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Hidden Pieces

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Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Embry thinks she’ll have Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move...is murder.


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Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Embry thinks she’ll have Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move...is murder.

30 review for Hidden Pieces

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paula Stokes

    FOR EARLY REVIEWERS: As usual, I made a lot of little tweaks to the ARC, however they're almost all cosmetic, deleting word echoes, removing repetitive passages, clarifying the timeline, adding in a couple of transitions, and strengthening a couple of chapter endings. There are no changes that affect the overarching plot or mystery, though I did pull back on a couple of "clues", trying to hit that sweet spot where most readers won't guess the culprit early on, but afterward the reveals will feel FOR EARLY REVIEWERS: As usual, I made a lot of little tweaks to the ARC, however they're almost all cosmetic, deleting word echoes, removing repetitive passages, clarifying the timeline, adding in a couple of transitions, and strengthening a couple of chapter endings. There are no changes that affect the overarching plot or mystery, though I did pull back on a couple of "clues", trying to hit that sweet spot where most readers won't guess the culprit early on, but afterward the reveals will feel sort of inevitable. One thing I definitely did was weave in too many references to the title--it's so easy when you're writing to see a small thing link up to an overarching theme and think AHA! I MUST EMPHASIZE THIS!--but yeah, less is more, so you'll see way fewer mentions of "hidden pieces" in the final book :) As usual, if you're someone who wants to see how a book changes from ARC to published version or verify quotes before reviewing, feel free to contact me via the contact info on my website and I can provide you detailed information about the final edits. This story was hard for me to write because originally it was a very slick and streamlined plot-centered "OMG what if this happened??" idea, but the more I wrote, the more I realized that the driving force behind the mystery was more complex than I originally envisioned. Also, as much as I love to read a fast-paced, plot-driven thriller, when I write I feel compelled to dig deep into my characters, exploring how their histories, worldviews, social statuses, etc. affect the choices they make. So, HIDDEN PIECES isn't just a thriller about a girl with a secret who's being stalked by a stranger. It's also a book about friendship and family dynamics, an exploration of how socioeconomic status can weigh on almost every aspect of a person's life, and a story of self discovery. There's no doubt that Embry is flawed, but she grows and changes throughout the story. I enjoyed writing her journey. I hope you enjoy reading it. ETA: If you're interested in learning more about the book's setting, content, infidelity subplot, or possible mental health issues present, check out this blog post.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••

    RATING: 3/5 This is basically Pretty Little Liars but with least interesting characters and a more basic plot. e-ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review Paula Stokes, author of Liars, Inc, delivers a twisted psychological tale about Embry Woods, who is both praised as a town hero and haunted by secrets she must hide to keep her loved ones alive In comparison to Liars, Inc, which I read a couple of years ago, this book is an improvement. However, it still falls in the ''average'' RATING: 3/5 This is basically Pretty Little Liars but with least interesting characters and a more basic plot. e-ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review Paula Stokes, author of Liars, Inc, delivers a twisted psychological tale about Embry Woods, who is both praised as a town hero and haunted by secrets she must hide to keep her loved ones alive In comparison to Liars, Inc, which I read a couple of years ago, this book is an improvement. However, it still falls in the ''average'' category for lack of a solid plot or engaging characters. I could tell from the first few chapters that I wasn't going to love this. I figured it was worth a shot, since most of the books I read are 3 stars (in other words, I'm usually drawn to average contemporaries). I hoped the big reveal at the end would make up for the book's flaws. This was not the case, however. After we're introduced to Embry Woods, our teenage main character, an event occurs that sets the story in motion. An inn called the Sea Cliff is set on fire and she is partially responsible (not spoiling anything guys, it's in the synopsis). Things take a turn when Embry rescues a homeless guy trapped inside the building. The town learns of this ''heroic'' act and she earns the title of hero. But someone is not happy about all the attention our main character is getting and that's where the trouble starts... Issues I had with this book: 1)The characters were clichés 2)the plot didn't sit well with me and 3)everything that was happening felt incredibly unnecessary. If someone is threatening to hurt you or your loved ones...YOU ASK FOR HELP! And I don't mean telling your friend or your boyfriend. Why are there policemen if not for this specific situations? The ending wasn't bad. It wasn't good either but I wouldn't categorize it as bad. Could it have been better? Definitely. But I can understand what the author was going for. It's hard to write unpredictable finales these days because we've basically seen it all. Not everything is explained at the end. I still don't know how the blackmailer managed to do pull of their scheme and remain undetected. But do I really care about those details? Not really. In conclusion, it may sound like I hate this but I don't. If I had read it a couple of years ago, I probably would have loved it. Present-day me is not that easy to please I guess.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I am always up for one of Paula’s books because I have always enjoyed her stories. I loved Embry, even though I wanted to shake her. She’s so loyal and so good, it was easy for me to root for her right away. Yes, she’s stubborn af, but it makes sense why she chooses some of the things she does, and I enjoyed seeing her grow. Holden is adorable and the dynamic between him and Embry was equally as adorable. He pushes when he needs to and backs off when she needs it. And hello to healthy communicat I am always up for one of Paula’s books because I have always enjoyed her stories. I loved Embry, even though I wanted to shake her. She’s so loyal and so good, it was easy for me to root for her right away. Yes, she’s stubborn af, but it makes sense why she chooses some of the things she does, and I enjoyed seeing her grow. Holden is adorable and the dynamic between him and Embry was equally as adorable. He pushes when he needs to and backs off when she needs it. And hello to healthy communication. Plot wise, it was delicious. Some parts did feel a bit drawn out, but I loooooooooved the tension and the not knowing. That feeling of not trusting anyone is my favorite in a book like this, and I figured everyone had something to do with it. The slow burn build up made for a satisfying reveal and ending. And while I wanted more from the epilogue because I’m greedy, it was great for the book. Overall, another captivating story with excellent characters. I can’t wait to see what Paula writes next. **Huge thanks to Harper Teen and Paula for providing the arc free of charge**

