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“Tamani masterfully bounces and slams two hearts up and down a shrouded court of first love and revelations. A hard-to-put-down backboard-breaker.”—Rita Williams-Garcia, National Book Award Finalist and New York Times–bestselling author From the moment Carli and Rex first locked eyes on a Texas high school basketball court, they both knew it was destiny. But can you truly l “Tamani masterfully bounces and slams two hearts up and down a shrouded court of first love and revelations. A hard-to-put-down backboard-breaker.”—Rita Williams-Garcia, National Book Award Finalist and New York Times–bestselling author From the moment Carli and Rex first locked eyes on a Texas high school basketball court, they both knew it was destiny. But can you truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself? Acclaimed author Liara Tamani’s luminous second novel explores love, family, heartbreak, betrayal, and the power of healing, in gorgeous prose that will appeal to readers of Nicola Yoon and Jacqueline Woodson. A glance was all it took. That kind of connection, the immediate and raw understanding of another person, just doesn’t come along very often. And as rising stars on their Texas high schools’ respective basketball teams, destined for bright futures in college and beyond, it seems like a match made in heaven. But Carli and Rex have secrets. As do their families. Liara Tamani, the author of the acclaimed Calling My Name, follows two Black teenagers as they discover how first love, heartbreak, betrayal, and family can shape you—for better or for worse. A novel full of pain, joy, healing, and hope for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jenny Han. “A beautifully poignant love letter: to a first love, to basketball, and to that enigmatic bunch we think we know best, only to discover we don’t know at all—family. Tamani’s latest is a bright shining star.”—David Arnold, New York Times–bestselling author of Mosquitoland  


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“Tamani masterfully bounces and slams two hearts up and down a shrouded court of first love and revelations. A hard-to-put-down backboard-breaker.”—Rita Williams-Garcia, National Book Award Finalist and New York Times–bestselling author From the moment Carli and Rex first locked eyes on a Texas high school basketball court, they both knew it was destiny. But can you truly l “Tamani masterfully bounces and slams two hearts up and down a shrouded court of first love and revelations. A hard-to-put-down backboard-breaker.”—Rita Williams-Garcia, National Book Award Finalist and New York Times–bestselling author From the moment Carli and Rex first locked eyes on a Texas high school basketball court, they both knew it was destiny. But can you truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself? Acclaimed author Liara Tamani’s luminous second novel explores love, family, heartbreak, betrayal, and the power of healing, in gorgeous prose that will appeal to readers of Nicola Yoon and Jacqueline Woodson. A glance was all it took. That kind of connection, the immediate and raw understanding of another person, just doesn’t come along very often. And as rising stars on their Texas high schools’ respective basketball teams, destined for bright futures in college and beyond, it seems like a match made in heaven. But Carli and Rex have secrets. As do their families. Liara Tamani, the author of the acclaimed Calling My Name, follows two Black teenagers as they discover how first love, heartbreak, betrayal, and family can shape you—for better or for worse. A novel full of pain, joy, healing, and hope for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jenny Han. “A beautifully poignant love letter: to a first love, to basketball, and to that enigmatic bunch we think we know best, only to discover we don’t know at all—family. Tamani’s latest is a bright shining star.”—David Arnold, New York Times–bestselling author of Mosquitoland  

