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The Things We Don't See

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"The year is 1987 and the sleepy village of Sandown Bay is waking up . . ." To its residents, Sandown is home - a tiny village holiday resort in the western United States. To everyone else, it's a minuscule island, that brings tourists in summer and not a lot else the rest of the time. To Mona Perry, it's a mystery. Thirty-four years ago, promising singer and Sandown resid "The year is 1987 and the sleepy village of Sandown Bay is waking up . . ." To its residents, Sandown is home - a tiny village holiday resort in the western United States. To everyone else, it's a minuscule island, that brings tourists in summer and not a lot else the rest of the time. To Mona Perry, it's a mystery. Thirty-four years ago, promising singer and Sandown resident Roxy Raines went missing, and was never found. The people of the island are still reluctant to talk about it, claiming Roxy was simply a runaway, but the evidence doesn't quite add up. Mona is convinced something else is going on. Armed only with a suitcase and a microphone - to record her findings for the general public - this runaway teenager is determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance. But as Mona gets drawn deeper and deeper into the strange goings on of this isolated community, it is clear that nothing is as it seems - not even Mona's own past. Some things are meant to disappear . . .


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"The year is 1987 and the sleepy village of Sandown Bay is waking up . . ." To its residents, Sandown is home - a tiny village holiday resort in the western United States. To everyone else, it's a minuscule island, that brings tourists in summer and not a lot else the rest of the time. To Mona Perry, it's a mystery. Thirty-four years ago, promising singer and Sandown resid "The year is 1987 and the sleepy village of Sandown Bay is waking up . . ." To its residents, Sandown is home - a tiny village holiday resort in the western United States. To everyone else, it's a minuscule island, that brings tourists in summer and not a lot else the rest of the time. To Mona Perry, it's a mystery. Thirty-four years ago, promising singer and Sandown resident Roxy Raines went missing, and was never found. The people of the island are still reluctant to talk about it, claiming Roxy was simply a runaway, but the evidence doesn't quite add up. Mona is convinced something else is going on. Armed only with a suitcase and a microphone - to record her findings for the general public - this runaway teenager is determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance. But as Mona gets drawn deeper and deeper into the strange goings on of this isolated community, it is clear that nothing is as it seems - not even Mona's own past. Some things are meant to disappear . . .

