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All the Things We Never Knew

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  543 ratings  ·  134 reviews
From the moment Carli and Rex first locked eyes on a Texas high school basketball court, they both knew it was destiny. But can you truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself? Acclaimed author Liara Tamani’s luminous second novel explores love, family, heartbreak, betrayal, and the power of healing, in gorgeous prose that will appeal to readers of Nicola Yoon and J ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 9th 2020 by Greenwillow Books
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  543 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, arc, 2020
Even while planning to read All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani, I had no intentions of reviewing it on my blog, or at all honestly. But after how much even the first couple pages of it wowed me by its visceral writing and lovable characters, I knew I couldn’t just not say anything about this book.

So, while yes, this review is a very spur-of-the-moment thing, it was something I initially did not think I would be doing, I really do want to support this book and its author as much as I po
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-reads
who knew instalove could make me so soft??

— I would highly suggest you go check out nat’s review

This book took me by surprise — if you know anything about me, you’ll have guessed by now that love at first sight is hardly something I enjoy in novels. I mean come on. How can two people know they are destined to be upon their first glance? Yet somehow this story manages to twist the trope into something that feels authentic and desperately long-awaited, watching two Black teens take the place tha
Ms. Woc Reader
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
If anyone is looking for a sweet romance book for the summer starring two Black teens giving a dual perspective I would recommend this. There's just enough secrets to keep the plot moving. There are important messages and depictions of family. There's a sensitive Black boy that isn't afraid to acknowledge his emotions and cry at times. There's a sweet girl discovering what she interests her after years someone else's interests being put upon her. There's basketball and Texas heat. And the writin ...more
Joshunda Sanders
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All The Things We Never Knew reminded me a lot of Love & Basketball for obvious reasons, but it's more than that. It's a sweet coming of age romance with a lot of layers, featuring Houston, Texas, so it made me a little homesick for H-Town, which is where I started my newspaper career 20 years ago now. Carli and Rex are brought together on the court with a pretty dramatic incident, and they stay connected, more or less, through some pretty startling revelations/discoveries about their families. ...more
Jade Melody
Rating: ⭐️

Received an arc from Edelweiss+ for an honest review

You know that feeling when you are really excited for something great but it doesn't end up being what you wanted? That's how I feel about this book. A young adult love story that features two teens of color who find a relationship because of basketball; it sounds like something I could really like, but I just didn't.

I think this was hard for me to like because something was off from the first page. Specifically what I mean, is that
Lekeisha The Booknerd
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
All The Things We Never Knew is a solid read filled with love, heartbreak, betrayal, grief and secrets. I enjoyed all of these things because it just shows how much of an emotional beating that teenagers face in their lives. I wish that I could quote this book, but sadly this is an ARC. I have sticky tabs on just about every page.

Tamani writes beautifully the lives of two teens (three If you count Cole, Carli's brother). Carli and Rex..... their connection was so deep in the beginning that I kne
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing

It’s like Love & Basketball meets Love at First Sight!

Do you remember your first love?

I know I do... it was birds chirping in the distance, sunny every day, and heart bubbles blooming from my ears! It was all that and yet it wasn’t. In actuality It was messy dysfunctional, jealousy galore, and self doubt. And yet I wouldn’t change it for the world!

This book gave me the emotions from both sides of the first love story from crushes and self discovery, to rage and frustr
Mridu  aka Storypals
Oct 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
The thing was, I thought I am all about instant love.

But instant love when you spend time with each other, speak for a bit and you feel like you know that person forever.

But just one instant which was just passing by... you just can't.

I know the book is not just about instant love, but it just overshadowed everything and well, I wasn't very invested in the story thereafter. :|

Rich in Color
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review copy: ARC via author

Over the past few weeks, books that make me smile are the ones I’m reaching for and All the Things We Never Knew definitely had me smiling. Of course, it’s not all perfect hearts and rainbows straight through, but there are plenty of giggle worthy moments starting with the unusual meet-cute on the basketball court. What makes Carly and Rex so smile-inducing is that they both have soft and smooshy sides to them and they’re able to share that with each other.

Tamani chose
Traci at The Stacks
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a cute YA love story that centers two Black teens who play basketball and meet by chance. There were parts of this book I really liked and parts that felt a little predictable. I know I’m not a teen but I think young readers will like this one.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up until midnight to finish this book , that’s how much I love it. Im committed to reading more Young Adult Novels and this did not disappoint . I love that the language was appropriate for the 16 years old characters. I appreciated how The duality of being a child , but expected to make life changing decision is shown by the Author . I really appreciated the how the characters emotions were shown because, 𝑯𝑬𝑳𝑳𝑶 , I was a nut job at that age.
I was drawn into the characters pains ( 𝒊𝒏𝒔
Oh man, this was so, so good. I think this would appeal to any YA romance fan, but especially those of you who loved Love and Basketball. This was funny and poignant and tender, and the main characters did such a good job growing up and figuring themselves out through this, and I just loved it a lot.
Destiny Henderson
“It’s like we’re two trees secretly sharing nutrients underground, two stars orbiting around all the things there’s no language for.”
TL;DR Loved it! A pleasant spin on the usual YA insta-love filled with family, emotions, self-esteem, and teens wondering about their futures.