  4. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars I am always excited to read a Paula Stokes book for a myriad of reasons. First and foremost, she always entertains me. No matter what genre Stokes' story falls into, I find myself fully invested in it. As I read Hidden Pieces, I recalled my very first Stokes book - Liars, Inc. This book had that same tangled-web, twisty sort of plot, but there was a lot more to it. The heart of the book was finding out who the blackmailer, "Unknown", was, but it was also about so many other thing Rating: 4.5 Stars I am always excited to read a Paula Stokes book for a myriad of reasons. First and foremost, she always entertains me. No matter what genre Stokes' story falls into, I find myself fully invested in it. As I read Hidden Pieces, I recalled my very first Stokes book - Liars, Inc. This book had that same tangled-web, twisty sort of plot, but there was a lot more to it. The heart of the book was finding out who the blackmailer, "Unknown", was, but it was also about so many other things. One theme, which played a big part in the book was honesty. Embry started keeping a lot of secrets, and though some were to protect people she loved, more were to protect herself. These secrets spawned lies, which multiplied into some serious trouble. Right there we have the idea of honesty in its simplest form, but then there were all the parts of herself that Embry kept locked away. A lot of that was because she could not be honest with herself. I liked the way Stokes worked with this theme, and thought it added an extra layer and depth to the story. Embry intrigued me. She was really hard on herself, and though I would agree some of her choices were less than stellar, I thought she had a good heart. She showed this time and time again in the book via her actions. I knew it seemed as though some of her decisions were born out of guilt, but even guilty people wouldn't do some of the things she did, and I was glad she had Holden to help her see this. Holden was someone, who really saw Embry. He saw all of her, and was one of the few people who was able to penetrate her walls. Their relationship was one of my favorite parts of the book. I am always up for a good romance featuring a guy as wonderful as Holden, and this one really made me happy. Onto the plot! This was revenge type thriller, where an unknown assailant was blackmailing Embry. The threats were real and the stakes were high. "Unknown", as they are referred to in the book, had Embry fraying at the edges and had me biting my nails. It got to a point where I felt like I couldn't trust ANYone. That's what a great job Stokes did pointing us in the direction of different characters and planting red herrings. I had three of my guesses blown to shreds, and will honestly admit, that I didn't realize who really did it, until they were practically unmasked. It was surprising, but once I knew, and backtracked, I could see how it was possible. I will mention what I am seeing in other reviews. Yes, there was a little bit of cheating, BUT when you read the whole story, I think you will be able to forgive Embry. As for Embry's overseas Army "boyfriend", I will evoke the Ross and Rachel clause, and state - they were on a break. But don't worry, because although Stokes softens the blow, she does NOT let the characters get away with it. Embry suffers the consequences of her bad decisions over and over again in this book. The biggest difference between Liars, Inc and Hidden Pieces was the ending. I was really surprised with what a wonderful ending Stokes gifted me in Hidden Pieces. I wasn't expecting that much, but was so overjoyed with it. Overall: Another fantastic Paula Stokes book, which had me biting my nails and happy crying. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Contemporary *Rating* 3.0 *Thoughts* Paula Stokes' Hidden Pieces is a twisted mystery surrounding protagonist Embry Woods and the events surrounding what happened on the day of December 11. On December 11, Embry and her boyfriend Holden Hassler accidentally start a fire at the Sea Cliff Inn. In order to avoid trouble, Holden leaves while Embry realizes that someone is still inside. Risking life and limb, she rescues a homeless man and is cheered on as a local *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Contemporary *Rating* 3.0 *Thoughts* Paula Stokes' Hidden Pieces is a twisted mystery surrounding protagonist Embry Woods and the events surrounding what happened on the day of December 11. On December 11, Embry and her boyfriend Holden Hassler accidentally start a fire at the Sea Cliff Inn. In order to avoid trouble, Holden leaves while Embry realizes that someone is still inside. Risking life and limb, she rescues a homeless man and is cheered on as a local hero. Only Embry and Holden know the real truth about what happened on that day. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* http://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/201...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Hidden Pieces is a YA contemporary book that is part mystery, part thriller and part romance. The narrator is 17 year old Embry (girl -1st person POV). The book is set in Three Rocks, a small town along the Oregon Coast. This book looks at a lot of issues: friendship, single parenthood, cheating, financial difficulties, secrets... Embry was a very interesting narrator. She is mostly a good kid. But she keeps lots of secrets and she closes herself off from those around her. It took me a little bit o Hidden Pieces is a YA contemporary book that is part mystery, part thriller and part romance. The narrator is 17 year old Embry (girl -1st person POV). The book is set in Three Rocks, a small town along the Oregon Coast. This book looks at a lot of issues: friendship, single parenthood, cheating, financial difficulties, secrets... Embry was a very interesting narrator. She is mostly a good kid. But she keeps lots of secrets and she closes herself off from those around her. It took me a little bit of time to really get into this story. But by 1/3 it became much more interesting. Embry and her friend Holden get caught doing something and someone knows. There is a video and emails and there is a whole mystery about who knows Embry's secrets. I found this mystery to be very intriguing. And I enjoyed it a lot. There were a couple of reveals that I found a bit obvious. And I even guessed the guilty party. But it was very interesting to find out why everything happened. This book is an interesting combination of Young Adult romance, mystery and thriller. And I ended up enjoying the story. Thanks to edelweiss and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* This was a fun mystery, if a little predictable. I will say that I did figure out who the anonymous note sender was fairly early on, but I was invested enough in the story to keep going to see if I was right! (I was, but still.) Embry and her terrible life choices pulled me in fairly quickly. Here's the thing: Embry isn't particularly likable, she's just... an average girl and I kind You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* This was a fun mystery, if a little predictable. I will say that I did figure out who the anonymous note sender was fairly early on, but I was invested enough in the story to keep going to see if I was right! (I was, but still.) Embry and her terrible life choices pulled me in fairly quickly. Here's the thing: Embry isn't particularly likable, she's just... an average girl and I kind of liked that. She made a ton of mistakes but I always understood why her character would make such choices, and it was rather refreshing to see a flawed character portrayed in such a realistic way.  And she was a good person, which helps. No matter her decisions, she wasn't bad. She was just a teen girl trying to navigate the messy world of high school, and boys, and friends. With a little accidental arson and a potential killer thrown in. Was it a little campy at times? Yeah, it was, but in a fun way. Love interest Holden was funny and sweet, and I loved reading as Embry wrestled with her feelings for him. Her relationship with her mother was also really well developed, which I loved.  While I did figure out some the twists early on, the conclusion was quite satisfying while not being too tidy. Overall, a pretty solid book- and certainly entertaining!  Bottom Line: Perhaps not wholly shocking, but I enjoyed the character development and the air of mystery regardless! 

