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What We Hide

3.10  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Americans Jenny and her brother, Tom, are off to England: Tom to university, to dodge the Vietnam draft, Jenny to be the new girl at a boarding school, Illington Hall. This is Jenny's chance to finally stand out, so accidentally, on purpose, she tells a lie. But in the small world of Ill Hall, everyone has something to hide. Jenny pretends she has a boyfriend. Robbie and L ...more
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published April 2nd 2014)
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Average rating 3.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  340 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
From the summary, I expected this book to blow me out of the water with the various styles of writing used and the way it was described as "provocative, often funny, and always intriguing." Sorry to say, this book was absolutely none of those things.

With the Vietnam draft calling Americans to war left and right, Jenny and her brother Tom decide to go to school in England, Jenny to a boarding school and Tom to university. At Illington Hall, Jenny can be whoever she wants, which means she tells a
Debbie Gascoyne
May 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, ya
Meh. This was well intentioned, I suppose, but curiously flat. Yet another in what seems to have been a series of books I've read recently whose reach exceeded their grasp in so many ways. I think this is the most disappointing.

First, there's the multiple points of view. I've complained about this in the past, and shall do so again (George R Martin does this brilliantly. Few others do). Multiple points of view are only interesting if they are truly distinct and if the different viewpoints give
May 31, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
[Note: I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for a review. Many thanks to both Netgalley and the publisher!]

I really hate to say it, but this book was a huge disappointment to me. It seemed like it was going to be everything I love - a POV-switching, character-driven historical novel about teens with secrets - but all of those things fell flat for me.

Most egregiously, the characters never managed to actually feel like people. That's a huge problem in a book tha
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not enjoy this book. There are waay too many characters, and too many perspectives, and it's hard to keep up with their individual stories. Like, i kept having to look at the blurb every time i read a new chapter cuz i couldn't remember the characters story. That's what made it hard to understand, and very boring. Each chapter didn't have much in it. And the characters lacked a lot of development. Nothing really happens in this book, and it goes on forever. It's legit just about people lyi ...more
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The strength behind this book is its voice. All of the characters are loud, in your face, and quintessentially adolescent. The downside? There's too many people to keep track of. They all have secrets--thus the title--and after the third or fourth tragic history I could not be bothered to try and keep track of them anymore. I enjoyed it well enough, but it deserved a tighter focus or more length to explore the quantity of issues brought up.
Raye of the Dead
Jun 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, won
I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing.

What We Hide wasn’t horrible, it’s probably an okay read. It just wasn’t for me. I found it incredibly boring. I also found Jenny’s chapters annoying. I understand that she’s an American, that she is now going to school in England, and she was learning new words. Every single time it said something meant something, I wanted to throw the book across the room.

“Great jumper!” Penelope ran her fingers along my newly fluffed hem. ...more
Judy LeBlanc
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
not a bad read, too many unanswered questions, would like to see another book set, say 10 years in the future, see how everyone turned out. Could introduce things that were socially relevant in the 1980's and another 10 years. A quick read for those cold winter nights!
joey (thoughts and afterthoughts)
[See the full review at thoughts and afterthoughts]

Rating: 3/5

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less version:

- Follows 8 POVs, changing tenses, and told in varying narrative styles (i.e. letters, screenplays, prose-fiction)
- Timeframe set during the 1960-70s, themes involve: lies and betrayal, LGBT, social status, sexuality (not crude though), bullying; all relevant to the average teenager
- Ensemble-driven rather than fully developing specific characters; some of which are more/less develop/>/>Rating:
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Marthe Jocelyn’s What We Hide was a completely unknown quantity when I picked it out. I’d never heard of it before it appeared in the YABC book haul, the cover tells me nothing, and no one I know has read it. Books like this don’t come along often, but it’s always a joy to find a hidden gem like What We Hide. This book has so much to love, for readers who appreciate slower-paced, thoughtful fiction. Through brilliant use of
Apr 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA Fans
How I Came To Read This Book: I received an ARC from the publisher.

The Plot: The book is a series of interwoven stories, all told from the perspective of students and townies around a boarding school called Illington Hall, located in Yorkshire, England. Set in the 1970s during the Vietnam War, our entry into the school is through an American girl named Jenny, that's sent away for a semester abroad, in part to keep her brother, a draft dodger named Tom, company while he attends Sheffi
I got my hands on a copy of this book when I was at a library conference back in January. I was lucky enough to meet the author and get my copy signed (yes, this is why I love library conferences). Of course, as soon as I get the book at home it languishes on my book shelf. I decided to give it a try this weekend and I was sucked into life at an English boarding school.

What We Hide was completely unexpected. From the cover, I was expecting something more girly and less serious, and frankly more/>What
Christa  Seeley
This review originally posted at More Than Just Magic

As the title suggests What We Hide is a book about secrets. Not just about keeping secrets and the dangers of keeping the wrong secrets but also about the motivations behind it. Why do we hide parts of who we are? What makes us distrust those around us?

The story opens on an American girl named Jenny, who has just come over from America with her draft-dodging brother. She’s attending an English boarding school and sees this as a
Warning: thematic spoilers below the fold.

It's the late 60s or early 70s, and Jenny's off to England for a semester abroad in boarding school. Her older brother is in university in England—away from the States and away from the draft—but their close friend has shipped out to Vietnam.

But the story is not only Jenny's, and this was what I found both most frustrating and most compelling about the book.

"I think about this all the time," said Nico. "Like, for instance, who is/>"I
Michelle Wrona

Yeeeee. -.-

I expected the best from this novel. I wanted a contemporary novel with so much happening, but all I got was this BORING book. One minute I thought that something big was going to happen, the next I was completely out. I was confused with what was happening. What should've I expected?

