What the Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde… an honest arc review

What the Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde
To be published March 3rd, 2020
Shadow Mountain

I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley on behalf of the publisher, and this has in no way influenced my review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Will I still be loved if I show people who I really am?  

Four high school seniors. Four secrets about to be told.

If Indie had it her way, she would never choose to river raft with three other high school seniors, mostly strangers to each other, from her journalism class.

A loner, a jock, an outsider, an Instagram influencer. At first they can’t see anything that they have in common. As the trip unfolds, the unpredictable river forces them to rely on each other. Social masks start to fall as, one-by-one, each teen reveals a deep secret the other three don’t know.

One is harboring immense grief and unwilling to forgive after the death of a loved one. One is dealing with a new disability and an uncertain future. One is fearful of the repercussions of coming out. One is hiding behind a carefully curated “perfect” image on Instagram.

Before they get to the end of Hells Canyon, they’ll know the truth about each other and, more importantly, learn something new about themselves.

What the Other Three Don’t Know is a poignant and gripping YA novel about the unlikely friends who accept you for who you really are and the power of self-acceptance.

My rating: 4/5 stars

This review, like all my reviews, is spoiler-free.

What was most intriguing were the relationships between characters and their developent as the narrative progressed. The characters felt very genuine throughout, progressing from angsty teenagers to less-angsty teenagers who saw a little bit more good in life than before. I was intrigued by the relationship between Indie and Skye and would’ve liked to see their connection grow, but this wasn’t a huge issue for me. I’m a romance field and love a good romantic subplot, but I also see how this novel didn’t necessarily warrant that kind of heat. The characters are what shine, and I got to see their personal growth in its entirety.

I also loved the descriptions of the beauty and raw power of nature. It’s very clear to me that Hyde loves spending time in nature or is a fantastic researcher because the details were so interesting. From what little backpacking, climbing, and rafting I’ve done, everything seemed to pass muster. The way Hyde described Hells Canyon transported me into the story and had me wanting to go sit outside and take in the world around me. Having that kind of eye is a gift, and then having the ability to reproduce that feeling in an entirely different environment is something special.

As I was reading, I did notice that the four main characters started to blend together. They were about 60% distinctive, but in scenes where there weren’t many dialogue tags or multiple characters spoke, I sometimes had trouble discerning who was who. I would’ve liked to see the characters be a bit more individual and develop their own speaking patterns and personalities.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book! If you’re a nature-lover or enjoy a good coming-of-age story, add this one to your TBR stat.


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