30 review for The Things We Don't See

  1. 5 out of 5

    elisa

    okay. listen. i suspect that this one star rating might be a little extreme, even for me, and it's true—yes—that my track record with ya genre fiction is not the greatest in terms of reader compatibility, but i've been a long-time fan of savannah brown's brain/content/poetry and i will always take a chance on f/f teen mystery. having said that, i want to emphasize that a lot of the more nit-picky issues i took with brown's second novel are a classic case of, "it's me, not you." a few reviews for okay. listen. i suspect that this one star rating might be a little extreme, even for me, and it's true—yes—that my track record with ya genre fiction is not the greatest in terms of reader compatibility, but i've been a long-time fan of savannah brown's brain/content/poetry and i will always take a chance on f/f teen mystery. having said that, i want to emphasize that a lot of the more nit-picky issues i took with brown's second novel are a classic case of, "it's me, not you." a few reviews for the things we don't see found fault with the main character—mona perry, a dark, unsympathetic teen detective/crime podcaster type—which is actually one of only a couple narrative features i really enjoyed during the reading experience. i think the ya genre suffers from cardboard cutout mc syndrome more often than not, so getting to follow a young female protagonist grappling with childhood trauma and less than savory character quirks was super refreshing. what i did, however, take issue with, was the character writing follow through. for example, it's established fairly early on that mona struggles to make friends + prefers her solitude to navigating new relationships. this would all be well and good if she didn't establish fast friendships with ellis and peyton practically within minutes of meeting them in the sort of strange, instant click that seemed a stretch for a personality type like hers. which sums up a lot of my personal qualms with the way this book was written: it stretched my imagination to its absolute limits. in order to enjoy a concept constructed like this one, you'll need to suspend your disbelief indefinitely, so if that's something you often find yourself able to do, you'll probably get along with this book a lot better than i did. when it comes to non-magical/fantastical genre fiction, i really struggle to turn off the logic-sustaining side of my brain, so i caught a lot of plot mechanics that just didn't make sense or seemed too far-fetched to swallow: that an entire town immediately bought a 17-year-old's story about being a graduated adult, that the only thing standing in the way of that 17-year-old cracking open a decades' old cold case was (in this order) a lock that she was able to pick right away, a window, and a fence, that within two weeks, mona perry, the people-averse lone wolf, could confidently say she loved ellis and peyton, still relative strangers beyond their proximity to said cold case. and so, so much more. much—by which i mean, the majority—of the "mystery" laid out by brown's book is solved by mona going around and talking to other people. again, if you enjoy reading mysteries that rely almost entirely on evidence-collecting through conversation, you will have fun with this. i don't particularly enjoy that straight-forward crime-solving format. i like the more hands-on, too-tangled, experiential puzzles. i especially didn't enjoy guessing the plot twists/ending around the 30-40% mark because so many of the clues are given through other characters' testimonies. by the time the things we don't see supplied the crazy climax that i craved, it was so far beyond the realm of possibility for my brain that i kept having to push back the urge to put the book down out of eye-rolling frustration. the novel vaults between lackadaisical plot construction and unbelievable chaos—there is rarely an in-between. the writing does little to bolster the world being built; i frequently found the prose disjointed and arrhythmic, at times so startlingly awkward i was half-convinced it hadn't been edited by a second pair of eyes at all, because it read like draft-stage workshop writing: I'd cockily assumed I wasn't only going to find something, but I was going to find everything, but even this significant something has me trembling. which was strange because i tend to love the way brown talks/writes (just from her youtube videos alone). i think that's also a good summary of events: i got more out of brown's youtube video about this book than i did the actual book. the video version of her ruminating on why we create art was complex, fascinating, coherent, and left me with both questions and answers. her book did not, which, for me, gets at the heart of the issue: brown the poet/speaker does a better job at delivery than brown the novel writer. little (nit-picky) ya oversights drove me up the wall during the novel-reading experience: • how a character had whipped up eggs and bacon from scratch for mona within 12 short paragraphs of sparse dialogue • why this was a line of dialogue used to convey how close-minded the town is: "'...but Ellis is the embodiment of how shitty this place can be,'" rather than the far more logical, "'...but Ellis' treatment [at the hands of the town] is the embodiment of how shitty this place can be.'" like? huh? • the absolute rushed, nonsensical, two-week romance writing that can be perfectly captured by the following lines: "I hate what's happened. I hate myself for letting it happen. I want her. Of course I do. Honestly, maybe I want anyone. Why have I been wired this way? God, I want to join the human race." i understand that mona is navigating her own trauma over the course of the novel, but it felt like her romance with peyton came completely out of left field, was sustained by three or four tiny interactions that didn't feel particularly romantic or promising of chemistry, and—honestly—more like mona was trying to convince herself that she should like peyton than that she really did. i don't understand the point or placement of that extremely strange kiss, i don't know why there needed to be romance to begin with, and i'm really not sure why it had to happen during such a rapid timeline. which is another thing! • why! did! the! events! of! this! novel! take! place! over! two! weeks! instead! of! two! months! • in places, the writing is so abrupt as to be disorienting: "The forest floor is so textured and uneven that the noise of it makes it seem like I'm being pursued by footsteps other than my own, and I fall over myself and bash against a tree." • why does peyton suddenly leave the dorm after claiming she's late to see liam, only to return without explanation several paragraphs later—what would be only minutes in the world of the novel—again……WITH NO EXPLANATION? • HOW DID PEYTON GAIN ACCESS TO MONA'S LAPTOP AND ITS CONTENTS? WHY WAS THIS GLOSSED OVER? HOW WOULD SHE HAVE GUESSED ITS PASSWORD? AM I TO ASSUME THE GIRL HIDING HER DIGITAL IDENTITY WOULD NOT PASSWORD PROTECT HER DEVICES? WHAT? • WHY WOULD A VETERAN COP? CONFESS? HIS? INVOLVEMENT? IN? A? CRIME? TO? A? TEENAGER? WITHIN? TWO? WEEKS? OF? KNOWING? HER? WHEN HE'D BEEN CONCEALING HIS PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE FOR DECADES? WHAT IS THIS! AHHHHHHHHH • why would ellis' overprotective, no-nonsense mother—who also employs her child for work—not notice his absence? when there had been no sign of him since last night? • no to the point...why would no one think to listen to the kid raving on and on about solving the mystery himself until it's too late...why would no one stop and go....hm....he might be about to do something super drastic.....like......maybe heading to the recently unearthed crime scene we just told him about..... • WHY. WHY. WHY. WOULD YOU ESTABLISH THAT THIS COP CHARACTER HAD A DECADES' LONG THING FOR THIS MISSING WOMAN. ONLY TO HAVE HIM COMPARE MONA TO HER IN AN OFFHAND COMMENT. WHY!!!!!!!! IF I THOUGHT THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE EVOCATIVE AND CREEPY, I WOULDN'T EVEN COMMENT, BUT IT WAS VERY CLEARLY NOT WRITTEN WITH THAT SUBTEXTUAL INTENTION. • "I can solve a mystery but I still can't even tell anyone the truth about —" coming after mona has already, in fact, told someone the truth about [REDACTED] • HOW. HOW DID A COP DROP HIS PHONE IN HURRICANE-LEVEL STORM CONDITIONS AND THEN SOMEHOW TRACK IT? WHAT? WHAT DID HE USE TO TRACK IT? HOW WAS IT NOT DESTROYED IN THE RAIN? WHAT? • this qualm probably can’t be helped considering brown lives and writes in the uk, but the british lingo + spelling that appears in a novel set in america as it follows an american-born protagonist really fucked with my immersion 💔 i'm so sorry. i did not realize i was carrying this much unaddressed rage over the plot holes of this novel. there are so many specific to the ending that i cannot even begin to unpack for fear of spoiling/over-explaining the mystery. but please know. that they exist. and will be haunting my brain for the rest of the week. like. the entire sequence of events leading up to roxy disappearing. none of that. not one single part. makes sense. and nothing about how her disappearance was concealed. especially not the little dyslexia plot detail, which—i will say no more. i'm sorry. if you are an INTP, do no read this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    "There’s a shadow in me that doesn’t waver. The eternal tar-dripped facet of my personhood. I could make myself whatever I wanted to be, were it not for the trauma – a chameleon always outed by the shadow, marked by the same dark matter. I fight my way out. If I’m locked in, I jemmy the lock. If I’m lost in the woods, I draw a map." Mona Perry is, at least to her regular and devoted podcast listeners, CAP. Under this name she has been recording and uploading consistent 30-minute episodes, each revo "There’s a shadow in me that doesn’t waver. The eternal tar-dripped facet of my personhood. I could make myself whatever I wanted to be, were it not for the trauma – a chameleon always outed by the shadow, marked by the same dark matter. I fight my way out. If I’m locked in, I jemmy the lock. If I’m lost in the woods, I draw a map." Mona Perry is, at least to her regular and devoted podcast listeners, CAP. Under this name she has been recording and uploading consistent 30-minute episodes, each revolving around a different disappearance. Now she has announced a three-month hiatus as she resolves to solve the one that has been most haunting her. Rumours fly about just what this is but Mona resolves to reveal nothing until the mystery has been solved. Mona has her own mysteries that seem determined to never reveal themselves, but perhaps she can do some good in the wold by putting everything into solving others. Mona was an independent and headstrong protagonist and I enjoyed witnessing her battle against any object in her path, as she fought for the truth. She was not, however, a character devoid of flaws. Her stubborn nature and quickly-rising emotions revealed themselves in the inability to consider the feelings of others and often putting herself directly in harm's way without considering the consequences of doing so. She was prickly and difficult but with a good heart and a past that made her character flaws an understandable part of her healing process. The mystery she was bent on unearthing had almost every other island inhabitant wary of her character and dubious of her intentions. Perhaps this was a justified response to a teen girl entering their community and casting suspicions on everyone she met there. It made for an interesting journey to the truth though, and ensured the reader was aligned with Mona in her mistrust of the community. I had my own suspicions, which were also shared by Mona and proven incorrect about three-quarters of the way into the novel. From there, the story-line was one involving a cacophony of high-action, higher intrigue, and a battle against both the elements and the island itself, which seemed to have joined the community in distancing Mona from the truth. When it was eventually revealed it was far from the result I had anticipated. It all made sense and tied all previous narrative threads together, but I found myself wanting for a few more pages, before the inevitable conclusion, for some still-raised questions I had to be fully answered. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Savannah Brown, and the publisher, Penguin, for this opportunity.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lex

