "crap"). "Jesus" used as an exclamation.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Tripp's drinking to try to deal with his emotional battles is a major storyline. Brynn finds him with a nearly empty bottle of whiskey. On one occasion he fills a flask with his father's Jim Beam Scotch whiskey before leaving for the day. Adults drink. Teens get drunk at a party and drink at a school event. Some boys smoke in the school stairwell, and one teen's clothes stink of cigarette smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Karen M. McManus' Nothing More to Tell has an intrepid teen sleuth, an unsolved murder, a shocking false identity, and a slew of plausible suspects. After four years in Chicago, Brynn Gallagher has moved with her family back to Sturgis, Massachusetts, and she'll be finishing her senior year at Saint Ambrose, her former private school. But coming back isn't always easy for Brynn, as she sometimes finds it hard to reconnect, especially with her former best friend, Noah "Tripp" Talbot. When budding journalist Brynn gets an internship at the true-crime podcast Motive, she immediately pitches the producers a story idea. Four years ago, her English teacher had been found bludgeoned to death in the school's woods, and his killer has never been found. As the investigation into his death unfolds, it's not long before Brynn realizes that the murderer is almost certainly someone she knows. Two murders are briefly described (a head covered in blood), teens are threatened by adults brandishing guns, and there's occasional profanity ("f--k," "a--hole," "s--t," and "damn"). Tripp's abuse of alcohol and the reason behind his drinking is a major storyline. Brynn and Tripp are White, several characters are queer, one major character is presumed Latino, and another, Asian American.
Is It Any Good?
Author Karen M. McManus takes a popular storyline (spunky teen solves murder) and gives it a sparkling refresh with complex characters and a plot certain to keep readers guessing. Nothing More to Tell will appeal both to readers looking for a light-on-the-blood-and-gore mystery and those looking for a can't-put-it-down read with characters who are dealing with tough issues like teen alcoholism, family dysfunction, and broken friendships.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.