Book Review: More Than We Can Tell

More Than We Can Tell – Brigid Kemmerer – Bloomsbury Children’s – Published 6/8 March 2018




Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

My thoughts

When life tests you, when it throws everything at you, who can you turn to, who can you trust? Once again, Brigid Kemmerer has created a heartbreaking, emotional and moving novel. As a companion to Letters To The Lost, More Than We Can Tell evokes the same emotional response as the characters face a crisis point in their lives, fall in love, and learn to lean on the support of those around them.

Rev Fletcher has found safety and love with his adoptive parents. But when his biological father reaches out to him, it threatens to shake and destroy everything. In the midst of this turmoil, Rev meets Emma. They attend the same high school but have never really crossed paths until now. Emma, too, knows what it feels like to have her world turned upside down. Her parents are constantly fighting, her father barely acknowledges her existence, and her mother is constantly on her case, and then there is the online stalker sending her horrible messages. When things escalate for both Rev and Emma, they will need to learn to lean on each other as well as drawing on the support of the people around them.

In her acknowledgments, Brigid Kemmerer notes that after writing Letters To The Lost she knew Rev would need a story that reflected Dec’s level of childhood trauma. And she certainly didn’t hold back. As Rev slowly shares his past with Emma, the true depths of this trauma are revealed in horrible detail. Rev is an easy character to love. His self doubt, the sudden loss of security he faces, the way he struggles to connect with others, and his resilience and strength all make him a beautiful character. Watching him face his demons was so satisfying. Meanwhile, Emma is confronted with online harassment, as well as the breakdown of her family. Again, Emma is a character I connected with straight away.

Rev and Emma’s romance is very much a push and pull relationship. Both are reeling emotionally, and while their connection is profound, they struggle to balance supporting each other with pushing too hard and causing harm. This angst only makes their romance all the sweeter.

More Than We Can Tell is the companion novel to Letters To The Lost. Neither book needs to be read prior to the other and both can be read as standalones. However, both books are brilliant and well worth reading. It was lovely to catch up with Dec and Juliet from Letters To The Lost, and I loved that Rev got his own book. In both books, the secondary characters play such important roles, and once again family is a central theme of the story.

More Then We Can Tell is perfect for readers who enjoy emotional and character-driven stories, where resilience and love triumph over much hardship. With strong characters, sweet (slightly tortured) romance, and an emphasis on the support and love of family, More Than We Can Tell is a heartbreaking and yet uplifting YA novel that is very easy to enjoy.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Young adult fiction.

Genre: Contemporary.

Themes: Family, adoption, abuse, foster parents, physical abuse, online harassment, gaming, cyber bullying, divorce, coding, high school, best friends, relationships, romance.

Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.

Advisory: Strong sexual references, sexual harassment, references to sexual assault, and innuendo. Occasional strong coarse language, sh** (3), cu** (1), pi** (6), as***** (1), di** (3).

Published:  6/8 March 2018 by Bloomsbury Children’s US/ UK & ANZ.

Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 408 pages.

ISBN: 9781408885079

Find it on Goodreads


  1. kaychamberlain

    Definitely going to check this one out – thanks for sharing 😀

    • Madison's Library

      Oh, I’m so glad. I love all of Brigid Kemmerer’s books and thought More Than We Can Tell was particularly amazing. I hope you enjoy it!!!

  2. kozbisa

    This sounds like everything I wanted it to be. I loved Rev so much, and now am even more excited to read his story. I think knowing how his life ended up, with that wonderful family, will make seeing into his past at least a little bit easier too. Great review!

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