    Hey Savannah, you've done it again!! THE THINGS WE DON'T SEE feels wildly visceral and real, with utterly believable characters, dialogue and chemistry, intertwined with BEAUTIFUL prose that reels you in and then punches you in the face. I raced through this, especially towards the end, when I also got swallowed up by the island but in the best possible way. Loved it! Another! Hey Savannah, you've done it again!! THE THINGS WE DON'T SEE feels wildly visceral and real, with utterly believable characters, dialogue and chemistry, intertwined with BEAUTIFUL prose that reels you in and then punches you in the face. I raced through this, especially towards the end, when I also got swallowed up by the island but in the best possible way. Loved it! Another!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    The Things We Don't See is a compulsive young adult mystery that can be enjoyed by all ages. The year is 1987 and the sleepy village of Sandown Bay is waking up. To its residents, Sandown is home - a tiny village holiday resort in the western United States. To everyone else, it's a minuscule island, that brings tourists in summer and not a lot else the rest of the time. To Mona Perry, it's a mystery. Thirty-four years ago, promising singer and Sandown resident Roxy Raines went missing and was ne The Things We Don't See is a compulsive young adult mystery that can be enjoyed by all ages. The year is 1987 and the sleepy village of Sandown Bay is waking up. To its residents, Sandown is home - a tiny village holiday resort in the western United States. To everyone else, it's a minuscule island, that brings tourists in summer and not a lot else the rest of the time. To Mona Perry, it's a mystery. Thirty-four years ago, promising singer and Sandown resident Roxy Raines went missing and was never found. The people of the island are still reluctant to talk about it, claiming Roxy was simply a runaway, but the evidence doesn't quite add up. Mona is convinced something else is going on. Armed only with a suitcase and a microphone - to record her findings for the general public - this runaway teenager is determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance. But as Mona gets drawn deeper and deeper into the strange goings-on of this isolated community, it is clear that nothing is as it seems - not even Mona's own past. Some things are meant to disappear. This is a compelling and absorbing mystery that is difficult to put down with a fast-paced narrative, beautiful prose and fascinating characters. It's fresh and propulsive and explores loss, its effect on those who experience it and the difficulty in moving on from trauma and devastation. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    catherine ⭒

    i feel like this was written only between 12am and 6am which makes me worried for the author but also grateful because i think that if this was written at any other time i wouldn’t have liked it

  6. 4 out of 5

    susan h.

    3.5 the writing is beautiful and engaging the whole way through but I felt the beginning definitely started off stronger and the ending became a little far fetched (but not difficult to visualize). overall brown is definitely coming into her own as a writer (she is definitely stretching her style here) and I can’t wait to see what else she puts into the world!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Syd !

    savannah brown always understands the assignment

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Bowen

    This may seem like a super high review for someone who doesn't like YA, but I'm going to justify this by saying that I'm an extremely sad infp that absolutely got lost in Savannah's poetic and (not me not knowing how to describe this without thinking of honey and warm sheets during winter) words this afternoon and found the characters so compelling. I love reading about other people's traumas!!! This may seem like a super high review for someone who doesn't like YA, but I'm going to justify this by saying that I'm an extremely sad infp that absolutely got lost in Savannah's poetic and (not me not knowing how to describe this without thinking of honey and warm sheets during winter) words this afternoon and found the characters so compelling. I love reading about other people's traumas!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    manuel

