March 20, 2018

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More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer | SLJ Review

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redstarKEMMERER, Brigid. More Than We Can Tell. 416p. Bloomsbury. Mar. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781681190143.

Gr 8 Up –Emma Blue inherited a passion for gaming and video game development from her father. His work often keeps him working long hours with little time for his family. Emma’s mother is also a workaholic who strongly disapproves of Emma’s interests. Motivated by a school project and a desire to gain some attention from her neglectful parents, Emma creates an entire video game on her own. OtherLANDS is an elaborate Internet-based game that has attracted a following of over 200 people; but she wants it to be perfect before it is unveiled to her overly critical mother and disinterested father. When players in the game start to cause problems for her in her real life, Emma feels like she has no one until she meets a strange boy in the churchyard. Rev Fletcher wears long-sleeve hooded sweatshirts even in the summer heat, because scars from his childhood cover his body. Now that he is living with his loving adoptive family, the emotional and mental scars from years of abuse are also hidden. Rev’s past comes back to haunt him when his abusive father sends him a letter on his 18th birthday. Not wanting to burden his parents, Rev has no one to talk to until he meets a strange girl in the churchyard. A companion to author’s Letters to the Lost, this is a riveting story told in alternating chapters. Rev and Emma’s characters are engaging and well developed. Readers who enjoyed the previous volume will find even more to love in this novel, as it fully explores one of the characters with more depth. This title also stands alone for those who are new to Kemmerer’s work. VERDICT A must-have for any YA collection. Give to teens who enjoyed A Boy Called It by Dave Pelzer or The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.–Ellen Fitzgerald, Naperville Public Library, IL

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2017 issue.

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