What the Other Three Don't Know

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Mar 2020

Member Reviews

The Quick Cut: Four teens who have nothing in common bond together on a school trip. 

A Real Review:
 Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 How did you fare in high school? Did you feel alone in a crowd of people or was your experience more fulfilling? Everyone feels misunderstood at some point, but it's what we do with it that matters. For these four teens on a school river rafting trip, they find that their fellow classmates get one another better than anticipated. 

 Indie wants to do anything but go on this trip. As much as she is in journalism class, she really doesn't know her fellow classmates. So when she gets paired up with three classmates who have very little in common with her, the expectations are low. Will she find an unexpected bond or instead be disappointed once again? 

 I really wanted to like this book, but found myself disappointed by this author again. He managed to build an intriguing premise and start a story with a solid foundation. The start has me interested in where this would go. 

 The problem is that, yet again, the author struggles to create relatable characters that make you want to read more. It took very few pages before I started tuning out and growing disinterested in the material. Maybe it's just me, but these characters blended one into the next. 

 With forgettable leads, this book fails to leave an impression. 

My rating: 1 out of 5
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I really enjoyed this book.  It is a story of 4 teens on a rafting adventure.  All 4 teenagers have secrets the other 3 don't know.  As their adventure takes a turn for the worse, the characters learn a lot about themselves and each other.
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I really loved the blend of YA contemporary, survival, and heartwarming beats within this novel. I felt like, at first, I didn't enjoy the cast of characters but as their layers pealed back I found myself loving them more and more. Indie's journey of coming to terms with her mother's death felt natural and poignant. I really appreciated that each character had something unsuspected about them, showing that people can't be judged by appearances (which is exactly what Indie was doing). I enjoyed Indie's love of fly fishing, even if that was something I had no personal knowledge of. The descriptions of nature were beautiful but not overbearing and never felt like they slowed the story down. This was well paced with an element of danger at the end to bring the story to a new level. Highly recommend this one!
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This book was good and descriptive. It had some good messages. 

The characters were similar but different enough to butt heads. Some things just seemed a bit rushed like Skye's immediate flirting with Indie. 

One thing is that there were a lot of things about rivers and rafting that I didn't understand all the time, so that slowed me down a bit.
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"A loner, a jock, an outsider, an Instagram influencer."... few words but enough to catch all my attention, I'm all about friendship between perfect opposites, found family is one of my favourite trope EVER and I was literally sparkling with excitation when I got approved for an ARC.

Before starting, I would like to precise that I'm an adult and I think I would have loved this more as a teenager (which is good as it's destined to teenagers). Teen me would have less focalized on thing like "but why this school insist on a trip to the river for a girl who had lost her mother to this very same river, wtf" (seriously I still don't get it... it seems so wrong for a school to do that? It wasn't the only thing that bugged me but like, didn't seem realistic to me?) and more enjoyed the read.

First, I rather liked Indie. She's that dramatic and cynical teenager, very relatable. I liked her growth and, of course, her relationship with the other three. I was indifferent to Skye (he is just not my type of characters) even if his growth too, was well-handled. Wyatt and Shelby were my fav, especially Wyatt! It's a pity the book is so short, it would have been nice if all the secrets were more developed. I would like to avoid spoilers but like, I wished each secret were more discussed, instead of just being said. 

I think I would have liked it more if each teen had is own chapters but in a way, it was interesting to have only Indie as a narrator: you get to discover all characters under her eyes. At first, you don't know a bit about them, only the very superficial details and step by step you discover their secrets along with her. 

I was bored by the trip itself, but that's more a me-thing. I'm not a native English speaker and I didn't catch all technical terms (and wasn't interested enough to look for them in a dictionary). I would have loved to see more of their friendships and less river thing. 

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed because it's the kind of book I love the most but it didn't catch my heart... Looking forward to see what's the author will write next though!

Many thanks to the publisher who provided me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I couldn't get past the first chapter. Too much repetition. A lot of sentences seemed as though the author was trying too hard. In one paragraph, the word 'like' was used twice as a starter.
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This book was written in a way that was very difficult to really get into. I had to force myself just to finish it. It probably would have been better if it had more conversation and less... diary type writing? I felt like that took away from the story enough to make it hard to enjoy, anyway.

Thank you netgalley and the publisher for the copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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What the Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde is a beautiful story of four very different teens on a rafting adventure. Through the course of their trip, they learn to work together, accept one another, and ultimately discover and accept who they are individually. I highly recommend this wonderful book.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion and review.  Just could not get into this book.  I felt like even though the characters were revealing themselves to us, I still didn't really know who they were.  Yes, I know their faults and what they hid, but I didn't really know who they were before this rafting trip.  I feel YA readers who are looking for something light might like it.
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A pretty typical YA book about four very different teens thrown together for a week. Themes of acceptance and of being yourself rather than who others expect you to be. A quick read.
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As a debut novel, the story feels a bit short and not as intricate as I hoped. This book is positioned to be in the same vein as 'One of Us Lying' and it has the components of an intense plot. The found-family trope is one of my favourite and I did love everyone getting to know one another--especially since they didn't know one another from the beginning. It would be a story that I wouldn't mind going back to and reading; I would love for it to be a bit longer and fleshed out.
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I loved several things about this book.   I loved the characters and how they rang true.  I loved the growth that each of them showed, and their developing relationships.   I loved the writing, and how it drew me into the story.  I loved that this book was a little different.   