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    I am a bit conflicted. There were parts I absolutely loved, but some I struggled with and I am not even sure why - I just felt the need to skim through some chapters. Though I guessed who might be sending the messages, it was interesting to understand why things happened the way they did, so I still enjoyed the ride. There was also half-good communication - which is a good thing, because we didn't wait for the very last page for some things to settle (and some characters to make some particular I am a bit conflicted. There were parts I absolutely loved, but some I struggled with and I am not even sure why - I just felt the need to skim through some chapters. Though I guessed who might be sending the messages, it was interesting to understand why things happened the way they did, so I still enjoyed the ride. There was also half-good communication - which is a good thing, because we didn't wait for the very last page for some things to settle (and some characters to make some particular confessions), but the requests were creepy (!!! Like go-to-the-fucking-police-already creepy), though it's not like the character didn't try to look at things from all angles.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jazmen

    If I could describe Hidden Pieces in one word, it'd be trivial. Awash with petty secrets, horny teenagers--and avoidable mistakes--Hidden Pieces was the last season of Pretty Little Liars--over. While this story had a lot of potential to solidify itself as a great thriller--it was drowned out by what I felt was petty foolishness. Embry, is keeping pieces of herself hidden, hence the title--however, her secrets, although potentially hurtful--were superficial at the surface. *Cheating trigger ahead* Sh If I could describe Hidden Pieces in one word, it'd be trivial. Awash with petty secrets, horny teenagers--and avoidable mistakes--Hidden Pieces was the last season of Pretty Little Liars--over. While this story had a lot of potential to solidify itself as a great thriller--it was drowned out by what I felt was petty foolishness. Embry, is keeping pieces of herself hidden, hence the title--however, her secrets, although potentially hurtful--were superficial at the surface. *Cheating trigger ahead* She's keeping secrets from her Mom, her best friend--and maybe even herself. Embry is in this weird space of trying to figure herself out--all the while trying to maintain some small piece of happiness for herself--which is fair, but the way it all happens is kind of wrong. Amidst this back and forth inner angst, and secrecy--she becomes the target of a stalker--so to speak. This person, who was dubbed "Unknown," like his/her name and phone number--has decided to be the reaper. The reaper of consequences and redemption, no matter the outcome. He/she sends threatening messages, texts, and emails. She'll do as they say--or suffer the consequences. In a very "A"-esque fashion, this person has her acting out their very whims--even if it means someone might wind up dying. As a huge fan of this type of scenario--this is what initially pulled me into the book--but it is also the part that let me down. Despite the fact that Embry's life is in complete shambles both figuratively, and literally--she can't seem to help herself from getting hot under the collar, and away from her clothes with her "love interest," at times I felt like--that should be the farthest thing from her mine. It's possible it was their way of coping, but it made their relationship seem frivolous and not at all worth the risks they were taking. As for supporting characters--I don't have much to say about them as I felt their roles were superficial as well. Not that they weren't needed, but they only served as reason for Embry to both divulge and keep secrets. I didn't feel too much of an emotional connection from Embry to them--aside from her tears...and as I am writing this--I think that was the main issue I had with the story itself. Although one is want to believe that all of this is about her protection of her loved ones--but, aside from her Mom, Embry seemed emotionless--as if acting out of survival instead of care. Don't get me wrong, the book is absolutely not terrible, it's just pretty meh on the scale of meh-to-great. Many of you who have issues with cheating characters--won't be pleased with this story--and although I typically, am not deterred by cheaters--this one kind of rubbed me the wrong way; because of the underlying feeling of selfishness. Also, the big reveal--was disappointing--but I've come not to expect much from YA thrillers. BUT, to be honest, I really thought the author was going to take this portion of the book, and blow me away--the wind barely moved my hair. *shrugs shoulders* Such is the life of YA mystery/thriller. I'm not here to trash this book, but it was pretty disappointing--and I have to be honest about that. This book is going to work for some of you, but it's a no for me. Slated for a late summer release--it will give you plenty of time to think about, whether or not this book is for you. I've said my piece--and I said what I said.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica (a GREAT read)

    I received this ARC from the author in a contest that I won on Instagram. My review is completely honest and voluntary; I was in no way compensated for this review. Paula Stokes wowed me with her thrilling and fast-paced Vicarious duology, so I was excited to read her next thriller, Hidden Pieces. It was definitely something different from what I was expecting, as the heroine was a just a little hard to like in the beginning, but she grew on me as the story went along. It was quite a twisted myst I received this ARC from the author in a contest that I won on Instagram. My review is completely honest and voluntary; I was in no way compensated for this review. Paula Stokes wowed me with her thrilling and fast-paced Vicarious duology, so I was excited to read her next thriller, Hidden Pieces. It was definitely something different from what I was expecting, as the heroine was a just a little hard to like in the beginning, but she grew on me as the story went along. It was quite a twisted mystery too, one that led to deadly consequences. Embry is our heroine, she’s a senior in high school and has been dealing with quite a bit lately; her mom is battling cancer and is finishing up her treatments so that the cancer will hopefully be gone, she’s a on a break with her boyfriend who’s over in Afghanistan in the army and she has yet to work up the courage to break it off with him because she’s been seeing another guy while he’s away, her best friend’s ex-boyfriend in fact and they’ve been keeping their relationship a secret. It’s when Embry is with Holden at a closed-for-the-season hotel that things get complicated. They were in the hotel by candlelight and had a little bit of alcohol with them and when they started getting a little hot and heavy, a fire breaks out among the candles. Fearing the serious trouble that they could get into they evacuate and call the fire department, it’s while Embry is waiting to make sure they come that she sees a shadow inside the burning building, someone was still inside. She rushes to help without even thinking and is alter claimed to be a hero. Though no one knows that she and Holden were the ones that caused the fire, accidentally of course. Then Embry gets a text message, one that gives her chills. Someone knows what she did. Someone knows exactly what happened and they urge Embry to confess in public or something very bad will happen to someone she cares about. Embry is terrified, not only that she’s being threatened but that someone else was there that night. It makes her wonder if there could’ve been someone else in the hotel with the homeless guy she rescued. When she fails to comply with the stalker’s demands things start to fall apart very quickly as terrible things begin to happen and more threats are continually made and acted out. This was a pretty chilling read in some sense! I mean, the whole idea of there being someone who saw you in a private moment is creepy. Not only that, but Embry and Holden are guilty of causing a fire and some serious destruction to the hotel and they fear the consequences that will come from that financially. Embry and her mom are not that well off due to her mom’s illness and are barely scraping by. But when the stalker wants Embry to commit crime after crime in order to appease his whims, Embry decides it’s time to fight back. I felt like I knew who the stalker was fairly early on though. To be honest, I had two suspects, ones that I felt highly suspicious of and I just knew one of them had to do it. I was leaning more towards one based on a few facts and I was pleased to find that I ended up being right! Though one of my conclusions about some of the events was totally wrong, which that kind of blew me away a bit! Not the fact that I was wrong, but by the event itself! One thing that kind of nagged at me when I started this one was that Embry was a just a tad unlikeable. I mean, I know Holden and her best friend broke up, but she herself was still in some sort of relationship with her boyfriend despite the break. Honestly, it goes back to that early season of Friends when Ross and Rachel were on a “break” and yet Ross slept with someone, whose side did you take? It just felt a little wrong that she was moving onto a new relationship while her boyfriend overseas thinks everything is just fine, despite the “break” being installed. That was really one of the main reasons I found her hard to like in the beginning, I really don’t like cheaters and yes “breaks” might be hard to define for some people but unless there’s an “up”, I feel like you’re still in a relationship. One thing I did like about Embry though was that she was a sort of complicated character. She wasn’t Miss Popular or Miss Perfect. She was pretty flawed, though I didn’t care for one of those flaws. Her other ones made her human and relatable. She was dealing with a lot of things beyond the stalker issue and the pressing secret of the fire. Her life was in turmoil before all this chaos and it’s not that I liked that happening to her, it was just refreshing to see a fictional character deal with the intense struggles people face in reality every day. Other than that, I did really enjoy Hidden Pieces! The mystery was intense and scary as this stalker holds nothing back when it comes to ruining Embry’s life. It was deeply chilling, though I felt like the ending was just a little too clean. That or I’ve become used to the more vague endings some thrillers tend to end in. I truly hope Paula isn’t done with thrillers yet because she definitely has a knack for this genre! Overall Rating 4/5 stars Hidden Pieces releases August 28, 2018

