Review | What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review |  What They Don’t Know by Nicole MaggiWhat They Don't Know by Nicole Maggi
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 2nd, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: The Publisher
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Three secrets. One decision. A friendship that will change everything.

Mellie has always been the reliable friend, the good student, the doting daughter. But when an unspeakable act leads her to withdraw from everyone she loves, she is faced with a life-altering choice―a choice she must face alone.

Lise stands up―and speaks out―for what she believes in. And when she notices Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her...all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.

Told through Mellie and Lise's journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie's struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the two girls on their journey.

My Thoughts:

Trigger Warnings for WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW: View Spoiler »

WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW caught my eye because of its description of the journal entry writing style. I love books that step outside the “norm” and do something wholly original within the pages. For this story in particular, it was perfect. Told in alternating journal entry chapters from Mellie & Lise, we get an in-depth view of these girls’ lives, their struggles, their thoughts and feelings, and how one thing can alter and challenge not only your views, but alter your whole life.

A few things you should know right off, about this book:

  • It’s hard to read
  • It’s hard to read
  • It’s hard to read
I wasn’t prepared for how emotional WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW would make.

Days later I am still thinking about this book. Every journal entry read was a punch to the feels, leaving me squirming sometimes with how uncomfortable it would make me. It dives very, very deep in some heavy issues that not only is a sensitive subject for many, but has a lot of buzz going on in the world right now.

As I mentioned before, the writing was perfect (in my opinion) for this story. Ms. Maggi does a phenomenal job creating distinct voices for both Mellie and Lise, in additional to creating suspense, tension and all the other feels! You’re able to easily identify whose journal you’re reading, and it’s easy to get so immersed in their lives.

Aside from the heavy core issues of this book, I loved the developing friendship between Mellie and Lise. They hadn’t been as close in their teens due to their families differing views, and I loved how the more time spent with each other, the more they had in common. They supported each other, learned and grew from each other, I loved it. We need more friendship stories in our lives!

I will say, I felt the opposing views of both sides were extreme. Not saying it’s not on a normal basis, but the delivery was not subtle at all. Depending on your views and beliefs, it may be upsetting.

All in all. I loved this book. It’s emotional, yes. It’s difficult to read, yes, but it’s an important read. It’s been on my mind since finishing; hitting me close to home in more than one way (if you’re curious on what, ask and I will share in the comments). If you’re looking for a new read to challenge you, and maybe put you our of your comfort zone, I highly recommend

[bctt tweet=”What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi is an emotional, must read.” username=”tonyaleeh”]


Tell me your thoughts

  • Have you read WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW? If so, were your thoughts similar to mine?
  • What, if any, book/s do you recommend about Sexual Assault?

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4 thoughts on “Review | What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

    1. tonyalee

      I do too, it’s so unique and fitting to this story.

      It was emotional for me. May not be for others but for sure worth it!

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