So the plot started off really well. When I was at 20%, I thought that I would give this a four start rating, but eventually it slowed down and nothing really changed. This is one of those cheesy boarding school
Briana Turner
Everyone has a different story, and you won’t know it unless they tell you. But they’re story could all be a made up lie. This is what ‘What we Hide’ is about there and many perspectives and different stories but everyone hides a lie in their stories. Tom is faced with two decisions to move to England or be drafted. He decides to move to England and he takes, his little sister, Jenn. There Jenn makes multiple friends but when they get to know her she doesn't tell them the whole truth about herse ...more
I debated pretty hard between 3.5 and 4 on this one. There's an underdeveloped quality to it: too many stories, too many strands all going at once. And mostly, they weave together very nicely but some - Percy's, say, or Nico's - don't really need their own focus. (view spoiler) ...more
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Tundra Books via LibraryThing's giveaway.

Ducking the Vietnam War draft, Tom leaves America for a college education in England. Bringing along his sister Jenny, she begins a fresh school year at a Quaker boarding school where she quickly realizes she can be whoever she wants to be. What We Hide gathers the voices of numerous teenagers who, despite their conflicting personalities, social cliques, and attit
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-reads, arc-reviews
Huge thank you to Tundra Books and Netgalley for this ARC!


I am torn when it comes to What We Hide. It has an intriguing premise with a lot of mystery surrounding the characters within the story, and each character is connected to another by a small thread. The writing is gorgeous, it keeps you guessing, and yet, I struggled to connect with it.

There are so many perspectives in this novel, and I think that's what's problematic about it. I never felt like I understood a lot of the character/>
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who don't mind superficial, unchanging characters
I wanted to like this book and while the potential was high, the reality fell flat.

Boarding school? Check.
Complicated friendships?
Haves vs Have Nots (townie vs private school style)? Check.
Interesting (ish) characters and multiple focalizers? Check and check.

So what went wrong???
It all felt superficial. Everyone had their personality and there was no real depth to anyone. The new girl who lies in an attempt to "reinvent" herself, the boy-slut who's
I'm still wrapping my head around this book. Reading this book is like being dropped into a moment and specific place in time , and getting the perspectives of many participants . The dialogue is just so well written. The interweaving of so many different narrators and perspectives is also great. It took me a little bit to get into it, because it seems to come completely out of nowhere, by that I mean it is completely unique - and there is no familiar structure in YA - except for the fact it's s ...more
I received a free copy from the publisher through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

I heard a piece of writing advice -- and I wish I could remember who said it because I think about it a lot -- that having your protagonist lie about something is a great characterization tactic. Watching someone (and knowing that they are) lying tells you so much about them. Of course, it reveals what they want to keep from you. But what they choose to tell you, the nature of the lie itse
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2014

Overall I enjoyed this book. It takes place in a boarding school in England during the early seventies. It follows mostly students at this school and the secrets that they keep.

Of all the books I've read with multi-perspectives this one did a very good job at distinguishing between the characters and their point of views. The style of writing was very different for each character and there were distinct personalities shown.

That being said I think that there were too many persp
eh. this book was a mess it would've been so much better if she'd picked like three povs and stuck with them. I saw other reviews say this, but it's like.....nobody really grows (I mean there is some character development, mainly where Jenny is concerned, and that was sweet, but nothing really happens) and you don't really get to see what's happening with them, and there's just really no emotional impact. I honestly would have preferred it have been all from Jenny's POV (though my true wish is that ...more
I received a copy of Marthe Jocelyn's "What We Hide" compliments of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program and appreciated the opportunity.

This YA novel shares the unique perspectives of a group of teenagers who are attending a boarding school in the UK. Each chapter is written in the voice of one of the characters, shedding light on their hidden "secrets", what they see that others may not. There is a tonne of drama along the way, as is the standard life of most teens. It did have so
Laurie Flynn
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. Great use of multiple person POV, and I liked how each POV was structured differently-- some in first person, some in third, others in letters and even a screenplay. Very interesting. Each character felt distinct and fully realized, and perhaps the most effective thing about multiple POV in this book was getting to see the different characters through the eyes of other characters. I'm a sucker for any book that revolves around secrets and lies, and WHAT WE HIDE does it ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I was slightly put off by the poorer reviews for this novel, but since I've enjoyed a couple of Marthe Jocelyn's previous books, I had to read this.
I wasn't disappointed. I thought the multiple perspectives of the characters would be hard to follow, it wasn't. The writing style reflected what the book was all about: perspective (and truth, is that a theme?).
I wasn't super keen on Jenny's story because it seemed childish what she was doing... I just don't think it was written in a believable wa
What We Hide is a slower paced Young Adult novel that takes place in a British boarding school during the Vietnam War era. If you're expecting some major conflict to occur, you'll be disappointed. The narrative revolves around eight different protagonists, all of whom are wrestling with their own darkness. This is a story about how our actions and choices influence how others see us, and how people tell lies and put on airs in order to be viewed (or not viewed as the case may be) in a certain way. ...more
Arghhh this review crashed on me thrice so I am too annoyed to say much.

Ambitious working from multiple characters from multiple viewpoints, so I was hesitant to read but this book managed to pull it off.

Each character had distinct backgrounds, ideas, and voices. The more unique voices stemming from Oona and Percy who used a different approach to tell their story — Oona from writing letters to her best friend Sarah who moved to Canada and Percy in his screenplay writings
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. I enjoyed the multiple points of view, which is nice when so many things are going on. But it seemed rather short, and I think it ended rather abruptly. I had to turn back to the last page because I couldn't believe that was the end. I don't know if future books are planned to follow this one, but I feel like I need more. I like books about boarding schools and this one being set in the past and in England did not disappoint.
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