Finished What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards. I received a copy for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“Spencer volunteers at the library. Sure, it’s community service, but he likes his work. Especially if it means getting to see Mallory.
Mallory spends a lot of time keeping her head down. When you’re sixteen and homeless, nothing matters more than being anonymous. But Spencer’s charm makes her want to be noticed.
Then sinister things start happening at the library. Mysterious symbols and terrifying warnings begin to appear, and management grows suspicious. Spencer and Mallory know a homeless teenager makes an easy target, and if they can’t find the real culprit soon, they could lose more than just their safe haven…”
I loved this book. The strange happenings at the library is much less central to the plot than the synopsis would have you believe, so be aware of that going in.
What’s actually going on (and what’s far more interesting anyway) are the internal issues with Spencer (what does he want to do with his life?) and the external issues with Mallory (her stepfather is awful and her mom isn’t much better—she’s initially a lovely woman, but she is so cowed by her husband, Charlie, that she becomes a lousy mom).
I was very concerned for Mallory. There’s nothing overtly awful with Charlie. He seems maybe a bit overprotective but there’s nothing he says that seems threatening. It’s more the way he says it and what’s in the pauses between his words. Mallory is so scared and this seems like a very rational response. I was so worried that Charlie would figure out where Mallory was. I didn’t know for sure what he would do, but there’s nothing that’s off the table, really.
I wasn’t worried for Spencer, really, but I hoped that he’d figure out how to be happy.
Everything about this book is completely gripping and even though it’s close to 400 pages, it felt so much shorter. Recommended.