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What They Don't Know

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  404 ratings  ·  135 reviews
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
Published October 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Olivia Hopkins Yes... Its a really good book, and my book group is reading it now

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WOW. I was definitely NOT prepared for this. Oh my gosh was this novel sad and brutal.

I'm going to say right off the bat that this novel delves into some very deep core issues that revolve around rape, pregnancy, abortion, friendship, men vs women gender roles, religion, and safety.

Nicole Maggi explores a coming of age story about sixteen year old Mellie who becomes pregnant from being raped. Mellie comes from a strong fundamentalist family... and she thinks that she will ultimately be blamed
Zoë ☆
Oh my god. I was so NOT prepared for that. This is one of the most emotional books I have ever read and I feel like it discusses SUCH an important issue. Definitely a must read for everyone. I am speechless. Thank you to the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book!

I’m going to cry a little more now 😶
Jun 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adele Shea
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What They Don't Know, is a story told from the point of view of two 16 year old girls. They are set an assignment to write a day to day journal as part of one of their grades in school.
Mellie comes from a church going family, her father being Mayor of their town. Mellie, is raped and as a result of that rape becomes pregnant. She must make the decision of what to do about her pregnancy.
Lise, volunteers at a woman's clinic that along with women's health procedures, also carries out abortion.
This book takes a good, hard look at what it is like for someone to go through the tough decision to have an abortion, with the added trauma of the pregnancy being a result of a rape. The story is told in diary entries between Mellie, the uber-conservative mayor-running-for-senate's daughter, and Lise, her old girl scout friend who is intuitive to her old friend's sadness. ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW by Nicole Maggi in exchange for my honest review.***


Pregnant by rape, sixteen-year-old Mellie knows her zealously fundamentalist family will blame her for the attack and take away her choices. Lise, her classmate, senses she can help. Told in letters/journal entries to their English teacher the young women develop a deep, trusting friendship.

I knew I was reading something special a few pages into
Manon the Malicious
*4.25 Stars*

I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to admit it. I judged this book by its cover. I was certain it was a mystery & thriller.
Turns out, it wasn't. This was a contemporary novel about equality, abortion and girl power.

Mellie was raised in a very religious family, is anti-choice and wears a chastity ring. But she really starts questioning everything when she gets pregnant after being raped.
Lise is hiding a secret from everyone and can tell somethi
Patty Smith
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
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, 2018-read
You can find this review and others on my blog SleepySamReads!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

TRIGGER WARNINGS: rape, rape resulting in pregnancy, abortion

I believe the message in the book is an important one, but I don't know that I agree with the execution all that much. Everything in the book seems to be so black and white. Which is kind of ironic because one of the things in the book that Mellie realizes is how many shad
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very well written novel about a young girl who becomes pregnant after being raped and the decisions she makes as a result of living in an ultra conservative home. It is an epistolary novel, which I love. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me an opportunity to be an early reader in exchange for my honest review.
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

I want to thank to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review.

OMG this book is really powerful, I feel it was more than I expected and that's great. It's a book about abortion, it focuses entirely on that issue and although it touches other ones as well, I think it's necessary for you to know that's what you will find with. It's such a delicate subject to be touched in a book and even so, the author has done it in an excellent way, I'm really
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Content warnings: rape, sexual assault, rape resulting in pregnancy, pregnancy, talk of miscarrying, abortion, description of abortion, victim-blaming, unsafe home environment, misogyny (challenged), homophobic behavior (challenged), anti-abortion rhetoric (challenged), religion, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, grief,
Sue Holmes
*Review copy received from the publisher
This story covers a vital topic and a message that will resonate with a target audience. But the storyline is very one dimensional which I think reduces the impact on the reader.
Jenni Frencham
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-edelweiss
Maggi, Nicole. What They Don't Know. Sourcebooks Fire, 2018.

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. W
I really loved this book. It’s emotional, yes. It’s difficult to read, yes, but it’s an important read. It’s been on my mind since finishing; hitting me close to home in more than one way.

Highly recommend.

See my full review on my blog, Vivacious Bibliophile
Blog Post:

*I was provided with an ARC of this book through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

This book is definitely one that will catch you off guard, I was not expecting what I just experienced at all. The very first chapter had me gripped, and I stayed that way throughout the whole book. This was a very easy read, in terms of flying through it, but not in the subject matter. I struggled in reading some parts, as they were just so sad and raw
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: source-netgalley
The journal writing was supposed to be just a school assignment. But for two months, it became a sort of Mellie’s confidante and Lise’s sound-board. In Mellie’s first journal entry, she revealed that she was raped and...wait...I think I’ve said too much already. I have to stop giving any background ‘coz it’s much better to dive blind into this book. Fortunately the Goodreads synopsis is very vague, so I will also try to be vague as much as I can to avoid spoiling anything.

