Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 687
grounded mystery/thriller set in coastal Oregon
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
As of chapter one, Embry is a senior in high school, a girl feeling adrift as Christmas approaches, and the recipient of a marriage proposal from her ex-but-it’s-complicated-boyfriend Luke. He’s overseas on deployment and isn’t actually aware she’s hooking up with this guy Holden instead and doesn’t share Luke’s vision of getting married and moving to Texas.

Embry feels the best kind of familiar. No matter your age, you’ve likely been the same kind of adrift she is, unsure where you’re going in life or what you can even do with your life based on what you already have (which for Embry is very little money and a single mother who’s in remission from cancer but still in danger of it having spread elsewhere). She’s struggling with her friendships and relationships and she doesn’t have a single person she thinks knows all of her. Keeping the people around her happy makes her keep some pieces of herself in a box and there’s just not healthy for anyone. She’s miserable.

Hidden Pieces will hit home with readers of any age in that respect, but it’s a book that never forgets teens are its true audience.

Embry and her evolution are the strongest draw of the novel and may keep readers in their seats better than the actual mystery/thriller plot of the book does. The events themselves are a little unremarkable: Embry and her guy Holden hook up in a hotel that’s empty for the season, a romantic candle gets knocked into a puddle of spilled vodka, and everything goes up in flames. Embry is then painted as a hero for rescuing a homeless man from the flames, but someone else knows better and demands that Embry fess up. When she doesn’t, a video of her and Holden together that neither one of them had any knowledge of gets out, which leads into Holden being investigated in case it qualifies as child porn!

That’s really the nicest thing Embry’s blackmailer does, as subsequent events are outright attempts to murder Embry’s loved ones. The book’s formidable page count passes quickly, but a lot of it somehow feels empty? Things absolutely happen that are important to the novel’s plot and character development, but I simply don’t recall much of it. The mystery is capably crafted with enough red herrings to make even me doubt my strong suspicions about the culprit. And I say that while taking pride in how often I solve mysteries in books before the characters get there!

There just isn’t a lot to say about Hidden Pieces, this grounded mystery/thriller set in coastal Oregon. I like this book, I like Paula Stokes, and I’ve still got a ton of her other books on my shelves just waiting to be read. Don’t just check out her “darker” titles either, her rom-com The Art of Lainey is delightful and noteworthy. This is an author with some range!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Dog and Rabbit
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A funny, sweet story of unrequited friendship from the creator...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lena and Campbell aren't friends. ...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her...
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finding out my mother was taken by the demons was...
Sick Kids in Love
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Isabel has one rule: no dating. It’s easier―...
Pawns (The Wielders of Arantha)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Seven hundred years in the future, a powerful alien...
Perfectly Oblivious
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Cameron Bates (Cam) could have almost any girl at...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
4.3 (1)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal...
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA...
The Rift
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two...
The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures...
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other? ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bestselling Divergent and Carve the Mark author Veronica Roth delivers...
Bernard Pepperlin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The drowsy Dormouse from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland...
Vicarious
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Paula Stokes weaves together a series of mysteries and the...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.3
"I started out reading an ARC of Symptoms of a Heartbreak, but then I switched to reading a hardcover in..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
4.3
"I’m going to start out this post by letting it be known by all and sundry that I was provided..."
Sick Kids in Love
 
5.0
"SICK KIDS IN LOVE is a beautiful story about love- as well as invisible illness/disability AND NOBODY DIES! (I do..."
The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
"THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD is a compelling and atmospheric YA fantasy/science fiction. In the future, the..."
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
"If you adored FROZEN, you need to get your hands on this Twisted Tale which reimagines the story if Anna..."
 
4.0
"THE END AND OTHER BEGINNINGS is the latest from DIVERGENT author, Veronica Roth. The novel is comprised of six YA..."
The Bookworm Crush
 
5.0
"THE BOOKWORM CRUSH is an absolutely charming romantic comedy with all sorts of booklover homages. Amy McIntyre is @redheadrecs and..."
Scared Little Rabbits
 
3.0
"SCARED LITTLE RABBITS follows Nora (aka Eleanor, Lowercase) as she sets out on a summer camp adventure that resulted in..."
A Constellation of Roses
 
5.0
"A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES is a beautiful story of familial love and healing. Trix has been trying to make her..."
Frankly in Love
 
5.0
"FRANKLY IN LOVE is a surprisingly deep and heartfelt read. Although it is described as a rom-com, this is not..."
American Royals
 
4.7
"What if at the end of America’s Revolutionary War, George Washington was offered a crown and what if he said..."
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
 
4.0
"This is the type of book I’d like to see included in school curriculums. The stories are like wide open..."
When the Stars Lead to You
 
4.7
"WHEN THE STARS LED TO YOU is quite the emotional YA contemporary. While on the surface it seems like a..."
We Are the Perfect Girl
 
3.3
"'We Are the Perfect Girl' by Ariel Kaplan is a Cyrano De Bergerac style story. There are a host of..."
Stranger Things: Runaway Max
 
4.7
"'Stranger Things: Runaway Max' by Brenna Yovanoff provides an intriguing look into Max's life before and during her time in..."
Crown of Oblivion
 
5.0
"Engrossing and completely thrilling, CROWN OF OBLIVION is a fantastic new YA fantasy that I highly recommend. Dealing with themes..."
 
4.7
"Four very different high school girls plan to spend one month together in GIRLS OF JULY, and they each have..."
 
3.0
"BETWEEN WORLDS: FOLKTALES OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND is a collection of short stories that have been passed down over centuries..."
Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed
 
5.0
"The story: Sheltered high school junior Andrea Cavanaugh believes she hits the jackpot when Josh McMillan, a..."
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
"ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK is an intensely challenging and thought-provoking read with some magical realism elements...."