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    3.5 stars I loved Stokes' Girl Against the Universe, and was very excited to hear she was coming out with another book! I hadn't read any of her mysteries before this, but Hidden Pieces sounded AWESOME. And it was definitely better than I expected (my expectations for mystery/thriller are honestly kinda low), but I did think that this was a pretty solid read! It's easier to start with the negatives first, and there were honestly only two things that I wasn't a huge fan of. First, I felt like honestl 3.5 stars I loved Stokes' Girl Against the Universe, and was very excited to hear she was coming out with another book! I hadn't read any of her mysteries before this, but Hidden Pieces sounded AWESOME. And it was definitely better than I expected (my expectations for mystery/thriller are honestly kinda low), but I did think that this was a pretty solid read! It's easier to start with the negatives first, and there were honestly only two things that I wasn't a huge fan of. First, I felt like honestly all of this could have been avoided if the character wasn't as...negligent? Was more honest? Like, I sort of facepalmed because I felt like the main character just could have avoided this whole situation better if she was honest with the start. And I don't mean just with the burning the house down thing (which I actually felt she was reasonably justified in not telling anyone because money, but still boo?), but with the whole not telling her boyfriend thing too. I just felt like the who reason why the plot happened could have been avoided if the main character was a little more honest. But, I do realize that this is partly because of character flaws etc., but I always get a wee bit frustrated with plots that could have been completely avoided if one thing did/did not happen. The other thing that made this less appealing to me was that I predicted the blackmail/murderer from a little before the halfway point. Which never happens to me. I'm pretty terrible at guessing these things and I definitely probably am getting better at guessing killers, but I also felt like Stokes didn't include enough red herrings to make it hard to guess. Like, it was pretty easy to rule out the obvious ones (and you know the murderer is usually a side character) and there weren't many other characters left, so I intuitively knew who it had to be just based on mystery/thriller tropes in general. I definitely wished it was more twisty, but there were still a lot of pluses to this! I LOVED the blackmail aspect. Like, those were chilling and dangerous and super cool. I think Stokes did a really great job of building those up and making Embry distressed and everything. It definitely felt like there weren't a lot of options and you really felt what Embry was going through. Plus, this book just totally sped by. It was really easy to digest, and even though I didn't have a lot of time, I wanted to find out what happened next and I wanted to keep reading, which is more than I can say for a lot of books I don't connect with. So even though this didn't end up being perfect for me, I was invested and interested and I enjoyed being chilled by all the danger! Definitely recommend if you're in the mood for a story featuring blackmail and characters who don't have any good options... Thank you so much to Harper Collins for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!

  12. 4 out of 5

    heather

    I love a good psychological thriller. Especially when you are not sure whom is doing what until the very end. This book gave me just that. I had my assumptions but was surprised at whom the culprit was once everything was revealed. The very first chapter of this book is what caught my attention. I am a sucker for a love triangle and just can't get enough of them. Our main character of Embry had dated Luke forever but Luke joined the military and went over sea's to serve so she decided that they s I love a good psychological thriller. Especially when you are not sure whom is doing what until the very end. This book gave me just that. I had my assumptions but was surprised at whom the culprit was once everything was revealed. The very first chapter of this book is what caught my attention. I am a sucker for a love triangle and just can't get enough of them. Our main character of Embry had dated Luke forever but Luke joined the military and went over sea's to serve so she decided that they should take a break. In the meantime, she starts hanging out with Holden and that is where her problems start brewing. I really was unable to tell whom the person was that was terrorizing Embry, to the point of harming her loved ones for the things she had done. Was it her best friend? Was it Luke? I had even found myself questioning Holden since he was not around when her text messages would arrive but I was not prepared for what had really been going on! The writer did a very good job at keeping her secret until the very end and not giving too much away throughout the book. I really did enjoy the book but was not a huge fan of the main character of Embry. Hence the three star rating. She seemed a bit whiny to me and very wishy-washy. I also was not a huge fan of her relationship with Holden and did not really feel the love so to speak. My whole force behind reading was the thrilling aspect of the ending. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jen Ryland

    This felt very PLL but I liked (early) PLL and enjoyed this book. I thought the book did a great job of showing how, as Embry made choice after choice, her lies and betrayals got progressively worse. However, there were not that many possible suspects. (view spoiler)[ I thought the mystery person was her boyfriend, who knew about the cheating and was somehow on leave and decided to torture her. (hide spoiler)] (If cheating/love triangles are a dealbreaker for you, then this is not the book for yo This felt very PLL but I liked (early) PLL and enjoyed this book. I thought the book did a great job of showing how, as Embry made choice after choice, her lies and betrayals got progressively worse. However, there were not that many possible suspects. (view spoiler)[ I thought the mystery person was her boyfriend, who knew about the cheating and was somehow on leave and decided to torture her. (hide spoiler)] (If cheating/love triangles are a dealbreaker for you, then this is not the book for you.) Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Check out my Bookstagram! Or check out my Jen In Ten reviews on Youtube - get the lowdown on current books in 10-30 seconds! I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher for possible review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    - ̗̀ DANY ̖́- (danyreads)

