What They Don't Know

What They Don't Know

by Nicole Maggi


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Three secrets. One decision. A friendship that will change everything.

Mellie has always been the reliable friend, the good student, the doting daughter. But when an unspeakable act leads her to withdraw from everyone she loves, she is faced with a life-altering choice—a choice she must face alone.

Lise stands up—and speaks out—for what she believes in. And when she notices Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her...all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.

Told through Mellie and Lise's journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie's struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the two girls on their journey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492672654
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 434,945
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Nicole Maggi wrote her first story in third grade about a rainbow and a unicorn. After working as an actress in NYC, she now lives in Los Angeles with her family and two oddball cats. Visit her at nicolemaggi.com.

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What They Don't Know 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
vphillips88 More than 1 year ago
Mellie's family is very conservative, so when she discovers that she is pregnant, she isn't sure what she should do. She has always believed that abortion is wrong in all circumstances, but she is certain that she doesn't want to carry this baby, even to give it up for adoption. Lise used to be friends with Mellie before Mellie's family took her out of Girl Scouts. They are still classmates, but their lives couldn't be more different. When Lise hears Mellie crying in the bathroom, she wonders if she can do something to help her childhood friend. This story is told from both Mellie's and Lise's perspectives, in the form of journal entries they complete for their English class. Mellie's family rings true for the most part, although I have questions about some things, particularly Mellie's reference to the Apocrypha being like an addition to the Bible. From my fundamentalist Christian upbringing, which seems to mirror Mellie's, the Apocrypha was not considered to be Scripture, nor was it anything we ever read or studied. Lise and Mellie also sounded very similar in their journal entries. I was reading a digital ARC, so I am hoping the publisher will use a different typeface or something for each girl, as it was occasionally difficult to remember who was telling the story. The story itself was also a bit didactic and afterschool special-esque at times, which I found grating when the topic itself is so important. Nonetheless, I could see the teens at my library thoroughly enjoying this story and wanting to read and discuss it. Recommended.
PattySmith87 More than 1 year ago
My thanks to Netgalley, Sourcebooks Fire and Nicole Maggi for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy. Boy, this is going to be a tough one. First, this is very sensitive subject matter. The book brings up several issues that will hopefully open the door to many worthwhile conversations, but its main focus is on abortion. I find that it will be really hard to keep my personal feelings on the subject separate from reviewing the book. I will be very interested in reading what everyone has to say on this because of the subject matter it is dealing with. Also, this is a rough one to recommend to students. Because of people’s religious affiliations, I don’t believe it is appropriate for a teacher to introduce material that might go against a family’s belief system. On the other hand, open and honest discussion of the right to choose can be the only source of information some teenagers will have access to. I think it should be made available for students to be able to come to on their own, because I think that it is an amazing read. So I’m going to tell you where I stand on this issue. I believe it is the only honest way, for me, to discuss this because how I feel influences how I read the book. I believe that it is a woman’s right to choose - no matter what the circumstances. Younger or older, through violence or consensual sex, no one should have to bear a child if that is not what the woman wants. And she deserves to have a safe, sterile, supported place to be able to abort the fetus, if that is what she chooses to do. Because my views lined up with the book’s, that allowed for me to enjoy it. I’m not sure if I was on the other side, or if the book was purporting the same ideology as Mellie’s parents, I would enjoy it in the same way. Let me recap the story in order to offer some context. This is a book that deals with, among other things, rape and abortion. The style is done in the format of journal entries, alternating between the two main characters, Mellie and Lise. A teacher has assigned them a project of keeping a journal for the school year. This is a brilliant choice on the author’s part because we are privy not only to the events of that time, but to both girls’ deepest thoughts and feelings as they go through something very traumatic. Life changing, for both of them, although Mellie is the one who is pregnant and must decide what her options are. By using the teenagers’ voices, it allows an entry point for kids reading this book to engage in this subject in an open and honest way. Obviously, it is a little unbelievable to think these girls would be this forthcoming in a school assignment, but I was happy to suspend my disbelief because it worked so well. Also, for those that kids that are not the strongest of readers, or people who are just short on time, these small bites of daily entries are doable and will allow access for a larger reading audience. Interestingly enough, we never get to know who this teacher is. I was completely engaged, from beginning to end and found it truthful, honest, emotional, very powerful and even gut-wenching at times. Mellie comes from a strong religious family, with a father who is running for Mayor on a pro-life platform, with a campaign promise to get rid of the last few legal abortion clinics in his town. He works hand in hand with the pastor. The pastor’s son Brandon happens to be engaged to Mellie’s sister Hannah
Persephonereads More than 1 year ago
