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More Than We Can Tell

Review

More Than We Can Tell

Brigid Kemmerer, author of the well-loved LETTERS TO THE LOST, returns with her latest novel, MORE THAN WE CAN TELL.

MORE THAN WE CAN TELL is the story of two teenagers, Emma Blue and Rev Fletcher, who are both are dealing with their own challenges, but find comfort in each other.

Emma is a gamer and a game designer who has built a widely-played online game, OtherLANDS, but she is afraid to tell her father, a professional game designer, because she worries it is not good enough to impress him. On the other hand, her mother has always been critical of gaming and Emma avoids sharing this part of her life with her, even when she begins to receive threatening messages from another player.

"MORE THAN WE CAN TELL is an interesting story....The two main characters are dynamic, multi-faceted and believable teenagers."

Rev had a difficult childhood and suffered at the hands of his abusive father. Now 18 and living with loving, caring adoptive parents, Rev receives an unsettling letter from his biological father. Rev sends his father an email telling him to leave him alone, but Rev’s father keeps trying to contact him. Even though Rev’s parents, Geoff and Kristin, care about him very much, Rev is still nervous to tell them about the letters from his father.

One night, Rev and Emma meet each other by chance when they are both upset and vulnerable. They begin to confide in each other and continue meeting up to talk and work through their difficulties. They develop a friendship and help each other navigate the challenges of being a teenager and their own unique challenges.

MORE THAN WE CAN TELL attempts to deal with many different issues, but, unfortunately, it was almost spread too thin. While the novel is interesting, I would have liked to see MORE THAN WE CAN TELL dive deeper into the first issues it brings up, being a female gamer and the victim of online harassment and being the victim of abuse and dealing with the lasting effects of that. However, the novel introduced many different issues but never explored them to the extent that would have made sense. Instead, they came off as place fillers and tropes.

MORE THAN WE CAN TELL is an interesting story with well-developed main characters who prove that you can rely on other people for help while remaining independent and your own person. Although it deals with several heavy topics, the light-heartedness of other aspects of the novel keep it from feeling too heavy or difficult. While I would not describe MORE THAN WE CAN TELL as a “fluffy” novel, it never felt like it was too dark. The two main characters are dynamic, multi-faceted and believable teenagers. Brigid Kemmerer succeeded in writing characters that are relatable, even though they are dealing with struggles that not every teen faces.

While MORE THAN WE CAN TELL certainly has its flaws, it is a novel that kept me interested and wanting to learn more about certain characters and their backstories. Anyone who enjoys realistic fiction and books where romance is present but takes a backseat would enjoy MORE THAN WE CAN TELL.

Reviewed by Ansley K., Teen Board Member on March 27, 2018

More Than We Can Tell
by Brigid Kemmerer