Monday, June 25, 2018

Book Review: Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

 

Pages: 304
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Other Books By Author: Every Last Word
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.  Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.  No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.  Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory’s argument ultimately comes to light, they must all reexamine the things they hold true.  In alternating chapters, a skeptic and a believer piece together the story of their complex relationship and the boy caught somewhere in the middle. New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone deftly crafts a moving portrait of faith, love, and friendship."

Hannah and Emory are best friends and next door neighbors. For years they have been inseparable until one day they have a major falling out, but readers don't know the details.  Emory has a dreamy boyfriend, Luke, and she is involved in her school's theater program, while Hannah is the polar opposite. She goes to a Christian high school and her father is the pastor.  She has been brought up to be very religious, but she is starting to question things now, especially after her blow up with Emory.  Luke often visits Emory late at night without her mother knowing, so it doesn't come as a surprise to Hannah when she sees Luke's car pull up in front of her house late at night.  But this night is different as Luke is involved in an accident.  Of course, Hannah helps him, but what about Emory? Will Hannah's involvement mend their broken relationship or make things worse? Tamara Ireland Stone's Little Do We Know is a smart read that explores friendship, timely issues, religion, and first love. 

Each chapter in Little Do We Know alternates between Hannah and Emory's point of view.  While I really couldn't relate to Hannah as much as Emory, especially when it came to the choices she made surrounding a love interest, I still felt for her and appreciated her need to explore and question her faith. I liked that Hannah wasn't just believing everything that was told to her about her religion, but instead is asking serious questions and wondering about other world religions. Emory, on the other hand, isn't overly interested in religion, but it never came between the girls before their blow up.  Emory's home life is a bit different than Hannah's in that her mother is engaged to be married, so they have been planning a wedding despite Emory's hesitation.  Emory has a bit more freedom than Hannah as well, which is why Luke has been able to sneak into her room so often.  I really was dying to know what exactly happened between Hannah and Emory and why they are no longer friends. Slowly we find out details about it and it definitely wasn't something that I predicted. 

My one frustration with Little Do We Know was a subplot focusing on Hannah and a love interest. I just really wasn't feeling it and I didn't really appreciate it either. There wasn't much resolution surrounding this weird relationship either. I'm not sure it needed to be there. On the other hand, I really liked Emory's relationship with Luke. It was a positive one and Luke is a good guy. After his accident, he forms a friendship with Hannah and we all know that things are about to get complicated as both girls are ex-best friends. Maybe he can bring them back together?

Stone handles many important issues within Little Do We Know. There's sexual harassment, questions surrounding faith, sex, social media, friendship after betrayal, and more. It's all done well with the exception of Hannah's relationship.  Other than that, I thought Stone gives readers a lot to think about. 

If you are looking for a smart summer read that focuses on timely issues, but isn't too overbearing, check out Little Do We Know.  



2 comments:

  1. Now I really want to know what happened to Luke, and what caused the girls to stop talking. Great review!

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    Replies
    1. It definitely kept me flipping the pages. Thanks for visiting, Angela!

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