    Brown falls short of delivering a coherent, enjoyable young adult novel: Featuring an abundance of plot holes and inconsistent, unbound writing, "The Things We Don't See" depict a young author crashing into the very boundaries she's desperate to cross. Brown falls short of delivering a coherent, enjoyable young adult novel: Featuring an abundance of plot holes and inconsistent, unbound writing, "The Things We Don't See" depict a young author crashing into the very boundaries she's desperate to cross.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Sometimes, it's hard to trust what we see in front of us...and in the case of Mona, our narrator, she is determined not to accept at face value anything she is told. As CAP she broadcasts a regular podcast looking into the disappearances of people over time. This is - as we come to realise - a situation very close to her heart, but Mona becomes fascinated by the mysterious disappearance of singer/songwriter Roxy Raines. Ever since her guitar was found washed up off the coast of Sandown, people h Sometimes, it's hard to trust what we see in front of us...and in the case of Mona, our narrator, she is determined not to accept at face value anything she is told. As CAP she broadcasts a regular podcast looking into the disappearances of people over time. This is - as we come to realise - a situation very close to her heart, but Mona becomes fascinated by the mysterious disappearance of singer/songwriter Roxy Raines. Ever since her guitar was found washed up off the coast of Sandown, people have wondered what exactly happened to Roxy. Nobody in the small community wants to talk...so Roxy decides to take a three month sabbatical, spend the summer on the island and try to learn the truth. Of course, nothing is what it seems. Mona gets herself a reputation for being nosy and manages to alienate most of the small community. Her dogged determination draws in some of those she encounters, and of course I spent most of the book trying to work out what had happened to Roxy. For me, the situation surrounding Mona and her past was actually more engaging. We got some answers, but it was hard to tell to what extent we could trust Mona's recollections. Things built to a head more rapidly than I expected, and I was left with rather more questions than I was prepared for. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read this in advance of publication.

  11. 4 out of 5

    leonie

    hmmmm?? so i really enjoyed the first half but then the plot didn’t get as intricate and plot twisty as i would’ve liked/ expected? so 3.5? 4? idk

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bex

    The Things We Don't See is Savannah Brown's second mystery novel: I loved the first so much that I was incredibly eager to read this! It follows Mona, who dedicates her time to exploring missing persons cases. One in particular has always haunted her - that of Roxy Raines, an extraordinary musician who disappeared seemingly without a case. Employing a level of subterfuge, Mona finds a way to escape to the island that was once home to Roxy, in an attempt to discover the answers. However, the isla The Things We Don't See is Savannah Brown's second mystery novel: I loved the first so much that I was incredibly eager to read this! It follows Mona, who dedicates her time to exploring missing persons cases. One in particular has always haunted her - that of Roxy Raines, an extraordinary musician who disappeared seemingly without a case. Employing a level of subterfuge, Mona finds a way to escape to the island that was once home to Roxy, in an attempt to discover the answers. However, the island has held tightly to it's secrets - just as Mona has held tightly to hers - and neither of them are willing to face the truth just yet. This novel started really brilliantly. The 'podcast' genre has been very popular in recent years, and I think that's absolutely justified, as it seems to never fail to produce an excellent read! That being said, I wish this one had utilised the podcast a little more. I was gripped from the start, there were so many layers to the mystery here, and I raced through to try and get an answer to all of my questions. However, I think it lost momentum, and I was eventually reading not so much out of pleasure, but more to see how far it would go - and it went pretty far, I found the final reveals a little too far-fetched I think. I guess there was a clever mix of foreshadowing and surprise, but it didn't really feel that way. A really strong element of this book for me was Mona's character - I liked the hardened, almost cold nature she had, and I enjoyed getting to know her background. I also really liked the way she interacted with her room-mate and the boy on the island (I'm hopeless with names!), but I wish there had been more of that. Mostly, I found the way she set about getting her answers pretty ridiculous and very obvious! - she did some rather absurd things, which impacted the realism of the book. Overall, this was an interesting read, and definitely a unique addition to the world of YA thriller/mystery. It wasn't as good as Brown's first, but I am still looking forwards to what she writes next.

  13. 4 out of 5

    katie

    After previously reading and loving Savannah Brown’s other novel (and poetry collections!), I was delighted to get an ARC of this from NetGalley! I absolutely adored this book. From the first page the writing is wonderful and the setting is so incredibly vivid. Brown manages to make the reader feel as if they themselves are in the claustrophobic Sandown. This high standard of prose is constant throughout the book. The characters were intriguing and well developed. The main character, Mona, was dif After previously reading and loving Savannah Brown’s other novel (and poetry collections!), I was delighted to get an ARC of this from NetGalley! I absolutely adored this book. From the first page the writing is wonderful and the setting is so incredibly vivid. Brown manages to make the reader feel as if they themselves are in the claustrophobic Sandown. This high standard of prose is constant throughout the book. The characters were intriguing and well developed. The main character, Mona, was difficult and stubborn and particularly compelling. Her roommate, Peyton, provided a balance to Mona and their dynamic is something I enjoyed. Ellis, their friend on the island who gets involved in the mystery too, is delightful. The book thoughtfully explores trauma and how it shapes our identity, unravelling Mona’s past and the disappearance of her sister while she searches for another disappeared girl. The constant exploration of the effects of Celeste's disappearance on Mona were well done. I also appreciated that I didn’t guess the truth about what had happened with either disappearance. Additionally, the commentary on how true crime sleuths affect those who know the victims was interesting and valuable.

