Nov 26, 2018

ARC Review--What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards

A new pulse-pounding romantic thriller from the author of We All Fall Down and Six Months Later

Spencer volunteers at the library. Sure, it's community service, but he likes his work. Especially if it means getting to see Mallory.

Mallory spends a lot of time keeping her head down. When you're sixteen and homeless, nothing matters more than being anonymous. But Spencer's charm makes her want to be noticed.

Then sinister things start happening at the library. Mysterious symbols and terrifying warnings begin to appear, and management grows suspicious. Spencer and Mallory know a homeless teenager makes an easy target, and if they can't find the real culprit soon, they could lose more than just their safe haven…

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Natalie D. Richards brings yet another spine-tingling thriller with her latest release, What You Hide. The premise of this one hooked me in from the start, a runaway teen, a boy, a library that may or may not be haunted but there was definitely death that took place there! It’s got all the workings of a great mystery!

Mallory and her mother are about to run away from her stepfather who’s a controlling monster. He’s never gotten violent with them, but Mallory worries that that will be the next step. Her mother is also pregnant and when the time comes to flee, Mallory finds herself on her own, her mother choosing to stay with her husband.

Then we have Spencer who’s a privileged rich boy with a bit of danger addiction. Or more like rock climbing addiction as it’s when he’s climbing the walls of the library building, he breaks a window, gets caught, and subsequently finds himself on volunteer duty for the foreseeable future instead of getting arrested. It’s while working at the library he meets Mallory, who’s unlike any girl he’s met before.

Both Spencer and Mallory are harboring their secrets from one another, Mallory, too afraid to admit that she’s essentially homeless and spends the night in the library on occasion. Spencer isn’t sure what he wants from life and his parents’ plans for him are not his ideal future for himself. Then seeing Mallory who doesn’t have all the options he has, he starts getting unsure of himself and his future.

Aside from that, we have quite a mystery on our hands as a dead body appears in the library overnight. And it’s shortly after that that strange things start happening in the library. Black smudges all over the walls, writing on the walls, bookish monuments being crafted…all after hours when the library closes. And then of course, there are the strange noises Mallory hears when she’s “spending the night.” It makes for quite the eerie mystery.

While I did find myself enjoying this story immensely, I have to admit the conclusion left me feeling a little lackluster. While we do get the mystery behind the dead body solved and the strange noises and occurrences, it wasn’t really what I had anticipated it being. Not to mention Mallory’s predicament. I guess I was hoping for a bit more happier ending! Granted, this is a standalone, so the ending does have resolution with hope for a better future and all that jazz, it just wasn’t all that I had hoped for after reading this book.

The mystery itself was really good! The strange happenings and of course the body that turned up! Oddly, not much comes from the latter, but the former makes a more frequent appearance. And what’s a mystery without a little romance? Naturally, we see something slowly developing between Spencer and Mallory. I liked that it was a more complicated romance. Mallory has her issues she’s trying to deal with and doesn’t necessarily want Spencer to be her white knight, but she still can’t deny the connection that’s forming between them.

All in all, What You Hide was an engaging mystery filled with plenty of chills! While the ending wasn’t all that I had hoped for, I still found the book to be a fairly decent paced read that resulted in a pretty good read overall! While this isn’t my favorite book from Natalie, it certainly isn’t my last!

Overall Rating 3/5 stars

What You Hide releases December 4, 2018


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