MORE THAN WE CAN TELL, by Brigid Kemmerer, Bloomsbury USA Childrens, March 6, 2018, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
When I requested Brigid Kemmerer’s More Than We Can Tell from NetGalley, it was the cover and description that called to me. It was only after I was a few chapters in that I realized there was so much more.
Rev Fletcher has a loving family, a devoted best friend and a pretty good life. But it hasn’t always been that way. Before being adopted by his parents, Rev came from an abusive home. Rev’s biological father was not only physically but also emotionally violent.
Rev still bears the physical scars from his biological father, but he’s managed to move past the past emotionally. Or so he thinks. When he receives a letter from his father, the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.
Emma Blue lives in the world of online gaming. Not only does she like to play, she’s also a talented designer — if only her parents knew. Emma wants to show her parents her game more than anything, but she has to wait until it’s perfect. She has to prove what she’s capable of doing.
While Emma’s working out the kinks, an online troll starts upping his game. At first, Emma just brushes it off. This is part of the gaming world. But as his threats escalate, Emma starts to worry about her safety.
When Emma and Rev meet in a chance encounter, they’re immediately drawn to each other. Though they attend the same school, they’ve never talked. Now, they can’t help but talk. As they share their burdens, their friendship blossoms.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s more to More Than We Can Tell than meets the eye. Rev isn’t just any character. He’s Declan’s friend Rev from Brigid’s earlier novel, Letters to the Lost. This discovery was a little bit of a mind-blowing experience, as it gave new meaning to Rev and Declan’s characters in both novels. And now that I’ve read More Than We Can Tell, I definitely want to reread Letters to the Lost.
Brigid continues her brutally honest streak with More Than We Can Tell, and her book is better for it. Parts of the novel are raw and brutal. Some scenes are haunting. Other scenes, however, are a breath of fresh air. When Emma and Rev come together, they can be their true selves, and that’s beautiful.
More Than We Can Tell is a beautiful novel that I didn’t want to put down. There were times I struggled with Emma’s naivety, but it was in keeping with her character. The novel is a standalone, but it’s totally worth reading Letters to the Lost first.