Book Review//What the Other Three Don’t Know

What the Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Published: March 3 2020

[Amazon CA][ Book Depository]

My Thoughts

**I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

We were all trying to be multiple things, while thinking we could only be one. One thing. But sometimes you have to let things go to survive, right?

This book was not what I was expecting from a YA novel, I was very disappointed and was left feeling slightly confused. I did not care much about the plot or the characters in this novel.

This book lacked a lot of dialogue between the characters, and what dialogue there was between the characters seemed forced and unnatural. This book didn’t seem cohesive, it felt very choppy. I can see what Hyde was going for, and he managed some aspects of it well. Instead of focusing on the characters and their personal developments throughout their journey White River rafting through a canyon, there was more emphasis on the themes. I enjoyed the different themes in the novel for each of the characters. I thought how Hyde described grief and anxiety was well. There were a lot of beautiful moments within the novel, but they were scatted throughout and were not enough to bump my rating to a 4.

I imagined grief lurking after me, grabbing at my ankles, licking it’s lips and watching me cringe as I focused on the rope in front of my face and how it would disappear over the ledge ad leave me alone in the void.

Hyde barely scraped the surface of these characters, there was limited character development and I didn’t feel attached to any of them. I was left with feeling unsatisfied with what they were hiding from each other, now showing the world who they truly are.

Indie, the protagonist fell flat for me, she lacked substance and only identified with grief. The other characters Wyatt, Shelby, and Skye all shared something about themselves that the others didn’t know, but I felt that Indie didn’t share anything personal. I understand grief as I lost my grandmother who was more like a mother to me in 2010.

Everyone will give you a different number for how many stages of grief there are, but there is only one way to conquer it, and that’s to run through it, not around it.

Hyde used words and the many different meanings – synonyms, homonyms, etc. and play on words throughout the novel. As an English major it always makes me giggle and brings a smile to my face when there’s a good play on words. It was enjoyable and added an interesting element to the story. Indie has this back and forth with the typical “jock” but he can keep up with her rhetoric and can also challenge her on thoughts and ideas.

I loved the river and how it played such an important part in the story. The repetition of how you have to run through the river to get to the other side, and the metaphors with the fish and fishing was really well done. It added to the outdoor experience. That’s something else that I enjoyed as well, the outdoors, fishing, camping, and White River rafting, the element of nature.

I enjoyed the themes of this novel but I didn’t care too much for the plot. I felt that this book was more about self-discovery and the themes that Hyde used to get there. The setting was beautiful in my mind; the way it was described was tactfully done. I love the outdoors and always feel more connected with myself when I’m out in nature. Overall this book was a solid 3 out of 5 stars. I read it in one day, but would not buy it or pick it up again.  

That’s how time works. It’s a river that flows right past you. It doesn’t wait for you. You’re lucky if you manage to dip your hand in it and feel the cool currents as it passes.

4 thoughts on “Book Review//What the Other Three Don’t Know

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