    . : ☾⋆ — 3 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!! https://bit.ly/2OsFdUb ARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you HarperCollins/HarperTeen!!) Hidden Pieces follows Embry Woods, a girl with many secrets, who accidentally commits arson while hooking up with her best friend’s ex-boyfriend. she concocts a plan to leave the crime scene and remain blameless, but after receiving a series of increasingly threatening messages blackmailing her over her role in the . : ☾⋆ — 3 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!! https://bit.ly/2OsFdUb ARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you HarperCollins/HarperTeen!!) Hidden Pieces follows Embry Woods, a girl with many secrets, who accidentally commits arson while hooking up with her best friend’s ex-boyfriend. she concocts a plan to leave the crime scene and remain blameless, but after receiving a series of increasingly threatening messages blackmailing her over her role in the fire, Embry is pushed into a dark series of events surrounding her family and loved ones that could potentially end her life—or somebody else’s—if she doesn’t make the right choice.  this book has A LOT of potential. i’m a little conflicted because, for a mystery/thriller book, Hidden Pieces wasn’t anything new. it was pretty formulaic to be honest, and other than the blackmailing thing, we really aren’t given a solid plot because this is a heavily character driven book. it isn’t to say that i didn’t enjoy myself, completely the opposite. this book was a lot of fun!! i love mystery/thriller books where you feel like you honestly can’t trust any of the characters, and i also love the satisfying feeling of getting to exclaim “i knew it!” when the mysterious bad guy is revealed.  i do believe, however, that this book could’ve been sooooo much better. or just that it was too simple for me to take it seriously. a lot of things in this book could’ve been avoided had Embry just asked for help, either from the police or her best friend Julia or even her mom. she was really stubborn for no reason about wanting to figure things out on her own, and like, a good two-thirds of this book were just the consequences of Embry’s bad decisions and worse logical thinking.  Hidden Pieces was just above average, but there was something missing. i don’t know. i feel like the events of the book weren’t really momentous in the character’s lives. nothing of transcendence really happened other than the hotel burning down (and even that wasn’t really important, to be honest). this book was fun and i enjoyed myself while reading, but i feel like it still might’ve had a long way to go in regards to plot development and originality. it really wasn’t anything that i haven’t already seen/read a thousand times before. still a great time, though!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves 💕 books📖, cats😻 and naps🛏

    Embry and Holden, not her boyfriend, hook up at an abandoned hotel, accidentally setting it ablaze. They were not alone. Someone videoed their encounter and sends Embry threatening messages. Escalating threats make finding the blackmailer essential, before somebody ends up dead. I haven’t read a thriller recently that left me holding my breath, clenching my fists and shake in a very long time. Most thrillers are more mystery than thrilling. Paula Stokes did such a great job escalating tension fro Embry and Holden, not her boyfriend, hook up at an abandoned hotel, accidentally setting it ablaze. They were not alone. Someone videoed their encounter and sends Embry threatening messages. Escalating threats make finding the blackmailer essential, before somebody ends up dead. I haven’t read a thriller recently that left me holding my breath, clenching my fists and shake in a very long time. Most thrillers are more mystery than thrilling. Paula Stokes did such a great job escalating tension from the first blackmail letter to the reveal of the culprit. HIDDEN PIECES never dipped in intensity. The mystery aspect of the story had many plausible suspects, one who was the actual perp. Embry is sympathetic and complex. She cheats on her overseas boyfriend, afraid to break up with him, lies to friends and her mom and makes some stupid, but understandable decisions. Most of all, she doesn’t want to let people down or lose relationships. I adored Holden, who was also no stranger to terrible choices. Family, class, commitment and friendship are at the heart of HIDDEN PIECES. I would have read the book in one sitting, but reluctantly had to go out for a bit. HIDDEN PIECES is a slow burn that will keep you guessing until the very end. My heart is still thumping.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    This dragged more than I thought/hoped it would. The lead was bland, the romance was bland, the mystery was bland--seriously, nothing really happened until the last few chapters. And when it finally did--when we finally found out why all of these things were happening to Embry--eh, not as big of a shocker or as much of an impact as I'd expected. Next.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    Loved this book! Cruised through it faster than any other I’ve recently read. Desperately wanted to skip to the end to know but I didn’t and was surprised! Loved the MC who is definitely flawed but is well fleshed out and I ‘got’ why she made some of the decisions she did. Excellent thriller, definitely recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    Embry Woods is facing a difficult time in her life. Her mom, her only parent, has been battling cancer and, though she seems to have beaten it, there is still the uncertainty about the future. Partially because she's a single mother and partially because of her cancer, things aren't going well at her business. Embry has never met her dad. He and her mom had an affair that resulted in her birth. He sends support but he has a wife and two boys who are older than Embry. Embry also has boyfriend issu Embry Woods is facing a difficult time in her life. Her mom, her only parent, has been battling cancer and, though she seems to have beaten it, there is still the uncertainty about the future. Partially because she's a single mother and partially because of her cancer, things aren't going well at her business. Embry has never met her dad. He and her mom had an affair that resulted in her birth. He sends support but he has a wife and two boys who are older than Embry. Embry also has boyfriend issues. Her boyfriend Luke has joined the service as a medic and is pressuring her to marry him. She encouraged him to take a break from their relationship but his is so certain that she feels the same way about his plans for their future. Unfortunately, she does not. She doesn't know what she wants her future to be like. She does know that she has a new relationship with her best friend's ex. Holden is someone she can talk to. They are also hooking up though she is determined to think of him as a friend but not a boyfriend. One night she and Holden met up at the closed Sea Cliff Inn to spend some time together. Accidentally, they start a fire. Embry sends Holden away, since his mom is a cop who would wonder how he got in, before she calls 911. As she is waiting for the fire department to arrive, she sees a silhouette in an upstairs window and rushes in to rescue a homeless guy. Her rescue of Sam makes her a hero in the town. She's the only one who knows that she's the cause of the fire. Until the first blackmail text arrives... Embry is really conflicted about doing what the blackmailer demands or telling the truth about the night of the fire. She and Holden try very hard to find out who the unknown blackmailer is. Along the way she suspects a number of people including Holden and her best friend Julia. This was quite a page turner. I couldn't read fast enough to find out who was blackmailing Embry and what she was going to do about it. Despite the fact that Embry was excessively secretive, I enjoyed her character. I loved her devotion to her mother and to her best friend. I empathized with her as she struggled to let down her old boyfriend and take a chance on having a new one. Mystery fans will enjoy this story and enjoy getting to know Embry.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amber at Fall Into Books