  14. 5 out of 5

    rosie

    Ever since finishing 'The Truth About Keeping Secrets' I have been excited for Savannah's next novel, and I was not disappointed! The characters in 'The Things We Don't See' are what makes the story, they all have complexity to them drawing you to have almost a love/hate relationship with the majority of them. Each character is flawed, but this is a perfect reflection of what small areas such as Sandown Bay are like; even if they appear as one friendly community, everyone has their secrets which Ever since finishing 'The Truth About Keeping Secrets' I have been excited for Savannah's next novel, and I was not disappointed! The characters in 'The Things We Don't See' are what makes the story, they all have complexity to them drawing you to have almost a love/hate relationship with the majority of them. Each character is flawed, but this is a perfect reflection of what small areas such as Sandown Bay are like; even if they appear as one friendly community, everyone has their secrets which is made apparent from the very beginning. The relationships between the characters in the book are also very complex, especially between the trio of Mona, Peyton and Ellis which is explored throughout the story too. Alongside the characters, I did become very attached to the setting and its mysteries, the setting was so perfect for this storyline and is a major part of the plot, even though it has its issues I still feel like I want to see it all for myself. 'The Things We Don't See' is just a brilliant book, it had me gripped to the point where I couldn't put it down until I'd finished. If you're into mysteries then I would thoroughly recommend it! There are many twists and turns and as soon as you think you've cracked it... I promise you, you haven't!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Phee Elizabeth

    “There’s no greater earthly phenomenon than you, in the dark, reading my mind.” Mona Perry is a headstrong, independent and devoted podcast creator, uploading 30 minute segments about mysterious disappearances. Falling off the face of the earth once again to do three whole months worth of research on a case, one that is withheld from her passionate audience, one that she will stop at nothing to solve. In fact, she seems to care more about solving this - and other - mysteries, than the ones right “There’s no greater earthly phenomenon than you, in the dark, reading my mind.” Mona Perry is a headstrong, independent and devoted podcast creator, uploading 30 minute segments about mysterious disappearances. Falling off the face of the earth once again to do three whole months worth of research on a case, one that is withheld from her passionate audience, one that she will stop at nothing to solve. In fact, she seems to care more about solving this - and other - mysteries, than the ones right in front of her, within her own life. Rising star Roxy Raines went missing three decades ago, and her disappearance both eluded and haunted every single resident of Sandown Bay, a quaint and unusual island. The people of this island are adamant there is nothing to this case, she was merely yet another teenage runaway, and had put it behind them. But Mona did not agree, and she refused to leave this island empty handed - without the truth of what really happened to Roxy Raines. And thus begins the start of her mystery - and it’s one that she will never forget. I was a huge fan of ‘The Truth About Keeping Secrets’ when I read it last year, so being able to read this book early was a massive excitement. I had so many high expectations, and I wasn’t let down in the slightest. The characters were all so complex and raw, each of them had such distinct personalities and deep flaws, and the relationships were just so perfectly curated. Savannah Brown’s writing had me deeply invested and perplexed throughout the entirety of the novel, which I couldn’t put down and read in just one sitting. The mystery of Roxy Raines that lies within this outstanding and visceral novel will stick with me for a long time! I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley and I’m extremely grateful to Savannah and her team for allowing me the opportunity to do so! 4.5/5 stars collectively, would most definitely reread.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Teresa (tqlikesbooks)

    *Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars After reading Savannah Brown's debut novel The Truth About Keeping Secrets a few years ago and absolutely loving it, I was so excited to dive into this! I don't usually read YA mystery/thrillers (although the few I have read I have really enjoyed... so maybe I should) but I think fans of the Good Girls Guide to Murder series in particular will really enjoy this one. The Things We Don't *Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars After reading Savannah Brown's debut novel The Truth About Keeping Secrets a few years ago and absolutely loving it, I was so excited to dive into this! I don't usually read YA mystery/thrillers (although the few I have read I have really enjoyed... so maybe I should) but I think fans of the Good Girls Guide to Murder series in particular will really enjoy this one. The Things We Don't See follows Mona, know as CAP by the listeners of her true crime podcast, as she determines to solve the mystery of Roxy Raines- a promising singer that disappeared over 30 years ago and was never found. Firstly, this was utterly unputdownable! I practically devoured this in one sitting. The central mystery of the novel was compelling: with the isolated island setting of Sandown, and the cold and aloof nature of it's inhabitants. One of the key strengths of the story are its characters. Our protagonist Mona is harbouring secrets about her own past, is cagey and often prickly, but eventually forms bonds with others in the town. Mona's obsession with the town's greatest mystery often leads her to hurt others but it truly had me captivated. Then there is a whole host of other interesting characters too; from the secretive townsfolk to the 'seasonals'- young workers from the mainland the are shipped in to live and work there over the summer. Each of our characters felt real and complex, with their own flaws and quirks and the relationships between then were interesting and messy and explored so well. Overall, a fantastically well written YA mystery with a gripping plot. I would recommend this for readers of adult and YA thrillers alike.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rhini

