Wednesday, March 7, 2018

True To You • More Than We Can Tell

Rev Fletcher is struggling to make peace with his past, and it's only made more complicated when he receives a letter from his abusive father that turns his world upside down. Meanwhile, Emma Blue is dealing with escalating harassment from a troll within the online game she's created and her parents' conflict-ridden relationship. Both are in difficult emotional straits, and it's this shared sense of turmoil that gives them the courage to be honest with one another when they first meet. Each of them is forced to confront their problems head-on and, in the process of healing, perhaps discover that there's something more that could blossom between them.

Plot? This novel reminds me a little bit of the Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry, but still manages to stand out simply because of the characters. It is essentially a tale of two individuals who are dealing with some tough stuff in each of their lives: Rev confronting his abusive father and the past experiences that have scarred him; Emma working on coding her game, dealing with a creepy troll and slowly realizing that her parents' marriage is falling apart. This tough stuff sets them apart from their usual crowd of friends, and instead draws them to one another after a chance encounter. I really enjoyed how Kemmerer fleshed out both their stories, as well as their relationship - but more on that soon.

Characters? It'll be no surprise that I loved being reunited with Rev. He had already charmed me in Letters to the Lost and I had been anticipating his story since it had first been announced. It was such a treat to get to know him even better, to see what made him tick, to learn more about his past, and I just wanted to give him a big ol' hug as I was reading. (He can teach me jiu-jitsu anytime. Just saying.) I also really liked Emma, as I found her easy to relate to in a number of ways. She's smart, she's driven but she's also human and capable of misunderstanding other folks and getting so mixed up with her feelings that it makes it hard for her to communicate. She was really interesting to read about, particularly since coding a game was her pastime. I also loved Rev's adoptive parents (who are wonderful human beings), Declan (who I adore to pieces still), as well as the other characters who make brief appearances (Juliet, Declan's mom and stepfather) and new-to-me folks like Emma's best friend and the foster kid Rev's parents take in. Brigid generally does a wonderful job with bringing all her characters to life in her books, and this one was no exception for sure.

Writing? Compulsively readable. That's the phrase that first comes to mind when I think about the way this story was written, and it's true. I flew through the pages of this book! Brigid does a great job with her pacing and making each point of view distinctive. But I think her strength lies in making the reader care so deeply for these characters and the outcome of their story, because she certainly managed to make this reader very emotional. 

Overall? I adored More Than We Can Tell just as much, if not a smidgen more than its predecessor. It was such a compelling read! I cared so much about Rev and Emma both, and it was also fun to see some familiar faces pop up here and there. It's another really satisfying YA contemporary read from Brigid Kemmerer, and I'm looking forward to what she has coming out next.

What's your favorite RPG (role-playing game)? It was really easy for me to decide that Kingdom Hearts was going to be my answer to this question! The simplest explanation of that game is that it's Final Fantasy meets Disney, and it's so. much. fun.

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer | Series: Letters to the Lost #2
Previous Book in Series: Letters to the Lost
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's | Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)

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