    1.5 stars. I really wanted to like this book. The synopsis had me hooked, and I couldn't wait to dive into it. However, this is one of the lamest "thrillers" I've ever read. The writing is subpar - all telling and no showing, the characters aren't likable, and the mystery/thriller aspect isn't very mysterious or thrilling. The only reason I gave this book a D- instead of an F is because I was actually able to finish it. Embry is not a likable character at all. She whines and insults herself cons 1.5 stars. I really wanted to like this book. The synopsis had me hooked, and I couldn't wait to dive into it. However, this is one of the lamest "thrillers" I've ever read. The writing is subpar - all telling and no showing, the characters aren't likable, and the mystery/thriller aspect isn't very mysterious or thrilling. The only reason I gave this book a D- instead of an F is because I was actually able to finish it. Embry is not a likable character at all. She whines and insults herself constantly. She thinks she's a terrible person all the time, and she sounds like a broken record about it. Because of this, she makes stupid decisions and is too scared to be up front and honest with anyone in her life. There isn't much to respect about her, really. She's not very strong, even though she had been through a lot before the book started. Holden was a nice enough guy, but he changed mid-book, and it didn't really seem to fit. It seemed like two completely different people, and that was jarring... the change was pretty much for no reason, too. No transformative experiences happened to him. The secondary characters are all clichés, so I'm not even going to waste time talking about them. Even the creepo of the story is boring. The writing for this book isn't that good. This author didn't actually show anything. No pictures were painted. It was all Embry telling us stuff. There were very few scenes where she wasn't just going on about whatever her problem was for that minute. It was too much in her head and not enough in the outside world. The pacing is ridiculously slow. The person who is asking her to do absolutely stupid things comes up with even dumber "punishments," and there was no edge of your seat feeling to it because the whole concept felt thrown together at the last minute. It was like Jiminy Cricket had gone rogue or something... the whole "just be honest" message was too strong and ridiculous for anyone to buy into. It just didn't feel like a scary situation. It was just stupid. The supposed climax of the storing was boring and ridiculous. The ending was dull. Overall, I'd say skip this book. There are a lot of other thrillers out there that have deeper characters, better writing, and a plot that isn't just ridiculous.

  20. 4 out of 5

    DJ

    I really liked this story! It was fast paced and intriguing! I didn’t really know what was going till the end!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Wow, I really wasn’t expecting that!! Review to come closer to publication date!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I enjoyed this book, although the beginning was a bit "jump right in". I had a hunch about the blackmailer, but there were a few red herrings tossed in, until it was revealed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kester Nucum

    Disclaimer: I received a free electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way. For me to enjoy a suspense and mystery thriller, I have to experience two feelings: I must not be able to put it down and I must be shocked at the plot twists and revelations. Hidden Pieces accomplished both of them! I started this book on a road trip (a 4 to 5 hour drive) and ended up finishing it that same day—it was THAT Disclaimer: I received a free electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way. For me to enjoy a suspense and mystery thriller, I have to experience two feelings: I must not be able to put it down and I must be shocked at the plot twists and revelations. Hidden Pieces accomplished both of them! I started this book on a road trip (a 4 to 5 hour drive) and ended up finishing it that same day—it was THAT good. From the first page, I became hooked by its fast-paced, action-driven storyline. I felt a whole range of emotions as the story progressed from a simple threat to a menacing mix of death and betrayal. You cannot trust anybody in this story. Paula Stokes does not disappoint in her latest YA thriller novel as Hidden Pieces will have readers puzzled and chilled while facing a potential murderer. Hidden Pieces poses an interesting Catch-22 situation, a complicated moral dilemma, that will make readers think of what they would do in Embry’s shoes. After she causes a fire that destroys an abandoned hotel, Embry is torn between keeping her role in it a secret and telling the truth (and thus being liable for paying thousands of dollars in damages plus possibly facing criminal charges), but this dilemma becomes twisted as an unknown stalker threatens her loved ones when she refuses to reveal what actually happened that night. It definitely made me ponder about whether I would be able to have the courage to say the truth, and that is the mark of a well-written book. For a novel to make readers question not only the story but themselves shows how impactful and powerful it is. Paula Stokes is a master at creating twisted plotlines full of surprising revelations, subtle hints, complex characters, and treacherous dangers. I became so emotionally invested into the story that I just wanted to gasp and scream so loud at times. She doesn’t hold back any punches when she throws at you shocker. Readers will be filled with dread, fear, and curiosity as their hearts pound and their fingers fly through the pages. I surely did not expect at lot at first, but as the story progressed I was able to guess a few motives and eventually the identity of Unknown (though I was thrown off at the end). Although Stokes placed a few subtle clues, I guessed who Unknown was based off my knowledge of mystery novels. But it would take a seasoned reader to fit together all the hidden pieces (I had to make that joke) before Embry and Holden do. Hidden Pieces is a well-written, masterfully-crafted suspense thriller that is ridden with mystery, secrets, and backstabbing. It is certainly very memorable and very unputdownable, and it is one that will stick with you for a while. Paula Stokes jerked my heart in This Is How It Happened and now impressed and thrilled me with Hidden Pieces, so I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading more of her books in the future! Hidden Pieces will not only keep you up at night but haunt you after you close the last page. Please note that there could have been changes between this unfinished version and the finalized, publicized one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christer Saimon Perez

