What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: What You Hide

Author: Natalie D. Richards

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: December 4, 2018

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards


Mallory didn’t want to leave home, but it wasn’t safe to stay. So she sleeps at her best friend’s house and spends the rest of her time at the library, doing her online schoolwork and figuring out what comes next. Because she’s not going live in fear like her mother.

Spencer volunteers at the library. Sure, it’s community service for a stunt he pulled, but he likes the work. And it’s the perfect escape from his parents’ pressure to excel at school, at ice hockey, at everything. Especially after he meets Mallory.

Then there is a tragic death at the library. Suddenly, what was once a sanctuary turns sinister. Ghostly footprints, strange scratching sounds, scrawled messages on bulletin boards and walls… Mallory and Spencer don’t know who or what is responsible, but one thing is for sure:

They are not as alone—or as safe—as they thought.

What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards


Mallory is sixteen and has a difficult home life. Her stepfather is controlling, and a little disturbing. She wants to get her and her mother away from him, but it’s hard to convince her mom to leave. Mallory decides to go on her own, and ends up being homeless while she spends her nights with friends and her days at the library. Spencer, also a teenager, comes from an affluent family, but still feels lost and unsure about his future. He’s a little rebellious, and, after getting into some trouble, ends up doing community service at the library. When he meets Mallory, he is immediately drawn to her.

What You Hide is told from the alternating viewpoints of Mallory and Spencer. Both are struggling with personal issues in their lives – Mallory has a troubled home life and Spencer feels pressure from his family about his future. They are from completely different backgrounds, but are attracted to one another.

What You Hide is a contemporary young adult novel with a little romance and suspense. The two main characters are clearly drawn to each other, but, of course, things are complicated. The suspense part deals with happenings at the library. After a mysterious death at the library, strange events start occurring. Someone is leaving messages around the library, unknown footprints are found throughout the library, and occasionally strange sounds are heard. Mallory and Spencer both encounter some of these strange events, and are curious as to who could be behind them and why.

This YA book combines romance and mystery in an interesting coming of age story. The main characters are very different – Mallory is homeless and struggling, Spencer is rich and privileged. This is a light read with some darker elements. I enjoyed the coming of age story, but the mystery wasn’t gripping.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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