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was really looking forward to this, I love the author's poetry, but this is one messy book. I couldn't believe the pacing of the ending, the quick changes in characters and events and just everything blew up after the rest of the book had pretty much just repeated itself with nothing happening, which meant for me it just didn't land. I heard way too much of Savannah in the protagonist and it kind of ruined it - the level of pretentiousness and existentialism seemed really incongruous with a 17 I was really looking forward to this, I love the author's poetry, but this is one messy book. I couldn't believe the pacing of the ending, the quick changes in characters and events and just everything blew up after the rest of the book had pretty much just repeated itself with nothing happening, which meant for me it just didn't land. I heard way too much of Savannah in the protagonist and it kind of ruined it - the level of pretentiousness and existentialism seemed really incongruous with a 17yo girl, especially in her social interactions. I really admired the inclusion of the trauma subplot and the way that was explored throughout the whole book, but it didn't really delve deeper than the idea of Mona not knowing who she was. I think Savannah's tone and vocabulary are beautiful but aren't well matched for a YA novel, it reminds me of an actual young adult in school exploring the idea of writing a book and just shoving a lot of stuff onto a page. Watching the video she released related to creativity really confused me after reading the book - it wasn't brave or creative or really that philosophical and yet it seems that's what the author strives for in life with her content. I think she needs to write with more restraint and explore characters further away from herself, with maybe more plot structure? This is entirely my opinion and I have a lot of respect for her, I'm not claiming to be right about what I'm saying it's just how I felt reading through - once I got to the last few chapters my head just started to hurt, there was a lot happening in a somewhat haphazard way and nothing seemed true to any of the characters, but that was what was happening for me, everyone's free to disagree. It was a great premise and beautiful creation of the island, but I just expected a little more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Angelika

    I was a bit disappointed honestly... I liked Mona, the way she was described as an unlikable character was only shown in the end where she got really rude, but in the beginning it was only told, which is a beginner's mistake in writing that I didn't expect here. Mona was totally nice to everyone and got along with Peyton and Ellis right away. I think that Mona and Peyton were also really similar to the two girls from TTAKS, one weird and dark, the other sociable and the pretty one, which I find I was a bit disappointed honestly... I liked Mona, the way she was described as an unlikable character was only shown in the end where she got really rude, but in the beginning it was only told, which is a beginner's mistake in writing that I didn't expect here. Mona was totally nice to everyone and got along with Peyton and Ellis right away. I think that Mona and Peyton were also really similar to the two girls from TTAKS, one weird and dark, the other sociable and the pretty one, which I find a little bland. Also the way everyone wanted to hide what happened to Roxy but no one took serious measures to stop Mona and didn't charge her or anything for breaking into places twice was so unrealistic. I think the interview style conversations were kinda boring and obvious and too straight forward. I liked the scenes where Mona was dreaming or living through her trauma and I liked the dark relationship towards her sister but I think it didn't quite match the rest of the book, I was feeling like I was reading two different stories, because of the writing style. I think it was weird that we didn't get an info on who was Sylvia's father or did I just miss it? Also that Sylvia didn't meet Roxy, I think that would have been cool. I hoped there would be a bigger story to roxys disappearance also, that maybe Archie got jealous because of her and Mary Anne and Roxy gave frank the money in order for him to pretend like he found the guitar, I thought it was a bigger net of people who were involved, I think that would have been cool but that's just a side note and not very important. The thing is that everything seemed kinda loose in the end and not very well tied up. Overall I really preferred TTAKS over this book a lot.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    This was pretty thrilling and compelling. A girl seeking a missing person whilst battling her own demons ends up on an island where no one will speak of the past. I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was dark and it was heavy, but in the very best way. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns. Secrets, lies, an island and a story waiting to be told. I found the character of Mona to be intriguing and I wanted to know what happened to Roxy more than anything! Would I wanna visit?! No thanks, ha!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Mae

    Sometimes I ask myself what gravitates me to a tethering thread of a novel that is reminiscent of my own unwarranted trauma...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3,5/5 first of - the cover is everything. it's so freaking beautiful?! and having read the book it makes so much sense. i loved the idea of a true trime fanatic teen going on to a summer adventure to solve a murder mystery. and the beginning was really good. mona was a bit unlikeable, mainly because she made sooo many idiotic desicions, but it was still good. but then we find out that her sister was an evil bitch and i just did not understand monas motive to solve roxys murder. and that's when th 3,5/5 first of - the cover is everything. it's so freaking beautiful?! and having read the book it makes so much sense. i loved the idea of a true trime fanatic teen going on to a summer adventure to solve a murder mystery. and the beginning was really good. mona was a bit unlikeable, mainly because she made sooo many idiotic desicions, but it was still good. but then we find out that her sister was an evil bitch and i just did not understand monas motive to solve roxys murder. and that's when the book lost me. it took me a while to read the middle part but the end was really good! once we find out what happened to her sister i understood her motive a bit more. there were some things that made so sense to me, mainly the whole mona/payton thing. especially payton sitting for no reason on monas lap and also mona waking up thinking i love you?! all they do is fight or ignore each other. i didn't make much sense to me ... i liked Savannah Brown's writing and the idea but some parts of it just didn't do it for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    eris

    i have a bit of a love/hate relationship with ya even though i keep going back to it and this book was really no different. mona, the protagonist, was extremely contradictory as a character and so were the people around her, though maybe it’s the ‘fate aligns itself perfectly for the mc’ aspect of it that doesn’t quite sit right with me. i did love the background with celeste though - the discoveries the reader makes through the book. and the style of narration in both the podcast extracts and m i have a bit of a love/hate relationship with ya even though i keep going back to it and this book was really no different. mona, the protagonist, was extremely contradictory as a character and so were the people around her, though maybe it’s the ‘fate aligns itself perfectly for the mc’ aspect of it that doesn’t quite sit right with me. i did love the background with celeste though - the discoveries the reader makes through the book. and the style of narration in both the podcast extracts and mona’s general pov is brilliant, as i’ve come to expect from brown.

