Review: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

More than we can tellSeries Letters To The Lost (can be read as a standalone)

Genre YA, Contemporary, Romance

Expected Publication March 6th 2018

Edition eARC

ISBN 1681190141

Goodreads:

From the author of Letters to the Lost comes a heart-wrenching story of two teens with big secrets and a love that could set them free.

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.


Big thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Note: I have not read Letters To The Lost before picking this one up. Extra note: I plan on catching up with LTTL, because I *need* to know Declan’s story as well.

It’s always hard to think about where to start writing the review of a book, especially when you’ve read it over a long period of time. It might have taken me Dec ’17 all through to Feb ’18 to finish MTWCT, but that’s all due to university and exam season swallowing all of my free time. Even a night owl like me needs a bit of sleep, alongside squeezing in the gym and time with friends, reading came a bit short. Anywayyy, let’s get into the review, shall we?

PS: have your favorite payment method ready, because I bet you’ll pre-order this novel after finishing this review.

The first chapter throws you right into what Emma has to deal with; online harassment. Starting off this way, immediately picking up one of the issues that will wind themselves through the book, is a great way to grab my attention and make me keep reading. If you’re in a reading slump, MTWCT is a great way to pull you out of it!

Both, Rev and Emma are moving within their comfort zone and don’t step out of it, throughout the story they learn to trust each other, but still hold onto their lives as they know it. In the very end they learn that maybe living in your personal, safe space isn’t as healthy as they thought and self-reflection is important to keep good relationships up with friends and family. In the beginning I didn’t even really notice what our two MC (main characters) were doing wrong themselves, because I was way too deep in the story emotionally right from the start and had welcomed them both into my heart. In other words, I was biased and didn’t critically reflect on *their* behaviour and what effect it had on their surroundings. I loved their dynamic when they were together and hated it when they fought. Both of them have endured quite a lot in their lives and seeing them licking their wounds while trying to help each other heal is great and frustrating at the same time.

Cait and Declan, each of the MC’s best friends, are amazing. They’re Rev’s and Emma’s safety net, even though/during times they have their own problems. What I didn’t enjoy at all was the drama between Emma and Cait, this was when Emma was really getting on my nerves. You don’t treat your best friend like that, especially not when she’s doing her best to support everything you do.

Rev’s parents are good people from shell to the core. I don’t even want to say any more, just read it yourself.

Emma’s parents were both… just there. Neither of them could really convince me to like them.

Cait’s mother is a true sweetheart. It would’ve been great to have her around a little more, to read more about her relationship with Cait and Emma. She didn’t get nearly enough pages.

There’s little hints at racism and prejudice that comes with adoption which I loved to see being mentioned in the book, but I would’ve enjoyed these topics to be talked about a little more than they were; though that wasn’t the focus of the story, I believe it would’ve fit.

As I mentioned before with the harassment, there’s also talk about sexism, which definitely is a huge part of the story since Emma is a programmer (aka anything related to IT and programming is male-dominated, therefore there is quite a lot of drama surrounding that… I won’t go into detail because of spoilers – and wanting to throw hands. Just kidding… well, not really.) This is a topic very close to me considering I’m studying bioinformatics where we write code for games as well (which is hella hard, I’ll tell you that) and am feministic.

Another thing that I loved were the playful and serious fight scenes. The fact that Rev took lessons and learned to fight after the abuse he survived is truly motivational.

There’s a gigantic load of self-doubt and troubles our two main characters go through in the course of this story and you as a reader feel with them. It’s hard not to, since their emotions are so present and loud within their heads.

The ending has a sort-of plot twist, which I saw coming shortly before the event and Emma’s blind trust upset me a fair bit. This is when I started reading much faster than all of the chapters before, I needed to know what would happen as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Even though there were some parts that could’ve been better and expanded, I really enjoyed reading MTWCT. Another thing that’s very nice is the representation of women in IT, there isn’t many novels like this one out there, which makes this one all the more important.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Buy the Paperback | Hardcover on Book Depository *


If you’ve read More Than We Can Tell, here’s a small paragraph of spoiler talk:

I’m a little salty that we never got around to finding out who that Nightmare guy was. Was it some strange guy? Maybe it was Ethan trying to earn Emma’s trust? I would’ve loved to get a little more closure there. All we get is a short sentence in chapter 43, saying the officer would look into the Nightmare problem. I feel like an epilogue wrapping everything up and giving a couple more answers for closure would’ve fit. Or something like an email, online article, just anything. If you’ve read MTWCT, let me know what you thought about the ending. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Nightmare issue!


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