I’m a bit in shock with this book by Nicole Maggi.

Not in a good or bad way, but just in shock in general.

First: Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

For a Young Adult book, this novel is VERY heavy and has a LOT of trigger warnings.

HIGH warning for rape, bullying, & abortion.

I’m not sure where to begin, but let me start with the plot summary.
We follow the story of Mellie, who becomes pregnant after being raped. (already more heavy than I expect for a YA)
I really can’t say more without giving away items.

So fair warning, if you couldn’t tell, this book is a bit of a downer. LOL

“I know some people will say things happen for a reason or are fated, but I think we all have a choice. This is your life. You have a say in how you want to live it.”
– Nicole Maggi, What They Don’t Know

To preface things for all parties reading this review and considering this book. Please be aware that this deals with heavy subject matter as stated above. It also involves abortion, bullying, religion discussion, mental health (In my opinion), etc… If you are not emotionally prepared to take that type of journey. Take a breather and come back to considering this book, you’ll need all emotional faculties on full for this read.

That being said I feel like the above subject matter is very rough to put into a YA book. It is something that causes high passion and emotion in all ages across the board. Especially with how some views are presented in here as one dimensional and unmovable. I’m a believer of shades of grey in all aspects, as the world is made up of variety. I realize that not everyone has this view, but in a book that deals with heavy subject matter and will be read by a younger audience. It can be upsetting and traumatizing to a younger reader only seeing a polarized view. (Adolescents are still developing trust and this book doesn’t really have an adult….anywhere…that they can trust.)

Now onto the good part!

I think this book addresses an EXCELLENT topic and the presentation is well done. The friendship between Mellie and Lise is wonderful and every sentence pulled on my heart strings. I picked up this book and it kept me involved until the end. Gripping and engaging the whole time. I love the growth of the main two characters and also the format that the book was written in.

Overall, I would probably recommend this to friends but with a grain of salt and a few warnings, as this will make emotions run high. Also, again, due to how some characters are portrayed, I would warn readers to keep in mind the world IS done in shades of grey but this is book shows a very EXTREME set of people.

  • Overall Rating: 3.25 Stars
  • Plot: 4Β  Stars
  • Character Development: 4 Stars
  • Dialogue: 3 Stars
  • Writing: 2.5 Stars

Happy reading!!
~Ash


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