    Before I actually go into the review proper, I want to say shout to National Book Store for giving me a copy of this book in one of their Instagram giveaways. This is my third October read and I’ve been seeing some negative reviews about this book being somehow a rip-off of Pretty Little Liars, and Little Monsters by Kara Thomas. But after reading this book, I can’t comprehend why some people throw rocks at a good read like this. I mean, I know we are all entitled to our own opinion but the book Before I actually go into the review proper, I want to say shout to National Book Store for giving me a copy of this book in one of their Instagram giveaways. This is my third October read and I’ve been seeing some negative reviews about this book being somehow a rip-off of Pretty Little Liars, and Little Monsters by Kara Thomas. But after reading this book, I can’t comprehend why some people throw rocks at a good read like this. I mean, I know we are all entitled to our own opinion but the book and the author do not deserve the hate it receive. Sorry, just sharing! Technically, Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes is a young adult-mystery book that revolves on the story of Embry Woods, a seventeen year-old teenage girl from Tillamook County, who, upon a series of unfortunate events, got caught in an uncontrollable situation with her best friend, Holden Hassler, after both of them got involve in a fire incident in their area’s infamous Sea Cliff Inn. Their involvement resulted to a succession of unwanted blackmailing from Unknown, the person who know that Embry and Holden are involved in Sea Cliff fire, and the repercussion of this events result to the protagonists being manipulated to do crimes they can’t escape else someone they love will suffer. Embry and Holden, with the help of their friends, embarked on an adventure to unveil Unknown’s identity and free themselves from the shackle of their lies. The catch is, will they unravel who their blackmailer is or will they fall to Unknown’s trap and finally confess of their role in the Sea Cliff fire? Moving on from that lengthy spoiler, I must say that though this is my first mystery/thriller read for years (YEARS!!!!), I did not had a hard time connecting with Paula Stokes’ world and characters since her style of writing is appealing to teens and adult readers. She easily built the characters of Embry and Holden by incorporating backstories of the characters in their respective highlights. I mean, there is no easy way to enumerate Embry’ pessimism and Holden’s optimism without laying out all of what happened in their past journeys. As imperfect as every person in this world is, I love that Embry Woods was not written in the usual way where female characters go head over heels to some boy-next-door because that is one hell of a used trope and readers get tired of encountering that trope. One thing I hate about Embry’s character is her sense of lying but that’s part of her development and I also note that she somehow managed to turn the table of that attitude during the last part of the book. I won’t prolong this review but I’ll end with this, if you are looking for a thriller read that will make you whisper ‘One more chapter..’ in the middle of the night while you’re in bed, then Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes is a definite fit for your taste. BEST QUOTE/S: “As messed up as things are between the three of us, I feel a flash of hope that somehow everything might turn out all right. But then I remember the secrets I’m keeping, the lies I’ve told, the horrible things I’ve done. And that momentary sense of lightness sinks like an anchor.” “You did a bad thing. Maybe several bad things. But we all do bad shit sometimes. It’s what you do now that matters. If you don’t like the person you are, take responsibility for your past mistakes and do better.” “I kept telling myself I was protecting you, but really, I’ve been protecting me. I knew telling the truth would mean losing you as a friend. I couldn’t think about losing my best friend. I know how selfish that makes me.”

  25. 4 out of 5

    Teenreadsdotcom

    HIDDEN PIECES by Paula Stokes is about a girl named Embry Woods. Embry Woods has a lot of secrets. For starters, she has a secret relationship with a boy named Luke. Another secret is that she is starting to gain feelings for a new person. But she has a secret so big that she has never shared with anyone --- and that is what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. So much happened that night and no one knows the truth but Embry. That night there was a fire. A homeless guy. Everyone believes th HIDDEN PIECES by Paula Stokes is about a girl named Embry Woods. Embry Woods has a lot of secrets. For starters, she has a secret relationship with a boy named Luke. Another secret is that she is starting to gain feelings for a new person. But she has a secret so big that she has never shared with anyone --- and that is what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. So much happened that night and no one knows the truth but Embry. That night there was a fire. A homeless guy. Everyone believes that lie that Embry is a hero but that is far from the truth. Embry thinks she can get away with this lie but then she receives a note anonymously. The letter is from someone who knows what happened that night. This anonymous person is threatening the lives of everyone that Embry holds near and dear to her. No one is safe and it might end in murder. The summary of the book confused me a little bit at first but once I started getting into the book the more things unraveled. But even though the summary was vague and confusing it was the reason why I picked this book up in the first place. I was drawn to the vagueness of the plot and it made me want to uncover the truth. I loved the characters in the book. Embry was loyal and interesting and I found myself really liking her character as a whole. I also found it very interesting that the more the story progressed the worse and worse Embry’s situation got. I thought that was a very interesting factor in the plot. This book is unlike anything I have ever read. I did get a Pretty Little Liars vibe when reading the book but it was because it is a vague mystery with an anonymous person threatening the protagonist. I felt the nostalgia when I first started watching “Pretty Little Liars” and how invested I was in the plot and the characters and I felt the same way about this book in particular. At some points I did feel that the plot was drawn out but that was really my only complaint about the book as a whole. Personally I think that anyone would enjoy this book. It was such an interesting concept that would have any person drawn into the story. This is a young adult book and there are some dark concepts because it is about blackmail but if the plot of this book seems interesting to you than it is definitely one worth the read. The author, Paula Stokes, also wrote LIARS, INC, THE ART OF LAINEY and a couple of more books. I have not read anything by her besides HIDDEN PIECES but now I definitely will. I am really looking forward to what Paula decides to write next and this book has definitely persuaded me to pick up some of her other books!! Reviewed by Abigail D., Teen Board Member

