Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
More Than We Can Tell is a companion novel to Letters to the Lost, following the main secondary character, Rev and a new character, Emma. It’s not necessary to read Letters to the Lost, but it does add to the charm of this book that you get to find out how Juliet and Declan are getting on now. I wish all books by the same author happened in the same universe, it’s such a sweet idea!
Rev was severely abused when he was a kid. His father contacts him for the first time in a decade and it brings back all of his traumatic feelings. It’s pretty descriptive and will almost definitely be triggering. He’s also dealing with his parents taking on a new foster kid and feeling helpless to stop aggressive reactions.
Emma is a coder. She’s created a game called OtherLANDS and is being harassed by someone called NightMare. It’s very predictable where her storyline is going, and felt like one of those short films they show you in school about Internet safety. Her parents have a turbulent relationship and Emma doesn’t feel like her mother understands how important coding is to her, despite her father also being a game developer and so she knows it’s not a waste of time and actually a career.
One thing I didn’t get on with in this was the writing style. Neither Emma or Rev’s voices felt distinct as the same devices were used for both first person POVs. I got a little tired of the repeating-sentence-but-in-italics-for-emphasis thing. It took away any impact the sentence had to begin with.
I also felt the dialogue got stale pretty quickly. A lot of the conversations followed the same pattern of question-answer-question–unconvincing response. The most common exchange throughout the book was: ‘are you okay?’, ‘I’m fine’, ‘I don’t believe you.’ and I wanted a lot more than just a Q&A session between Rev and Emma.
Honestly, I didn’t feel much of a connection between these two. I got the sense that it wouldn’t have mattered who Rev met by the church that night, he would have bonded with them. I wasn’t as involved in their chemistry, probably because they spent most of the time apart.
Overall, I liked getting to see more from Rev, and Emma had a lot of things going on in her life with an impeding divorce, cyber bullying and falling out with her best friend. I just wish that there had been more of a sense of Rev and Emma being together rather than working as such separate characters. If the book had been 100 pages shorter, it might have achieved that. I’d recommend if you’ve read Letters to the Lost and are a fan of multiple POV stories.