Adriyanna Zimmermann's Reviews > Every Hidden Thing

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2018-white-pine, hist-fic

This was a 4-4.5 for me.

EVERY HIDDEN THING by Kenneth Oppel is an entertaining, dinosaur-digging, adventure novel with a hint of Romeo and Juliet. I absolutely loved this and I suspect that after its publication, there'll be a big increase in kids wanting to be palaeontologists. Set during the 19th century and inspired in part by "The Bone Wars", this book follows two teenagers who are determined to find this infamous dinosaur with the power to change lives.

Fairly early on the reader is able to figure out what dinosaur Samuel and Rachel are on the hunt for, but this doesn't deter from the novel. I was still completely enthralled, I think even knowing the dinosaur made it more entertaining. It's all about the journey, the thrill of the chase. This dinosaur can change someone's career, so there's also that element of "what if they don't find it".

This book is in first person point of view (POV) and alternates between Rachel Cartland and Samuel Bolt. These two teenagers are quite similar; both of their mothers are dead and their fathers loathe each other, always trying to beat the other when it comes to their field of science: palaeontology. Rachel's father believes one should have a university degree and the fact that Samuel's father has published more papers than him and doesn't have a degree really grinds his gears. This is where the "Romeo and Juliet" theme comes in. Sometimes the POV would switch within chapters so the author uses a different font style to make the difference clear to the reader. I found the transition wasn't always smooth and even with the difference in font style, I would still miss the switch.

I loved the romance between Rachel and Samuel and felt it was so realistic! Neither of the two really hate each other but their parents' rivalry does find ways in. The two have an instant attraction to each other, but there's also anger, doubt, jealousy, etc. Oppel is fantastic with this.

This book is set during the 19th century and the author never names a specific time (if he did I missed it), which I felt was both a positive and negative. I like being able to imagine everything, down to the exact time. This being fiction, I think not naming it helps with that. There are some things in this novel that have to be changed to fit the story.


This being the 19th century, the field of palaeontology is largely made up of white men. Rachel herself has a hard time being taken seriously, as a white woman. The majority of characters are white; the only POC are secondary/minor characters. The rep didn't seem terrible, but I'm not the sort of reviewer who can confirm this. I do think it could have been better. The dinosaur Rachel and Samuel are searching for, was found about a decade or two before by a Sioux man. I think the two characters should have said if they found this dinosaur that man should be credited. I have no idea if anything like that happened in real life, but I feel it would have been the right choice. Someone might say maybe it happens after the novel ended. If I didn't see it happen on the page, I as the reader cannot assume anything.


*Review may still be edited/added to.

I received an advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

February 3, 2016 – Shelved
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
September 5, 2016 – Started Reading
September 5, 2016 –
page 10
September 14, 2016 – Finished Reading
October 16, 2017 – Shelved as: 2018-white-pine
October 16, 2017 – Shelved as: hist-fic

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