  23. 4 out of 5

    hollie

    2.75 stars I was curious when I received an ARC of this book because I ended up DNFing Savannah's other book The Truth About Keeping Secrets. However, this book was miles better than the other one of hers I tried to read and I will say, I think the beginning was a lot better than the ending. I overall have mixed feelings about this book and I guess it's better to explain them... Mona, first of all, was a really unlikeable character. Although I didn't hate this for the story, it made some of her de 2.75 stars I was curious when I received an ARC of this book because I ended up DNFing Savannah's other book The Truth About Keeping Secrets. However, this book was miles better than the other one of hers I tried to read and I will say, I think the beginning was a lot better than the ending. I overall have mixed feelings about this book and I guess it's better to explain them... Mona, first of all, was a really unlikeable character. Although I didn't hate this for the story, it made some of her decisions seem ridiculous and to be honest, stupid and what grated me most was that she was honestly horrible to almost everyone she met besides Ellis - wait, is that even his name, lol? There was no reason for it and she honestly would have been the type of girl I'd hate if she was real. In terms of the mystery of Roxy, I did find it a bit eye-rolling. I couldn't understand for the life of me first of all why Mona was so intent on figuring out what happened. I'm not saying Roxy didn't deserve to be found but she seemed just as unlikable as Mona did so maybe she related to her. I don't know. I found the whole small-town hides secrets thing very overdone and in this case, there didn't really feel like there was any reason for it. Once we finally got to know what actually happened, I felt a bit let down, as if I'd climbed a mountain only to get a shitty view on the top. However, I did like the podcast aspect and anything that involves a different form of media - especially in mystery/thrillers - always enhances the story for me. I think the podcast transcripts could have been included more as we got some snippets initially but those seemed to completely disappear at around 40%. Sorry, where have you gone? That was honestly one of the better bits of the book. I do like Savannah's writing and her use of diversity with her characters. I also liked how this book wasn't romance based and was solely focused on the mystery. I will say, Mona's own battles were predictable, but the reveal for this was done better than the reveal for the mystery the book was about. This book is hard for me to review because it wasn't like I didn't find it enjoyable, it just fell flat in the places I expected more. I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    eleanor

    spoilers with no context: buzzfeed unsolved + paper towns + riotgrrrl + hot summer nights

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    In 1986 up-and-coming singer Roxy Raines vanishes from her island home. Her beloved guitar is found washed up and a note is left in her car. Skip to the present and Mona Perry is a Podcaster with an interest in disappearances. Mona’s decided she wants to try and solve what happened to Roxy. She’s got a summer job on the island of Sandown and begins to question the locals. Mona is quite a complex character, at times unlikable however this is unsurprising given the insights into her childhood. She In 1986 up-and-coming singer Roxy Raines vanishes from her island home. Her beloved guitar is found washed up and a note is left in her car. Skip to the present and Mona Perry is a Podcaster with an interest in disappearances. Mona’s decided she wants to try and solve what happened to Roxy. She’s got a summer job on the island of Sandown and begins to question the locals. Mona is quite a complex character, at times unlikable however this is unsurprising given the insights into her childhood. She begins to grow over the time she spends in Sandown, developing a bond with local outcast Ellis. At times it wasn’t the easiest read, the prose was slight clunky. I had really wanted to like this book as it had such an interesting story. I found the reveal a bit disappointing. It isn’t the first book I’d recommend to my students although it was interesting enough.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Viv

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ok, first of all I have to say there was a criminal amount of Peyton in this book, she sort of just blends into the background by the end which makes me sad. Girl deserved none of the terrible meanness of Mona. Anyways, this was a stunning book. Figurative language wise I feel it dropped the ball a bit compared to TTAKS, not by much though, there were definitely snippets that felt immersive and mystical just not as much. But it more than makes up for that in the plot. While I did somewhat guess b Ok, first of all I have to say there was a criminal amount of Peyton in this book, she sort of just blends into the background by the end which makes me sad. Girl deserved none of the terrible meanness of Mona. Anyways, this was a stunning book. Figurative language wise I feel it dropped the ball a bit compared to TTAKS, not by much though, there were definitely snippets that felt immersive and mystical just not as much. But it more than makes up for that in the plot. While I did somewhat guess by the halfway point that Mona had somehow killed Celeste every other twist got me and got me good. Each revelation about Celeste damn near shocked me. The plot is so much more fast paced than the weighed down grief stricken one of TTAKS, which I felt really fit much better. The reveal about Baby Blue was also somewhat obvious I felt, there was too much talking about their antagonistic relationship for me not to think there was something else going on... Once again, relatable protagonist is relatable in every aspect but the whole sister killing thing. Ellis was also really cute, it did start to give me a bit of not second-hand cringe but second-hand disdain when Mona went on her whole spiel about how much good she's doing for him and all that. Like, girl. I get why you are the way you are but please just stop. Also Peyton was the best. Girl was out there trynna have a hot girl summer while Mona rained on her parade. I thought the kiss scene was hilarious, "whoops" *scurries away*. I do also really like that the podcast narrations stop after like 2, and that's what flagged me into realising she wasn't gonna go through with her mystery solving. I felt like that was a good meta-element that sort of added uneasiness to the whole thing. This is just something I noticed but I feel like the song Renegade by Big Red Machine really fits Mona too. I really, really liked this book and I'm severely disappointed I'll have to wait another 3 years for another one. Why can't the whole YA genre just be books written by Brown...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Bolton

