Book Review: What They Don’t Know ARC by Nicole Maggi

Three secrets. One decision. A friendship that will change everything.

Find your own truth in this important, timely novel about reproductive rights.

Stay tuned in just a week to read an exclusive interview with Nicole herself and enter to win an early readers copy of What They Don’t Know!


Young Adult, Contemporary






October 2nd, 2018




Barnes and Noble

Book Depository


Author’s Website


Three secrets. One decision. A friendship that will change everything.

Find your own truth in this important, timely novel about reproductive rights.

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 Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her…all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.

Told through their journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie’s struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the girls on their journey.


Please be advised that while I try to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible, it is almost nearly impossible to do so. This is your warning to perhaps avoid the review until you’ve read the book!

There’s no real way to start this review except that I’ve been waiting for this book for what feels like ages and it was worth every single moment of it. I would have been excited for a Nicole Maggi book regardless but when I heard the subject that she was tackling in this book, I knew I must read it.

When you think about it, it is not often that any author, let alone a YA author tackles the controversial and not talked of enough subject of abortion. Without going into details, the subject is very personal to me, has been for quite a few years and so I knew this was a book that I had to read. I started it a few hours before I was going to bed and ended up staying up all night, my eyes and my emotions glued to the page.

Because Nicole writes an incredible story about the impossible choice, the choice that the world thinks is so easy to make but is actually a heart wrenching choice. She writes the heartbreak of a family that doesn’t always support you, who show you love for the person you present to be, not the person you are. She writes an incredible female friendship between the two main characters and she does it through journal entries and you feel every emotion, every bit of sadness and tension, every moment of indecision, every moment of love and fear. This book is so emotional, even for someone who is bursting with emotion at all times, and yet it works so well. It takes a subject that people spit on, that people dehumanize on a daily basis and makes it real, makes it so real that I don’t know how anyone could read this and not feel every single moment of it.

I also love that Nicole’s own feminism, which I know because of my friendship with her, is bursting from the pages but never once do I feel like she’s preaching to anyone. Both of her characters come from such different backgrounds, with such polar opposite beliefs and yet, you never feel like she favors one character over the other. She never says one person’s beliefs are better than the other. She does such a great job of presenting both sides, the side of someone who is taught everything about abortion is wrong and the side of someone who believes that it is the choice of the woman. But it never ever feels preachy and I feel so much for both girls, for what they believe and how those beliefs are challenged and how they blend together when they become friends.

This book made me cry my eyes out because of my own personal experiences and I have a feeling that it will do so with others as well. Its a subject made human and it couldn’t have come at a much better time. I think this book will do quite well when it is released this fall and I would encourage all readers to pick up this book, not just those who are firmly pro choice. I don’t push this book as something that could change your mind but I do think it makes abortion human, makes you realize that abortion is more than just a procedure done with ease but a hard choice that is made. I’m so grateful to Nicole for writing this book!


5 out of 5 Stars


Stay tuned later this month for an interview with Nicole and a chance at winning this ARC months before its release this October!


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