Little Do We Know book review

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

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Stone, Tamara Ireland. Little Do We Know. Disney Hyperion, 2018. 416p. ISBN: 9781484768211. $17.99 HS OT ***

Next-door neighbors Hannah and Emory had been best friends their whole lives but are now estranged after a huge fight months prior. Now in their senior year of high school, Hannah and Emory are in the process of deciding the next steps in their lives. Hannah’s father is trying to secure funding for his church while also affording her tuition, and Emory anticipates having to break up with her boyfriend, Luke, once college begins. When Luke has a serious sports accident, one which leaves him clinically dead for three minutes, he is left in a serious existential crisis — and turns to Hannah for spiritual guidance. When a video of Luke telling his story is posted without his consent and unexpectedly goes viral, tensions rise and friendships are tested between the three.

Tamara Ireland Stone’s story of faith, friendship, and young love explores the relationships between its characters with a refreshing honesty and features a narrative that allows the reader to really get to know the main characters. With the chapters alternating between Hannah and Emory’s first-person accounts, the distinct voices and personalities of these two heroines sheds light on the different ways they deal with their own personal issues and how they feel about their friends, family, and significant others. What is most effective about the dual narrators is the fact that while Hannah and Emory do not interact with each other until the end of the story, we come to understand the history and depth of their friendship through their individual perspectives. While occasionally verging into melodrama territory, the narrative also tastefully covers mature subjects and themes that are both relatable and relevant to teens today including crises of faith, dealing with sexual assault, and the complexities of human relationships particularly involving the significant value of trust. The book features several instances of profanity, sexual content, and potentially triggering imagery of sexual assault and is recommended to high school and older teens.

Nate Kavanaugh, Morgan Hill Library, Santa Clara County Library District

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