Book Review: These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

Title: These Things Hidden
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Details: Paperback, 400 pgs.
Published: Jan. 25th, 2011 by Mira
isbn: 0778328791 (ISBN13: 9780778328797)
Reading Level: Adult (but appropriate for younger readers)
Source: Mira 
I received an advanced copy for review purposes.

Allison Glenn tried to hide what happened that night…and failed. The consequence? Five years in prison. Now she’s free. But secrets have a way of keeping you caged…When Allison is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls’ golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult in her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces the whispered rumours every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It’s Brynn – shy, quiet Brynn – who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her. But then Allison is released, and is more determined than ever to speak with her sister. Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.

My Thoughts:

This was a crazy ride!  At first I didn’t know what was going on, what Allison had done that was so terrible.  So I flew through the pages dying to know.  In those pages I felt like I got to know Allison well enough that I couldn’t imagine she had truly done something horrible.  I couldn’t imagine why everyone would be so hateful toward her.  When I found out what her crime had been I just had to know WHY?!
This book alternates characters.  We go to know Allison, the center of it all and the one who just got out of prison.  We get to know her sister Brynn who is having a hard time dealing with her past, and her life in general.  We get to know Charm who takes care of her stepfather as he dies and is going to school to be a nurse.  Then we get to know Claire, the mother who adopted beautiful Joshua.  We don’t know how they all connect but as the story goes on we make connections.  At times we assume things or put the puzzle together only to find out that the pieces don’t fit.
A little past the middle I thought it was all figured out.  I wondered why the author let us know everything already and wondered if it was all going to just take a bit to wrap up.  But nope~ we don’t know everything.  There is still so much more to the story and it is one crazy emotional ride!  
Through the first half of the book I was really liking it.  I was thinking it was a 4 star book.  It was easy to read and hard to put down.  The mystery was intriguing and the characters were interesting.  But it was just past the middle that I realized that it was an amazing story.  It went from being really good to unbelievably good.  I couldn’t put the book down.  I locked myself in the bathroom to avoid interruptions and flew through the book.  I couldn’t stop reading!  The book is 400 pages, but I flew through it like it was 200.  
This is an adult book, but I would say it’s definitely appropriate for older young adults or young adults used to reading adult books.  

You can find Heather Gudenkauf on her website.
You can purchase at your favorite bookstore or through any of my affiliate links.  All money made is used to fund contests on this blog.
Disclosure: I received this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or compensated in any way.

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