Published by Sourcebooks Fire in December 2018
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Spencer volunteers at the library. Sure, it's community service, but he likes his work. Especially if it means getting to see Mallory.
Mallory spends a lot of time keeping her head down. When you're sixteen and homeless, nothing matters more than being anonymous. But Spencer's charm makes her want to be noticed.
Then sinister things start happening at the library. Mysterious symbols and terrifying warnings begin to appear, and management grows suspicious. Spencer and Mallory know a homeless teenager makes an easy target, and if they can't find the real culprit soon, they could lose more than just their safe haven…
Note: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way. All opinions shared are my own.
What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards was the first book in a long while that I read in a single day. I loved delving into the relationship between Spencer and Mallory. I didn’t find it as thrilling as I hoped it would be; however, it was still quite the page-turner.
What You Hide does touch a bit on the topic of domestic violence. Therefore, I’m not sure if it will be a trigger for anyone going through a situation much like Mallory and her mother’s. I did think that Richards tastefully approached the topic, highlighted that domestic violence is not only physical abuse, and showed how it can also affect children.
Richard’s What You Hide is a page-turning story about Spencer, a boy from an affluent family that is having difficulty finding his path, and Mallory, a homeless girl desperately trying to get her pregnant mother out of a controlling relationship. They meet in the public library where Spencer is doing community service and where Mallory is doing online schooling and occasionally spends the night. However, weird things are happening at the library after a dead body is found.
While the story was definitely a page-turner, What You Hide wasn’t as suspenseful or thrilling as I thought it’d be, even after they found the dead body at the library. For me personally, I didn’t find What You Hide suspenseful or thrilling because the dead body that was found wasn’t directly related to anyone’s situation. There was the mystery behind the dead body, and then here was Mallory on the run from her stepfather and constantly trying to figure out a way to get her mother out of the relationship. It read like two different plots that just happened to coincide, and therefore, I didn’t find it as thrilling.
I found the relationship between Spencer and Mallory and Mallory’s growth in regards to her relationship with her mother and stepfather to be the focus of the story. I was definitely driven to read the story because of Spencer and Mallory more so than the plot. I found them to be very relatable characters despite how different their situations were. Their relationship was very slow developing, and I wish there was a bit more resolution for their relationship. However, I did enjoy the way the story ended for Spencer and Mallory individually.
I wouldn’t call What You Hide a particularly thrilling story. What Natalie D. Richards did manage to craft, however, was a page-turning contemporary story with wonderful characters and that has a bit of mystery thrown into it. I’d highly recommend checking out What You Hide if you enjoy YA contemporary stories.
I feel like my review isn’t very well crafted, but hopefully, you somewhat understood my thoughts. Have you read What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards? Or do you have any other books by Natalie D. Richards you would recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!