Promise Boys by Nick Brooks | Book Review

Promise Boys is an exhilarating YA thriller that will have you rooting for its characters and desperate to reveal the truth. Check out my full thoughts below. Thank you to NetGalley, Macmillan Children’s Books and Nick Brooks for my early copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Title: Promise Boys

Author: Nick Brooks

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Thriller

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Release Date: 2nd February 2023

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Promise Boys was right up my street from the very beginning. I knew I needed to read this from looking at the synopsis and was thrilled to be approved for an early copy. A murdered principal and three main suspects all of whom have motive but maintain their innocence. The premise is great but the book is even better. The first half of the book is told via snippets of character testimonials for JB, Ramon and Trey from friends and family members which are added to with snippets from the news and circulations. This is followed by seeing the day before the murder and the day of the murder in the eyes of our three suspects JB, Ramon and Trey. I loved how this started off the book as it meant I was really invested in each of them by the second half and was then desperate to figure out who the real killer was. As a reader, getting to know the three suspects and understanding why they are suspects but from their POV really helped you to root for them in this story. The second half is the real mission: finding out who the real killer is from a whole plethora of options.

I really liked the characters in this book a lot. JB is described as a gentle giant, he wants to do well to help look after his mama and is desperate to impress the girl he likes with his lyrics. Trey is your up and coming basketball star living with an ex-army Uncle and looking to make it big in the sporting world. Ramon is related to members of the local gang but deep down wants to pursue his dream of being a chef. Alongside our three main suspects there are a whole other host of characters some of whom are brilliant and others of whom are very questionable.

Promise Prep itself seems like an absolutely hellish school. The boys aren’t allowed to talk to one another, they must walk on the blue line in the corridors, there are hand signals that are used to dismiss classes which must be done perfectly in time or it starts over again. It certainly didn’t feel very ‘school’ like but added to the tension aroudn the murder – surely there are plenty of people at Promise who would like to kill the principal?

I did raelly enjoy this book. It was fast-paced but you didn’t miss out on getting to know the characters. I didn’t guess who the killer was going to be either which was a bonus. The only slight downfall for me was that the end felt like it was over as soon as it started. I would have quite liked to see a bit more of how it all went down when the killer was revealed!

Promise Boys is an exhilarating YA thriller that will have you rooting for its characters and desperate to reveal the truth.


Have you read Promise Boys? Is it on your TBR? Tell me more!

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