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Us Kids Know

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3.30  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  14 reviews
We all knew about Cullen Hickson.

Siblings Brielle and Ray O’Dell are lost. Anxious. Restless. Bullied at his Catholic school for being small and timid, Ray wants to be someone people respect or, even better, someone people fear. Meanwhile, Brielle—whose “popular” status feels tenuous at best—knows that something is off about her friendship with the shiny, happy, sophistica
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Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by Razorbill
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3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  67 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt)
*ARC provided by Razorbill in exchange for an honest review*
"Ours was a story that wouldn't stand for the commonplace."
This was Strong's debut novel and it's a story about how one guy, Cullen, changes the lives of two siblings, Bri and Ray, forever.
Ray gets bullied mercilessly at his school and finds a way to get out of it by 'hiring' Cullen in order to help him experience the true thrill of crime in every way. Then we have Bri, who is part of the 'popular' group of girls at her school but she
...more
Jordan (pagetravels)
Oct 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Full review likely to come soon, cause this book has some serious issues that need to be dISCUSSED
Aashna Moorjani
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
***More reviews at https://offtoamazingplacesblog.wordpr...***

SPOILER WARNING

Hi, it’s Aashna! Today I am going to be reviewing Us Kids Know by JJ Strong. If you haven't heard of this book, I wouldn't be surprised. I actually came across it while working at a literary agency. I generally stay on top of current, popular books and I'm now sad to say that this book wasn't on my radar even though it has every reason to be. This book is simply special. Often, YA books fall into a sort of cliche mold
...more
Patty (IheartYA)
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the writing style but the story lacked focus and substance. It would have been nice to see a stronger conclusion; some aspects were left hanging. The attraction to Cullen wasn't fleshed out enough, like why? Actually after finishing this book, I'm still asking why.
Ethan Evans
May 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found that I couldn't really determine motivation for any of the three main characters in this work. It made them all feel distant, at best. The cover is cool and the writing itself isn't bad. I just didn't care for the characters or the plot.
Nancy
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I hate to give a book three stars but this one seemed to lack cohesiveness. The motivations of the teens were unrealistic and prone to strange leaps of logic. Sorry, but this one didn't impress me.
Rafael
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Find my book review on: https://theroyalpolarbearreads.wordpr...

Intoxicating. Unpredictable. Realistic. Us Kids Know by JJ Strong gave me so much pain in the process of reading the novel with life realizations, complicated family issues that need to discuss mixed with mental health awareness and the longing of in a relationship or at least friendship for the broken characters of the book.

This novel is mind breaking, heart-wrenching, profoundly compelling that execute so much lies and anticipatio
...more
•Łûçÿ•
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
No spoiler rant review:

So, where to start. Going into this book, I was expecting something different. Initially I thought the main focus of the story would be the character Cullen. I was perfectly fine with this, actually preferred it. But then, we are introduced to Ray, the "real" main character. Let's say I wasn't happy with this route, but I could get through it... at least that's what I thought. I hate, and I mean HATE Ray as a character. He is going through this inner search of God (which i
...more
David
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Us Kids Know
By JJ Strong
Rating: 4.5/5

When Ray and Brielle O'dell meet Cullen Hickson they didn't know their world would change.

Brielle plays the part of the popular girl, but questions every decision and move she makes. Fighting so hard just to fit in with friends that she is sure like her.

Ray is on the search for God. Since his mother's depression, Ray has felt alone and he is desperate to find something bigger than himself.

Cullen is the resident bad boy and everyone knows he is no good. When
...more
Kongsmom
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Realistic fiction; told thru 3 characters in alternating chapters; Brie is older teen struggling with what she really wants and who she really is, happy to be "in" with the popular crowd but not feeling a connection to them, Ray is her younger brother, bullied at school, grappling with belief in God and whether life is worth living; Cullen is "delinquent" thrill-seeker in Brie's grade with good intentions but bad strategies. Brie & Ray's mother is suffering long-term depression and is diseng ...more
Benedict Umeh
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Every single character in this book is a disfigured caricature of the classic "broken" suburban person, save for Cullen Hickson, one of the only characters I found to be "real". Just for Cullen and how J.J. Strong portrayed Ray's want to kill himself, I like this book.
Caroline Frost
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A courageous look at adolescent relationships and existential ennui. Strong writes each character like a loving parent but puts them through hell like a good sibling.

Extra points for setting the story in early 2K before everyone had smart phones.
Amy Meyerson
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Us Kids Know is a fantastic debut. It has it all: compelling characters, surprising plot twists, and elegant prose. Bri, Ray, and Cullen are engaging narrators with poignant and sometimes heartbreaking observations that elevate the novel. I simply loved this book.
Mindy Rose
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
a polite, well behaved brother & sister meet a cool babely older boy & start doing crazy hoodrat shit with him. 3/5.
Corabel Shofner
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Nov 05, 2016
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