Review: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

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“If someone harasses you online, you can have them blocked-but they can reappear in seconds, pretending to be someone else. Over and over again. Anonymously.”

“We all push sometimes, just to make sure someone is on the other side, pushing back.”

“He says the internet makes too many people loud, and too many people silent, but the loud people are all we hear. We have to ask questions to hear the silent people.”

synvia Goodreads

*While this book exists in the same universe as Letters to the Lost, it is a standalone title.*

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.

review

5 Stars 

+++Trigger warning for: child abuse, assault, cyberbullying 

***Some of the content is a little mature. There is some crude language that might not be suitable for lower YA.

Those of you who follow my blog know that I am not big on contemporaries. Something about straight drama usually grates on me, but last year, when I read Letters to the Lost, I was completely smitten with the characters and sucked into the story. While the book itself had some problematic parts, it was one of my top reads of 2017. As much as I loved Letters to the Lost, More Than We Can Tell is even better. 

 

WHAT’S TO LOVE:

REV FLETCHER. 

REV FLETCHER.

REV FLETCHER. 

But seriously, Rev Fletcher. It’s always the quiet ones. Outwardly dark, broody, knicknamed the Grim Reaper because of his tendancies to wear black hoodies and avoid socializing. Beneath that hoodie is a world of hurt and memories that are so horrific that you’ll want to cry for his loss of innocence. The scars on his heart are as deep as the scars that riddle his body. All he wanted was to be loved and what he got was a crazed, religious fanatic of a father who took punishment for sins to a whole, sickening new level. Rev’s voice is strong. His internal struggle is heart-wrenching and honest. He struggles between fears of becoming his father to fear of disappointing him. The tug-o-war is real and raw. The emotions are a lot to process as a reader and his character voice is so authentic that you want to reach out an help him, as if he were a friend. Yet, despite all the pain, Rev is a genuinely kind person, a great friend, and surprisingly flirty. There are times in the book were the swoon is out of this world. 

There were moments in this book where I thought, how is it possible for my heart to be so full for characters who don’t even exist in real life?

The plot. The pacing. The romance.

Emma Blue is a BA coding girl who made her own computer RPG. She’s outspoken, yet shy, she hides behind her computer screen and idolizes her father. She thinks that sexism in gaming is just something girls have to face, but takes steps to manage the trolls. Emma is compassionate, she gets Rev to open up and trust her, and yet, she completely oblivious in all her other relationships. Despite her headstrong, stubborness, she is still likable and you want to see a happy ending for her. 

This book deals with heavy subjects like child abuse, molestation, cyberbullying and assault. These are all very real, very traumatic things that happen on a daily basis that are hard to read about. They’re presented in a way that is not too graphic, but emotionally very powerful. 

The secondary characters were the main characters in Letters to the Lost and their stories, though more subtle still evolved and were just as interesting. 

ALL THE FEELS.

QUESTIONABLE/SO-SO ELEMENTS: 

Even if you need closure, NEVER EVER agree to meet your former abuser at a random address alone. 

Although we live in a tech savvy, social media-centric world, don’t randomly give out your location to someone you met online or worse, agree to meet them and immediately get in the car with them, alone. NO NO NO NO NO. People can be whoever they want on the internet. Be smart. 

Finally, read this book. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enoy this: 

Read on,

Jordan

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ARC Review & Giveaway: Creed-Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie

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Release date: November 8, 2014

Publisher: Flux

Genre: Young Adult Psychological Horror

cooltext1602390596 copyThree went in. Three came out. None even a shadow of who they once were.

When their car breaks down, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike walk through a winter storm to take refuge in a nearby town called Purity Springs. When they arrive, the emergency sirens are blaring and the small farming town seems abandoned. With no other shelter, they spend the night in an empty house.

But they soon discover that not everything in Purity Springs is as it seems. When the town’s inhabitants suddenly appear the next morning, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of the charismatic leader, Elijah Hawkins, who plans to make Dee his new wife. Elijah’s son, Joseph, offers to help them escape . . . but the price of his help may be more than Dee and her friends can bear

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***I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review via Flux and in correlation with this tour.

Do you like M. Night Shyamalan? Are you looking to be creeped out and wickedly disturbed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, add this to your TBR, stat.

PROS:

  • There’s something incredibly disturbing and sinister about this story. The plot is not overly detailed or blunt, there’s not an abundance of gore or carnage but what Leaver and Currie do astoundingly well is create an atmosphere of utter hopelessness and terror. The foreboding is almost staggering, it forces the reader to pause and take a breath. Like a great horror film, it leaves you reeling and hesitant to look because the certainty that the worst is still to come is ever on the horizon. Small images, the wooden crosses, the mirrored room, the absolute pristine condition of the identical homes is weird, the kind of bizarre that sinks and settles beneath the skin. Rationally, it doesn’t seem like anything crazy or out of the ordinary but it’s immensely unsettling. The clues serve as tiny pieces of the puzzle that is Purity Springs and the truth is revealed with a resounding slap across the face. Nothing can prepare you for the reality of this tiny, insulated town. 
  • Religious zealots, the brain washing, the sense of righteousness and absolute disregard for human life is sickening and downright horrifying. Elijah is a complete psycho. Totally and utterly out of his mind and justifies everything with his belief that he is a prophet of God. Insanity. Leaver and Currie get the fanaticism down pat and man, is it chilling. Elijah doesn’t flinch, doesn’t question. He’s a genius, able to predict and understand the human heart so well and that’s what makes him dangerous. That and the fact that he’s a solid sociopath. 
  • Joseph is a fascinating character. He wavers between a compassionate, fierce young man willing to withstand any abuse to protect his sister and one who is equally willing to toss others’ safety into the wind. It’s hard to peek beneath the layers of emotional damage and mind manipulation to get at the heart of Joseph but pity and anger are pretty constant. 
  • The physical violence and blood-letting inspires goosebumps and nausea. It’s a cult-like series of rules and expectations in the name of a vicious dictator who rules in the name of God. The bowls, the paddles, everything is an image, a glimpse, but it’s these images that suggest so much more without actually witnessing the deeds. The acts aren’t needed, the imagination does all the work and it’s brutal.
  • Dee is a fierce, powerful character she has already suffered and experienced so much in her life that her trauma is painful to read. Her resilience is remarkable and inspiriting. Her spirit is not broken and she fights and makes decisions that damage her happiness for the sake of those she loves.

CONS:

  • The first 1/3 or so of the story was really slow.
  • Luke and Mike are main characters but there isn’t much insight into who they are apart from some small details. It wasn’t enough to establish a connection with them and because of this, some moments that should have been emotionally crushing and paralyzing fell flat.

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Enter for your chance to win a copy of Creed and a swag pack

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Lindsay CurrieTwitter/Website/Instagram: @lindsayncurrie

Lindsay Currie graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, IL with an English Literature degree. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the YA Scream Queens.

Trisha LeaverTwitter/Website/Instagram: @trishaleaver

Trisha Leaver graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Social Work. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association, and the Cape Cod Children’s Writers.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading, 

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