BOOK REPORT for Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

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

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 

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 the 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

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

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

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 had me hooked. 

Little Do We Know is available now.