Lovely! The romance played it straight with the insta-love and fate. Rex and Carli’s love was fluffy, giddy, the slightest bit corny, and light-hearted.

I was surprised that romance wasn’t the only draw here. There was a lot
Hadewych thereaderinpink

The beginning of this book was very promising and I thought I was going to love this book. I loved how the story centered two black teens who played basketball.

Sadly enough this book had just too much drama and everything was so rushed. The relationship happened so fast and then it was drama after drama and it was just too much for me.

The audiobook is good though. I loved the two different narrators.
Samantha (WLABB)
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Carli was always looking for signs. So, when Rex blew that kiss in her direction, she knew there was something special there to explore.

This was my first Liara Tamani book, but after finishing it, I immediately pushed her debut, Calling My Name, up my TBR. She captured me with her beautiful prose, wrapping me up in the rapture of first love using vibrate and lush imagery. But, it wasn't just the gooey love stuff that got me. I was hit with every emotion these characters were feeling, and I felt
Pegi Ferrell
Lovely lyrical layered writing slowly builds, like a collage, to the climax.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall, I think this was a really good book and the writing was beautiful. It starts off with so much instalove intensity, RIGHT from the first scene, and for a while it really reminded me of Jacqueline Woodson’s If You Come Softly. If she had stuck with that being the focus, I feel like it could have been an especially strong short story or novella. But noOooOoO. What didn’t really sit right with me is that there’s no where to go from instalove - nowhere UP anyway. Thus it turns into a mess, r ...more
Ms. Mester
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, audiobooks
A star-crossed teen romance that's really about family secrets and dealing with trauma and how all of that emotional baggage affects your relationships. There's also lots of basketball. Adult me thought much of the relationship on/off drama was cringey but it will be so relatable to the teen audience. I really appreciated the focus on healing from toxic relationships and working on a better sense of self rather than relying on a partner to fix you - that's a message that can't be relayed enough ...more
Natasha Niezgoda
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it


Rex lost his mom and Carli’s folks are going through a divorce. Fate brings them together and their unique bond allows them to work through these very real, very raw emotions in the safety of love and understanding.

You guys. The teenaged love story aside, this book is a reflection of real life. Like I teared up several times because I felt those feelings of guilt, abandonment, avoidance, isolation, betrayal and being undeserving.

All The
I liked the characters and their personal struggles. There was some really good character development. All the characters had their own specific personalities and were all relatable in their own ways. I also loved the basketball involved because it is one of my favorite sports. The romance, however, didn’t really sell it for me because of the major instalove. The characters were a good couple, but they practically fell in love with each other before they even knew each other so it was a little h ...more
Aug 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was...not good. I'm honestly surprised that I disliked this book as much as I did. The premise sounded promising -- Black teens fall in love but also have their own family drama and traumas that they have to work through. Cool, we have some romance but side stories that keep the book from being all about teen ~*love*~.

Brief summary to start. Rex Carrington and Carli Alexander meet and instantly fall in love in a hard-to-believe way that could rival Shakespeare's best. Carli passes out at a
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Huge thanks to Harper Collins International for sending me an eARC through Edelweiss.

I love how the author describes basketball in the story. It makes the reader learn about the beauty of the said sports.

One thing I don’t like in the story is the plot line. It has insta-love or what we call love at first sight.

I’m not against instant love but the way their relation and meaning of instant love is mehhhhhh. Who in their right mind that when they saw the person for the first time in just like two t
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins or the advance Kindle copy of this book - it is out next Tuesday (6.9.20)! All opinions are my own.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this basketball-centric love story. High school juniors Rex and Carli attend different schools, where they are both basketball stars. Rex is a future NBA prospect; Carli can have her pick of college scholarships. When Red blows Carli a kiss before he shots a free throw, the pair’s paths converge on an emotional rollercoaster of a relationship.
Em(ily) Ann ♡︎♡︎♡︎ - theglitterybookworm_
3.75* rounded up. WOW i’m excited to highlight this author.
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A hard-hitting YA contemporary romance about two basketball-playing teens who meet by chance and fall in love. They experience first love, heartbreak, and strong family ties. Part realistic, part predictable but young readers will really resonate with the characters.
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well-written teenage romance complicated by family secrets and emotional losses. The basketball scenes might draw in sports fans who don't normally read books about relationships. ...more
Briuana Green
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful story of young love and heartbreak mixed with the love and pain that comes with family and secrets being kept.
Laura's Book Addiction
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
All the yeses to this book I was blown away and captivated from the first few pages the characters are amazing and that twist I never saw that coming.
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Starting off by saying, I’m aware I’m not exactly in the demographic that this book is aimed towards so I’m judging the book with that in mind. ATTWNK feels less like a romance novel and more of a coming-of-age with a romance as a subplot which I’m fine with. I honestly feel like I would’ve enjoyed it more if I was a bit younger.

We follow two troubled kids, Carli and Rex going through really difficult family issues while also trying to pursue a romantic relationship. Which for starters is hones
Emma Presnell
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Liara Tamani lives in Houston, Texas. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College. She is the author of the acclaimed Calling My Name, which was a 2018 PEN America Literary Award Finalist and a 2018 SCBWI Golden Kite Finalist, and All the Things We Never Knew.


1. Her friends call her Lili.

2. She believes that love is the most powerful th

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