More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

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More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: An emotionally charged story dealing with a great many issues facing young people today - cyber bullying, divorcing parents, stalking, past trauma, the inadequacies of the foster system. But also a powerful exploration of the value of friendship.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: March 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408885077

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Rev has just turned eighteen. He is happy at home with his adoptive parents Geoff and Kristin. They are kind and supportive and have enabled Rev to leave his painful past behind - at least in part. Rev is doing well at school and has a good friend in Declan. Yes, he still wears a hoodie to hide his scars but, overall, Rev is doing well. Until, that is, he receives a letter from his biological father. And the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back into Rev's life.

Emma likes game design. She gets lost in it, much to her mother's disapproval. But Emma is proud of the online game she has built. Plus, it's an escape from the real world - the one in which the relationship between her parents is steadily degenerating and the one in which Emma and her best friend seem to be growing apart. But the escape gaming provides becomes threatened when Emma is targeted by an abusive troll.

Rev and Emma meet by accident but they both feel an immediate connection - they both have secrets they feel unable to share with their families but can, tentatively, with each other...

... I thoroughly enjoyed More Than We Can Tell. Kemmerer's earlier book, Letters to the Lost, featured Rev as a supporting character in a story about his friend, Declan, so I had already been introduced to this mysterious boy and was interested to find out more about his back story. It's a sad one, with a charismatic but abusive father who still has a hold over the son who was removed from his care almost a decade ago. I liked Rev. He is a goodhearted but intense boy whose greatest fear is that he may have inherited a tendency to violence from his father. He hasn't, of course, but it takes him the length of the book to really understand that.

Emma idolises her father, also a game designer, and resents her mother, a doctor who has ridiculously high expectations of her daughter. Or at least, that's how Emma sees it. Is she right? In her determination to forge her own path, Emma forgets that the internet can be a dangerous place.

It's an emotional roller coaster, this story. Two kids meet and attraction sparks but they are both dealing with their own individual crises which get in the way of a burgeoning romance. It's also a thriller - what does Rev's father want and why has he contacted him after so many years? Who is Emma's stalker and will his threats to her break through from the virtual world into the real one? You root for both these kids all the way through, even when they're making mistakes. Painful secrets can be incredibly damaging and the task for both Rev and Emma is to let them go and trust in the people who love them.

I hope Brigid Kemmerer has another book planned set in this world she has created because I am enjoying it. My eye is on Matthew, a foster child taken in by Rev's parents over the course of More Than We Can Tell. What say you, Brigid? Can you tell Matthew's story for us, too?!

The earlier book by Kemmerer, Letters to the Lost, features characters from More Than We Can Tell and is also an emotional roller coaster. I think you might also enjoy the fabulous Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence.

Buy More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer at

Buy More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer at


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