    “There is no brighter beacon in a dim world than truth.” Once I read the first page, I was hooked, I couldn’t put it down. The Things We Don't See is a YA mystery novel from a profound artist, Savannah Brown, an outstanding poet, and an amazing novelist, who has shown her exceptional talent for moving a story through detailed, clever descriptions and writing in a way that is utterly suspenseful. I was intrigued from start to finish. I didn’t get bored once throughout the novel, I just craved to “There is no brighter beacon in a dim world than truth.” Once I read the first page, I was hooked, I couldn’t put it down. The Things We Don't See is a YA mystery novel from a profound artist, Savannah Brown, an outstanding poet, and an amazing novelist, who has shown her exceptional talent for moving a story through detailed, clever descriptions and writing in a way that is utterly suspenseful. I was intrigued from start to finish. I didn’t get bored once throughout the novel, I just craved to keep reading and reading each chapter. Sometimes I didn’t want to go to sleep because I just wanted to keep reading and reading! This was the type of book that I didn’t want to quickly read but more rather just take my time with it because it was so enjoyable and gripping! The idea of the novel which included the disappearance of Roxy Raines was riddled with mystery, and it left me predicting and trying to figure what happened to her the entire novel. And I loved reading into the mind of the heavy brooding protagonist, Mona, and really getting into her thoughts, with Brown’s occasional interior monologue style. The setting of Sandown was incredibly refreshing and very fitting for the story, and the complex characters drew me in from early on. I also particularly enjoyed learning about Mona’s past and I liked how each character shaped the plot. I also liked how I couldn’t guess the ending and the climax wasn’t what I expected, but in a good way, and everything definitely came together in the end. If I had anything but one criticism it would be that some of the characters struck me as a little bland, but she makes up for that with intelligent, well written prose. THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE WHO LIKES GOOD MYSTERY NOVELS!!!! Savannah Brown, a profound artist the world one day shall know.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kezia

    (Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for a eARC in exchange for a honest review) The best thing about The Things We Don't See are its characters. They are all so real and raw and were an integral part of this book. This includes both the main character, Mona, as well as the islands residents who seem so set on making sure Mona never discovers what happened. I love mysteries that occur in these small, close knitted communities as everyone keeps each others secrets and it provides so ma (Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for a eARC in exchange for a honest review) The best thing about The Things We Don't See are its characters. They are all so real and raw and were an integral part of this book. This includes both the main character, Mona, as well as the islands residents who seem so set on making sure Mona never discovers what happened. I love mysteries that occur in these small, close knitted communities as everyone keeps each others secrets and it provides so many layers to the story. As for the mystery itself, I loved all the twists and turns and dead ends and found myself really invested in figuring out what happened. I won't spoil anything about the ending but I will say that is was really, really good. There were certain parts that I figured out early on but the majority I did not see coming at all. My only flaws with this book was how some parts happened very very quickly and it kinda jumped around a little in places. Despite this though, it was still easy to follow along and I never found myself getting confused. The other thing I think could have been improved on was the whole podcast aspect of this book. Mona has a podcast on which she talks about strange missing person cases which is why she went to Sandown in the first place, to investigate a disappearance for her podcast. Near the beginning there were inserts from the episodes she was writing based on the current mystery and I think that these should have been continued throughout as it would have helped enhance the story. Overall, The Things We Don't See is a really well written and interesting mystery featuring flawed but real characters and I would definitely recommend you read it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    This was such a masterpiece. Something about Savannah's prose just works for me, the images she paints are so abstract and yet so very vivid. There are a lot of ways in which ya thrillers tend to lose me but this book swallowed me whole and spit me back out like the sea. If I guessed some of the twists it was only because they were set up well and because I am an adult reader of thrillers. I loved Mona and all the ways in which she was terribly and beautifully wrong and all the places in which s This was such a masterpiece. Something about Savannah's prose just works for me, the images she paints are so abstract and yet so very vivid. There are a lot of ways in which ya thrillers tend to lose me but this book swallowed me whole and spit me back out like the sea. If I guessed some of the twists it was only because they were set up well and because I am an adult reader of thrillers. I loved Mona and all the ways in which she was terribly and beautifully wrong and all the places in which she was sharp and aching. I loved the way she saw the world just sharply enough to reveal all of the tender fleshy undersides. I loved her relationship with Peyton, there is nothing like genuinely well written bickering. (In case you were wondering, yes it is queer, no that is not a spoiler.) All in all I think Savannah Brown is one of the best writers of ya thrillers/mysteries there is.

  30. 4 out of 5

    PineappleRobin

    The second book by Savannah Brown and while I didn't enjoy this as much as her first book, I still enjoyed it. This book follows Mona who has a podcast about missing people. She decides to take a 3 month hiatus to investigate the disappearance of Roxy Raines. She does that with the help of Roxy's grandson and while no one really likes that she's investigating it, she does so anyway. I like how flawed Mona was, she was stubborn and kinda selfish but at the same time it annoyed me how many arguments The second book by Savannah Brown and while I didn't enjoy this as much as her first book, I still enjoyed it. This book follows Mona who has a podcast about missing people. She decides to take a 3 month hiatus to investigate the disappearance of Roxy Raines. She does that with the help of Roxy's grandson and while no one really likes that she's investigating it, she does so anyway. I like how flawed Mona was, she was stubborn and kinda selfish but at the same time it annoyed me how many arguments that caused with her roommate Peyton. But at the same time it made Mona more real. The mystery was kinda predictable at times (except for the ending which I didn't expect at all). Overall, a good YA thriller which great characters.

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