Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Letters to the Lost #2
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
From the author of Letters to the Lost comes a heart-wrenching story of two teens with big secrets and a love that could set them free.
Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.
Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.
When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.
Review: I really enjoyed More Than We Can Tell; both Rev and Emma had strong stories and plots and they intertwined well. Emma’s story is timely and a brief look at some of the current problems with sexism within the gaming industry. I found Rev’s story is incredibly poignant as he find his demons coming to the forefront after a letter from his abusive father.
Within contemporary YA, there can be some real issues when serious issues and backstories are couple with a romantic plot. In particular, the use of trauma in order to support a romantic story. In More Than We Can Tell, I felt Kemmerer slightly played down the romance plot more than in previous books which I felt was the right decision. There are still, of course, some lovely relationship moments and building but what stood out for me was not ‘shipping’ but the characters. What I particularly loved about this book as well was the focus on familial relationships; from Emma’s relationship with her parents, in particular her mother, to Rev’s relationship with his adoptive parents and also his battle with his own past and father.
I found Rev’s story at times more immediate and emotive than Emma’s, though I think this was as his demons were far more visible from the outset. While in the wake of Gamergate, Emma’s story was very relevant and shows a very worrying aspect of the industry and her relationship with her parents felt very real and interesting, Rev was the character who stood out the most for me. Maybe this is partially as he crossed over from Letters to the Lost and so he already felt more key. This is not to say that Emma felt like a weak character or her plot wasn’t developed, the opposite, but for me the real strengths in the story was Rev’s poignant story and journey.
Kemmerer continues to impress with her YA contemporaries and I look forward to seeing what she writes next. I’m glad she is getting more acclaim and popularity within the UK and YA market in general and reading More Than We Can Tell did make me want to revisit Letters to the Lost!