First, I want to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the chance to read an advanced copy of this book. A beautiful story about a difficult subject. This book is very hard to review without revealing some spoilers. So I am going to warn in advance that there will be some spoilers in this. Once upon a time, a long time ago back when they were in Girl Scout Mellie Rivers and Lise Grant were friends. Though they were very young when Mellie's parents took he out of Girl Scouts because one of the girls had two Dads Lise never stopped feeling as if Mellie was her friend. So many years later when the girls are sixteen and Lise notices that something terrible is going on with Mellie she sets out to do what she can to help her. It seems Mellie has been raped and has fallen pregnant. Mellie is from an extremely religious family and he Father also happens to be Mayor. She is frightened and lost, feeling like there is no way out and beginning to become more and more desperate she needs help but has no one she can go to. Lise may be the one person in the whole school who can actually help Mellie but by doing so she risks everything she holds dear. WIll she risk everything to help a girl whom she really has had no contact with in ages? Told through journal entries assigned by a teacher we see the growth of the friendship between these two girls. We learn their fears and hopes. Their secret thoughts. This is a story that could happen anywhere and to anyone. It is a brave and lovely book that moved me in too many ways even count. As the author stated at the end we may not be aware of this but we all more than likely know someone who went through something like this. Is this book Pro-Choice? Yes, it is but it is also Pro-Life. The life of the person going through this. I think every girl should read this. Thank you again for allowing me to read an advanced copy of the wonderfully written book.
Huggiez More than 1 year ago
So, before I get into my review for this book I just want to say that there are some trigger warnings. There is talk about rape, abortion, bullying and verbal abuse. When I read the description of the book I was really interesting in to see where it was going to go. I have to say after reading the book, I was shocked. I really enjoyed this book. It is told in duel POV’s Sixteen year old Mellie comes from a very conservative family. So you can image what happened when she found out that she was pregnant. Mellie isn’t sure what she wants to do. She has always believed that having an abortion was was wrong but she knew she didn’t want to give the baby up to someone else. Lise is Mellie’s friend, when she finds out that her friend pregnant she try’s to help her out. This book was told in a journal entry in Lise and Mellie’s English class. I thought that was an interesting to the story. I was a tad confused at first because I thought it was all from Mellie not just her and Lise. I given this book as an Arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
P-Lopez More than 1 year ago
Superb. One of the most gut-wrenching and beautifully written books I’ve read in a long time. What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi will make you feel sadness, anger, indignation, but most of all hope and encouragement. A deeply moving account of two teenage girls and how their lives intersect and what it means to take a stand, be a true friend, and face an unimaginable situation and decision. The true take away is that we never know what the other person is going through and that we must never judge or impose our beliefs as we don’t know what we would do ourselves in certain situations until we actually in that situation. There were so many powerful moments in this book and how the main characters express themselves. The author does a fantastic job of telling this story. The story unfolds in journal entries, assigned by their teacher, but told in poignant, breathtaking ways that have the each character’s emotions leap off the pages. One of the most powerful lines is in the acknowledgments section and the message to “all the women and girls out there…I see you…” That is beautiful. So many people feel alone and not heard when a controversial issue has been politicized, so this statement is powerful in its message of letting women and young girls know that there are people that do see them, do support them, and will stand by them. I wish I could give the book a 10 star review! This is a great book with rich characters, excellent storytelling and development, and a truly powerful message.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"What They Don't Know" was quite an emotional ride. What the summary doesn't state but what you find out within the first couple chapters is that Mellie was raped and has just found out she is pregnant (and is considering her options). This is something you may want to consider before picking up the book. That being said, it was definitely worth the read and is pretty much as emotional as you'd expect considering rape, pregnancy at 16 years of age, and abortion as topics. This is not an easy read but it was, in my opinion, worthwhile. Mellie is one of six children, and her father is the mayor, running for the state senate. To add onto that, her family belongs to a strict Christian church which is aggressively pro-life. In fact, it's the members of her church that stand outside the women's health clinic in town all day every day to yell at the women entering it. Mellie has always thought pregnancy and her virginity was her choice, and she has followed her family's beliefs, as most children do. The rape and subsequent pregnancy have really opened her eyes to what her family's beliefs really mean. She is suffering in her pain, and completely alone- all her friends are those her family approves of from her church. Her parents even say that abortion is unacceptable even in cases of rape and that pregnancy from that is very unlikely (at political rallies, her father emphasizes his stance on abortions). However, things are not as black and white as they seem to her family (and they did to her before this happened). Lise is fierce about her beliefs, women's rights, and trying to make a change. She volunteers at the women's health clinic to escort women past the protesters. She wants to make a difference in the world. She and Mellie used to be friends before the child of two gay men joined and Mellie had to leave. Since then, she has loosely watched Mellie from a distance. However, lately, she notices that something is wrong and Mellie seems to be alone. Lise tries to figure it out in order to help her. Both girls have a school assignment to write in a journal and both end up using the journal to talk about what is most on their minds- Mellie's problem. The book is told in alternating entries between the two girls. The journal idea was interesting in theory, but in practice, it felt like alternating points-of-view without a journal premise- conversations and dialogue are told in detail and the feel of the writing/writing style is very similar between the two sections. I could have done without the journal entries (and I am surprised that they would have submitted to their teacher what they are writing- these deep secrets seem surprising in the context of a journal for a class project. Then again, maybe they are bursting at the seams and willing to share in what feels like a safe space. They just don't quite read like journal entries. However, this is a small complaint. The overall book is hard to put down and so engaging and emotionally charged that it was quite the read. The characters are also really strong and felt very full and real. We see Mellie's internal debates and emotions and fears. She is a very strong and well built character. Lise's life is less well-built, but we get glimpses through her interactions with family and her boyfriend. She provides an interesting outside perspective, and together, we really see the power of friendship and caring for people who may not make it easy to do so. It's really the power of thinking about a