What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards

Oh, happy December! November did not go as well as planned. Did I complete NaNo? Nope, for the first year in, like, ten years. I did not realize how much my new job wipes me out by the time I get home. At least I ended up getting sick during Thanksgiving break while I was home, so…that’s a good thing? I did get through a good chunk of my Goodreads reading challenge, so be prepare for an onslaught of reviews this month.

Let’s start with What You Hide, shall we?

cover145421-mediumTitle: What You Hide {384 pages}

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Genre: YA Thriller

Summary:

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.

Review:

I’ve read one other book by Natalie Richards {We All Fall Down} and right after I finished it, I immediately went to Goodreads to see what else she’s written. She writes the kind of thrillers that lure you in with the sweet romance between the two main characters and then clamps down on your leg with the creepy atmosphere that surrounds everyone inside the story. These are the kinds of books that you can finish in a day, because you don’t want to be reading it at night. You’ll be checking your windows and doors if you keep reading her books after dark.

Mallory and Spencer’s story is no different. Mallory finds herself on the streets after her stepfather’s dangerous behavior kicks up a notch and her pregnant mother refuses to leave. She takes refuge in the library {which, I mean, wouldn’t we all?} and tries to get her life back in order now that she knows she only has herself to rely on, and that she’s going to have to help her baby sibling when they enter the world. Spencer, the boy with the silver spoon in his mouth, constantly tries to spit it out. He loves climbing, which is why he decided that climbing the outside of the library would be a good idea, even if the cops didn’t seem to think so. He gets off light, with community service working at the library, where he happens across Mallory.

But then things get weird. Like, black footprints on the floor, dead girl in the stacks, and late-night crying weird.

The two teenagers have to solve the mystery of who – or what – is haunting the library, because Mallory needs a safe place to stay and Spencer wants to be able to see her every day. But with so much against them, the task seems impossible.

WYH is the kind of creepy story that makes you put the book down every now and again because you swear that you just heard something in the other room. Living with a boyfriend, dog, and cat, I’m always hearing things {some of it welcome, some of it definitely not}, but while reading this – alone, during the day – I could have sworn that there was more noise than a boyfriend, dog, and cat could make. Was that footsteps? Or maybe a whisper of a voice? Oh, no, that’s just my paranoia having a field day because of this book.

The writing is fast paced and weaves romance and thrills together so seamlessly that you actually feel the disappointment of Mallory and Spencer. Just as they start to get close, maybe a nose brushing against another nose, a quick glance at the lips, and then…oh, was that a book falling down? I’ll admit it: I jumped a few times in this book, and that speaks volumes of Natalie Richards. I don’t jump. While reading thrillers or horror, I’m always anticipating the next scare around the corner. But in WYH, I was so invested in Mallory and Spencer, especially when they were together, that when the next scare did come, I was not prepared.

After I finished WYH {like, right after, the second I put down my Kindle}, I bought her two other books, even though I’ve already read We All Fall Down. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to reread it and I’m going to read One Was Lost right after it. This is my plan for Christmas break, and it’s honestly the best way to spend time at home.

So rush forth, get your hands on all the Natalie D. Richards that you possibly can. Put her on top of your authors that you will always read list. You can come back anytime  to let me know that I was right.

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