Cover of Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

About the Book

Title: Little Do We Know
Published: 2018
Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Cover Story: Stunned Speechless
BFF Charm: Heck Yes x 2
Talky Talk: She Said, She Said
Bonus Factors: Friendship, Faith, Performing Arts
Relationship Status: Love at First Sight

Content Warning: This book contains a character sharing their experience of sexual assault, as well as a character becoming obsessed with death. (Although the obsession isn’t related to self-harm, this disclosure might be necessary in light of recent high-profiles deaths. Better safe than sorry!)

Cover Story: Stunned Speechless

OMG THIS IS PHENOMENAL. I have no words but all props for Sabeena Karnik‘s paper art and Marci Senders‘ cover design. Just stare at it and soak it in, because that’ll say more than I ever could. (I promise to regain my words for the rest of the review.)

The Deal:

Next-door neighbors and lifelong besties Hannah and Emory never knew a life without each other. But then they had their worst fight ever — like, things-you-can’t-take-back worst fight — and they haven’t spoken to each other in the months since. 

Nowadays, Emory is preparing for her starring role in the school play and spending as much time as possible with her boyfriend before they go off to separate colleges, while Hannah is finding herself mired in a crisis of faith and finance. Emory and Hannah’s estrangement is still going strong when an unfortunate incident brings them into each other’s orbits again. Is reconciliation possible, or has this friendship been fractured beyond repair? 

BFF Charm: Heck Yes x 2 

2 BFF charms

I swear — long before they make the comparison themselves, I saw the dichotomy between Emory and Hannah as twin-like. Specifically, the Wakefield twins, with Emory having the more magnetic personality and Hannah’s being more subdued. I was maybe a step slower to warm to Hannah*, but I grew to love them both separately and especially together. 

*Let’s be real; I’d never forsake a fellow Liz, even though it is a truth universally acknowledged that Jessica is more fun. 

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

It’s a shame that Emory and Luke have an expiration date, because they’re cute and hot together. She jots down her favorite thing that he says each day, and their relationship is deffo sex-positive. Plus, Luke is SUCH a good egg! But as bittersweet and inevitable as the end of a high school romance usually is, there’s value in showing that there are some people whom you’ll only love for a finite time. (That Tennyson quote and whatnot.)

Hannah’s situation is… trickier. When it comes to romances, I don’t have to ship it or even support it — and I wanted to rebel against hers with every fiber of my being — but I do have to believe in it. And I did, just as much and as long as Hannah did. 

Talky Talk: She Said, She Said

The alternating narration doesn’t change vastly from Hannah to Emory, but the story they tell is poignant and engrossing, with even some genuine LOLs along the way. Despite the strong potential for it, Stone resists the urge to veer soap opera-y, opting to keep her novel and characters more grounded instead. (My instinct for MORE DRAMZ could probably be attributed to my steady diet of The WB and The CW since the late ’90s.)

Bonus Factor: Friendship

Characters from Baby-Sitters' Club show sitting on a bed talking and laughing.

Hannah and Emory are obvi the beating heart of this book, but it also features other awesome friendships, such as Emory’s with her theatre friends, hairstylist extraordinaire Charlotte and hypothetical questioner Tyler; and Hannah’s unexpected connection with Luke. 

Bonus Factor: Faith

Hands pressed together in prayer

As the daughter of a pastor-turned-principal of a Christian school, Hannah has always been a staunch believer. But now she finds herself questioning her faith, and even exploring different expressions of spirituality like meditation. (She may have even persuaded me to try meditation, tbh.)

Bonus Factor: Performing Arts

Jamie and Landon performing in the school play (A Walk to Remember)

Both girls excel on the stage, with Emory being the lead in her school’s production of Our Town and Hannah being in her church’s a capella choir. Although I got a slight kick out of Emory using a monologue from The Blair Witch Project, of all things, for her UCLA audition. 

Relationship Status: Love at First Sight

OK, I’ll admit; I totally lusted for this book on appearance alone at first. But it’s so much more than a pretty face — and it’s a really, really pretty face. The cover may have reeled me in, but its captivating story of friendship, faith, and love was what kept me hooked. 

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Disney Hyperion. This review was originally posted on Kirkus Reviews in exchange for monetary compensation, which did not affect or influence my opinions. Little Do We Know is available now.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.