The synopsis hinted at
Audrey (Warped Shelves)
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalleys
This review is based on an ARC of What They Don't Know which I received courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher (Sourcebooks Fire).

You probably think you know who I am, but I'm here to tell you that you don't.

What They Don't Know is a story of two high school girls, two unlikely friends, told through alternating journal entries as a part of Ms. Tilson's English assignment. The synopsis says something about "three big secrets", but really there's just one of any significance, and that is Mellie
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What They Don't Know by Nicole Maggi is one of the most difficult books I have ever read. Don't get me wrong. The language used is easy to understand - in fact a little too easy. It is written from the perspectives of two sixteen year old girls, however, so I did not expect extensive vocabularies. What made this book so difficult to read was the subject matter.

This book tells the story of a young girl who is raped and subsequently becomes pregnant. She then struggles with the ultimate pro-life/
S.M. Harshell
**I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.**

This is one of the most emotionally raw books I've read recently. I wasn't expecting for a book geared toward teen to have the subject matter to be so deep and hold you until the end.

Mellie finds herself pregnant, a product of rape. Her family is extremely conservative. She's been taught and believes abortion is wrong. She knows she doesn't want the baby. Mellie carrying until adoption would have her reliving the rape c
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5/5

I was given this book by Edelweiss for an honest review.
This book was so powerful and I was very emotional, especially towards the end. I'm in a sorority and our national philanthropy is RAINN (Rape Abuse Incent National Network) and we do a lot of fundraising and spread awareness for sexual assault on campus so since this organization was mentioned in this book, it hit close to home.
Sadly, many women go through the things that the main character, Mellie, went through. She's raped
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, it’s a hot-topic book, and there will be some polarized views, no doubt it, but I think that’s a good thing -something to get readers seeing multiple points of view on a complex topic. The journal entry format gives the two protagonists ample opportunity to confide their deepest, most private thoughts (Maggi and her deft pen must have a direct line to the teenage girl mindset). Also, we see Mellie’s (the victim of rape from a non-stranger) complete change -crumpling and folding inward- as ...more
Ava Orofino
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the hardest book, content wise, that I ever got through. The writing was amazing and the unique format was a wonderful way to showcase the two entirely different teen girls. It was a sensitive theme, and I needed to stop after awhile to comprehend and take a break. I know the stories, and I know that what happened could be based off the author’s personal experience, or even someone else’s. It hurt me on the inside, making me ache and scream in anguish during the book, which is go ...more
Erin Sokol
This message gave me new perspective on pro-life movement and I appreciated the author’s ability to come at a difficult topic.

While it tried to come at the topic from two POV’s, ultimately it was very one-sided with a LOT of anger around MANY topics, not just abortion. It could be difficult to power through at times, and really did a lot of generalization in both abortion and Christian viewpoints for the sake of the storyline. While I know portions and accounts in the book were true, I do feel
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
is book was incredible. I wasn’t expecting it to be about what it was but I’m so glad it turned out the way it did. The story is beautiful and heartbreaking. I think all young women should read this book because this is something that could happen to any of us.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a very powerful book. It made me really think about what it means to be a good friend and a good person. This is a definite must-read.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was sent What They Don't Know by Nicole Maggi for review through NetGalley.


What They Don't Know by Nicole Maggi follows Mellie and Lise: two girls who both have big secrets. Mellie comes from a very conservative, Christian background. While Lise is using her voice to help women stand up for their rights. Both girls are assigned to keep a journal for an English class, so they choose to reveal their deepest secrets in hope to find some solace from the things they carry.
I tried to kee
Jul 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arianna Schuman
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book! It has a really mature story about something a girl or woman should never experience. But, I feel like my eyes opened up a little more because of this book. Made me realize more that not everything is just about my life, my families' life, and my friend's life and anyone else I care about. Other people (Strangers to me) have lives too, and they matter just as much as mine does. Something else I learned is, A lot of other people have problems and some people have no choi ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this book as an advanced reader's copy and I was curious when I first read the summary of the book because it fit right in to the books our patrons like to read. I got excited when the book was written as journal entries with the point of view of Mellie and how open she was with all of her issues and the life choice she is facing. However, the reason we are giving this book 4 stars is the character of Lise. In the summary it made her to be the most reliable and the only friend Mellie ...more
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Nicole was born in the suburban farm country of upstate New York, and began writing at a very early age. Of course, her early works consisted mainly of poems about rainbows and unicorns, although one of them was good enough to win honorable mention in a national poetry contest! (Perhaps one of the judges was a ten-year-old girl.) Throughout high school, her creative writing was always nurtured and ...more

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