  26. 4 out of 5

    BookishGeek

    Embry has it rough. She lives alone with her mother (unless you include her dog Betsy), and works tirelessly at the family cafe to keep their heads above water. She is the reason her best friend's boyfriend dumped her - unfortunately, that reason is because she slept with said best friend's boyfriend. Her actual boyfriend is overseas, and Embry doesn't have the heart to break his. Yes, things are rough for Embry. Even rougher still though when a late-night tryst in the abandoned Seacliff Inn turn Embry has it rough. She lives alone with her mother (unless you include her dog Betsy), and works tirelessly at the family cafe to keep their heads above water. She is the reason her best friend's boyfriend dumped her - unfortunately, that reason is because she slept with said best friend's boyfriend. Her actual boyfriend is overseas, and Embry doesn't have the heart to break his. Yes, things are rough for Embry. Even rougher still though when a late-night tryst in the abandoned Seacliff Inn turns into arson (or whatever you call accidental arson?) Right then and there, Embry and her lover (BFF's BF, Holden) decide to play "mum's the word" and keep their mouths shut about the entire situation. Of course, someone saw more than Embry and Holden suspected, and they are playing a dangerous blackmail game with them where the stakes get higher and higher still. I always appreciate a morally grey character, and I "get" Embry's dilemma. She's a smart kid, and cares so much for her family. But I cannot abide by cheating, and it's hard for me to muster empathy for a character so emotionally manipulative. The big "whodunit?" clincher is one that I predicted, but that did not stop me from enjoying the book. I wish it had been a bit more of an eleventh-hour twist, but YA thrillers typically lean heavier on the romance/mystery side than the "wtf?!" domestic thriller pieces we are used to seeing in "adult" novels. Overall, I spent a very enjoyable time in Embry's head. I only wish it had been a little more zig and a little less zag.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to the publisher and EdelweissPlus for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. This was a solid YA thriller. The writing is decent, the characters are interesting enough, and there are credible red herrings along the way. Savvy readers might deduce who the culprit is, but that doesn't stop it from being a fun, fast-paced thrill ride as Embry tries to figure out who is blackmailing her, and who is next on the list to be hurt if she doesn't meet the Many thanks to the publisher and EdelweissPlus for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. This was a solid YA thriller. The writing is decent, the characters are interesting enough, and there are credible red herrings along the way. Savvy readers might deduce who the culprit is, but that doesn't stop it from being a fun, fast-paced thrill ride as Embry tries to figure out who is blackmailing her, and who is next on the list to be hurt if she doesn't meet the demands. Embry has been hooking up with Holden for months, even though he was her best-friend's boyfriend. Even though she is the one he cheated on Julia with. Even though she is somewhat dating an older guy who is a soldier in Afghanistan. Embry swears she will come clean, eventually. When Embry and Holden are hooking up at the abandoned Sea Cliff Inn, a fire starts. As they flee the scene, Embry realizes that someone else is trapped inside. She rushes in to save him, knowing that she doesn't want to add murderer to her list of crimes. She claims she was only walking past and doesn't know how the fire started, but now an Unknown number is sending her threatening messages, telling her to come clean or else. Embry doesn't see how someone could possible ruin her life or her friends, so she ignores the messages. Big mistake, and the stakes keep climbing as Unknown progresses to murder. Recommended for fans of mystery/thriller YA novels, and for those who are ready for something a bit grittier. Best for grades 10 and up due to the graphic nature of the various sex scenes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leader of The Mojicans (Juan)

    4.5 STARS I believe that Paula Stokes is one of those authors that deserves more people reading her books. Every book of hers that I’ve read, starting with “Liars, Inc.”, I’ve always enjoyed and find myself recommending them to people I know. “Hidden Pieces” is another fantastic addition to the list of books I’ll be recommending to people. If you liked “Liars, Inc.”, “Pretty Little Liars” and/or are just looking for a great thriller that’ll keep you hooked from beginning to end with LOTS of Gossip 4.5 STARS I believe that Paula Stokes is one of those authors that deserves more people reading her books. Every book of hers that I’ve read, starting with “Liars, Inc.”, I’ve always enjoyed and find myself recommending them to people I know. “Hidden Pieces” is another fantastic addition to the list of books I’ll be recommending to people. If you liked “Liars, Inc.”, “Pretty Little Liars” and/or are just looking for a great thriller that’ll keep you hooked from beginning to end with LOTS of Gossip, pick this up IMMEDIATELY. Before I read this book, I was in a bit of a slump with YA Novels and I thought I needed a break from them, but this book ended that slump. It was the perfect blend that I look for of Mystery, Gossip & On Your Seat Thrills. It’s mainly YA with a hint of New Adult (WHICH I LOOOVED). The writing style is great. The flow felt as if time was flying by as I was having so much fun trying to figure this out. The setting is perfect, Paula has built this beautiful small town scenery that I felt like I was actually there. The details, while at first I thought were too many, I’ve come to realize that they in fact enrich the text as fantastic world-building. My favorite characters were Betsy & Holden, I was so happy whenever they were in a chapter. I also love that this was set around Christmas. Normally these kind of stories involving blackmail are set in like the summer or spring from what I’ve read, but making this one in Christmas made it much more exciting. Like, WHO GETS BLACKMAILED ON CHRISTMAS??? That’s so original! Overall: Do I recommend this book? ABSOLUTELY! It’s a fun, exciting page turner that should be on your Want to Read List ASAP. Give this book a chance! This is probably one of my top reads of 2018.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amber (Books of Amber)

    I always enjoy Paula Stokes’ thrillers, and Hidden Pieces is no exception. Stokes is very talented when it comes to drawing you in and keeping you guessing, especially as she throws little hints into the story every now and then that you may or may not pick up on. I was captivated by Hidden Pieces from the start, as it opens with a PSS (positive sex scene) and then a hotel burns down. So, yeah. It started off really well. When the main character starts to get blackmailed, the stakes rise, and eve I always enjoy Paula Stokes’ thrillers, and Hidden Pieces is no exception. Stokes is very talented when it comes to drawing you in and keeping you guessing, especially as she throws little hints into the story every now and then that you may or may not pick up on. I was captivated by Hidden Pieces from the start, as it opens with a PSS (positive sex scene) and then a hotel burns down. So, yeah. It started off really well. When the main character starts to get blackmailed, the stakes rise, and everyone becomes a suspect. To be honest, I had one theory as to who the blackmailer was throughout the whole book, and it turned out I was correct. I wasn’t disappointed though, because I wasn’t entirely convinced. It was more of a hunch, and I started to put the little clues together, and ultimately had a really good time trying to figure out the mystery. I loved the relationship in this book as well. It was mostly positive, and the characters were really good together. That said, I wish Hidden Pieces hadn’t fallen into the Second Act Breakup trope that I so despise. So many books do this and I stopped being shocked or upset years ago. If you’re looking for a good YA thriller, you should definitely pick this one up!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gisela

    Book discussed in my YA book reading club at BookMarkPR. Embry has many secrets specially a secret about what happened in an abandoned hotel. Something happened that night and she was not alone. Someone watched what she did that night. Then, she started to receive threats text messages indicating that she needs to confess and force her to do compromised things in order to avoid that people she loves get hurt and to not reveal what happened that night. Are threats for real? In general I enjoyed th Book discussed in my YA book reading club at BookMarkPR. Embry has many secrets specially a secret about what happened in an abandoned hotel. Something happened that night and she was not alone. Someone watched what she did that night. Then, she started to receive threats text messages indicating that she needs to confess and force her to do compromised things in order to avoid that people she loves get hurt and to not reveal what happened that night. Are threats for real? In general I enjoyed this YA thriller. It keeps you motivated to read. However, in my opinion, story could be developed without approximately 100 unnecessary pages. The epilogue was too long and too cheesy. Story could be survived without it. This is a very simple YA story, so if you like complicated plots, this is not for you. There is only one sexy scene nothing too graphic. We had an interview with the author through Skype. This is the third book I read of this author. 3.3 stars ⭐️

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