So why isn't this 5 stars?   Most of this book takes place during a white water rafting trip and there were several terms i didn't understand.   There was one place that was so technical to me that I skimmed a few pages just to get the gist.  I'm sure I missed out on some of the exciting drama.  

Overall it was a very enjoyable read and I would love to read a sequel to see what happens to the characters next.   

Thank you to the publisher and net galley for an ARC, which did not impact my review.
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What the Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde is a poignant story of friendship, forgiveness, adventure, and self- acceptance. Four very different teens survive a wilderness rafting trip, learning the truth about each other and more importantly the truth about themselves.  I loved the author’s use of the river, light and darkness, and fishing analogies. He is a gifted author who understands teens.
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"A loner, a jock, an outsider, an Instagram influencer." The premise reminded me of a modern day Breakfast Club or the new Jumanji movie, and I was totally here for that.

For different reasons, Indie, Skye (with an e), Shelby and Wyatt all find themselves on the same class trip with a rather suspicious guide. 

I really had to work hard to ignore the unrealistic nature of the extreme river rafting that these four high schoolers were expected to participate in.

I found the first third of the book a little difficult to get into due to the pace of the story. There seemed to be a lot of Indie's internal dialogue which slowed the book down, while some friendships felt like they were evolving too quickly - especially for a self-proclaimed loner, such as Indie.

There were also a LOT of river analogies. Sometimes less is more.

While the pacing made the story feel a little clumsy, I enjoyed the overall story and the idea of four different teenagers working together, building friendships and sharing their secrets.
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This is a book I feel like I should have enjoyed. It's the kind of book I typically enjoy, after all. But I honestly came away from this feeling pretty cold. The plot set-up is super contrived, but that's fine; I've read that in other YA before. The problem is, the story felt really disjointed, and I never truly connected with any of the characters. They kind of just existed there, with their fairly middle-of-the-road secrets. Meh.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I loved the growth of these characters. Going through something as traumatic as this really changed each one of our characters. I loved the team work and the honesty that each one brought to this story. Indie is so strong and towards the end, I was really proud of her. Forgiveness can be a difficult thing, and she was able to forgive Nash for everything.
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At times the story felt a bit disjointed, as though the author decided he was finished with that topic even though it wasn't a full, coherent paragraph, and decided to switch topics mid paragraph. Still, some teenagers switch topics very quickly so perhaps this was intentionally done due to the story being in the first person. 
It was a thought provoking read. It's fairly obvious which secret belongs to which character from the get-go. But there are still some surprises, like when the Instagrammer loses...I guess you'll have to read the book to find out!
I would like to see a sequel to this, showing how things develop when they return to school. As Indie pointed out, it's one thing for friendships to develop on this trip. It's an entirely different thing to maintain those friendships at school in a small town.
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What The Other Three Don't Know by Spencer Hyde is a story about loss, forgiveness, chaos, and finding light through darkness.  This intense story, about how four teens from different social groups come together to survive their perilous journey by opening up their secrets to each other and learning to accept themselves, will leave you wanting more from Hyde.
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Indie has had a hard time with life and school since her mom died. She’s being raised by her grandfather. She’s lonely but keeps people at a distance.

Before senior year of high school, her class is brought on a wilderness trip. The class is broken into groups and given an activity. Indie’s group is rafting. Supposedly the groups were chosen at random and no one can change the group or activity they
were assigned.

Here’s why that sucks for Indie, her mom died on a rafting trip.

Here’s where it’s absolutely necessary to suspend logic...there’s just no way Indie would be forced by her school to go on a rafting trip after her mom died rafting. There’s also not much of a chance that the student with an artificial leg would also be forced to go.

I really can’t picture a school making high school students take such an extreme trip. 

Now add in the fact that the tour guide isn’t great either. He’s cutting major corners to save money.

I did like how the characters got to know each other because of the trip. Indie, Skye, Wyatt and Shelby barely knew each other before going. They had likely in common. But they bonded and they left as friends.
Just try to focus on that rather than whether the trip itself was realistic.

I got to read an early ebook edition from NetGalley. Thanks!
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***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of WHAT THE OTHER THREE DON’T KNOW by Spencer Hyde in exchange for my honest review.***

Four very different teens dealing with various  challenges/secrets on a school trip. 

Since Karen McManus’s wildly successful ONE OF US IS LYING, other books have tried to use the same Breakfast Club framework of storytelling. Unfortunately , the blurb for WHAT THE OTHER THREE DON’T KNOW is the best part of Spencer Hyde’s sophomore effort. 

#OurOwnVoices is a positive movement in literature for people from marginalized groups to tell their own stories. For the most part, these writers can create more authentic and well rounded characters. Spencer Hyde is one of the few exceptions I’ve found as an avid #OurOwnVoices writer, perhaps because, as he says in the foreword, he writes his own story from a myopic perspective, not necessarily a character tells a compelling story. 

WHAT THE OTHER THREE DON’T KNOW takes a while to get into the story and other characters. I never warmed up to Indie and didn’t trust the reliability of her narration regarding the other characters.

Fortunately, YA literature has a large representation of #OurOwnVoices books as well as other books on all types of mental health, now often integrated into characters and stories that aren’t Mental Health Books.
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