30 review for All the Things We Never Knew

  1. 4 out of 5

    faith ✨

    🏀 read this review (+ a playlist!) and others on my blog, pages left unread Every single one of you is paying this book dirt. DIRT. Even while planning to read All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani, I had no intentions of reviewing it on my blog, or at all honestly. But after how much even the first couple pages of it wowed me by its visceral writing and lovable characters, I knew I couldn’t just not say anything about this book. So, while yes, this review is a very spur-of-the-moment thing, 🏀 read this review (+ a playlist!) and others on my blog, pages left unread Every single one of you is paying this book dirt. DIRT. Even while planning to read All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani, I had no intentions of reviewing it on my blog, or at all honestly. But after how much even the first couple pages of it wowed me by its visceral writing and lovable characters, I knew I couldn’t just not say anything about this book. So, while yes, this review is a very spur-of-the-moment thing, it was something I initially did not think I would be doing, I really do want to support this book and its author as much as I possibly am able to, as I already do have the costless opportunity to read and review it . . . so here we are! I really do hope this review inspires you to read it – it’s criminally unfair I’d never seen anybody mention this book before its publication date. I feel like so many reviewers will slam this book for having such an instalovish romance, but I think that’s exactly the point.I loved it anyway. I find that so surprising, too, as I often say insta-love is my least favorite trope in a book. Though, I’ve come to realize that perhaps my hatred of particular tropes isn’t because of the trope itself, but rather than how the author writing it executes it and makes the story their own . . . but also, how I never really see those tropes with characters who aren’t marginalized. Along with the unorthodox but lovable nature of Rex and Carli’s romance, I honestly wouldn’t care if this had all of the basic tropes, either, because the two main characters are Black and we don’t get to see Black characters doing basic things and being in basic tropes which are so often dominated by white characters. So, I loved this book for that – it was so easy for me to find solace in these characters, them being Black. “I love you, Rex,” I tell him. And I feel his trembling hands go still on the crown of my head. See his tender face burst open. Hear a hundred tiny bells toll in my heart. No false alarms. [ . . .] After a while I pull away and stare at her. And it’s like we’re two trees secretly sharing nutrients underground, two stars orbiting around all the things there’s no language for. And maybe this is odd to remark on, but it’s worth mentioning how short this book is (my e-ARC was 193 pages). I finished it just after two nights spent reading it (which isn’t the norm for me, at all), and despite how little it took me to finish it, it still didn’t feel as if this book was that short. So much things happen, and while this did ache to read at sometimes—I could definitely see how this book could be too much for readers—I absolutely loved following the experiences of Carli and Rex. Seeing them loving and caring for each other amidst all of their struggles made me feel things, but they’re both also such relatable people. They just felt like normal teenagers going through life, and I very much connected with so many of the things they went through. Like, there’s Carli, who has this constant sense of her future already being planned out for her, except it’s not a future she wants, just one that’s always so casually forced upon her. I say casually because it’s as if others have been willing this imaginary life of becoming a professional basketball player upon her for so long, so this planned future isn’t even a question – it just is how it is, and it’s what Carli’s going to end up doing, no doubt. And I guess it would make sense, to think so though? Because since she’s good at basketball for so long and accomplishing so many big things with it, why would she do anything else? While these ideals could be true for many people, they’re really harmful to put upon everyone (particularly teens). There’s a difference between being good at something and actually liking it. We as a society are so obsessed with the idea of being the #1 most successful and doing the most successful things and being the best at everything and picking up something at .00005 years old and also realizing at that moment “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO IN MY LIFE,” even when it’s not even something most people go through . . . ? Like all of these things are great and if this is you, then great!! But it’s just not a realistic mindset to force upon every single person and should stop being treated as such. And I so appreciated how this is portrayed in this book! It shows it’s completely okay for teens to not be 100% sure about what they want to do in their life and I loved that. “What’s your favorite number?” “I don’t know. I guess if I could name the largest number at any given moment, that would be my favorite.” “Really? Why?” “I don’t know. There’s something reassuring about the fact that numbers never run out . . . that they keep getting higher and higher, forever and ever. It’s like numbers never really lie.” I also really liked this book’s writing! It has a nicely casual feel to it, and everything flows so well – all of the different parts for this book complement each other in such a way it doesn’t even feel as short as it is – if I was unaware of the page count, how well-crafted the pacing was could have led me to believe this was upwards 300 pages. And this is a minor thing, but how short each POV was definitely catered to my enjoyability of the book. I find these days it’s hard for me to enjoy fantasy books because they usually have POVs which are so long in fashion (and alternating). To sum up this review, I know there’s no doubt All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani will land a spot on my top 10 favorite books of the year. With its excellent portrayals of the Black teenage experience, along with harrowing aspects of heartbreak and grief, there was so much for me to love about this book – given you’re in the right headspace to read it, I highly recommend it! representation: Black main character w/ Black LI (ownvoices) content warnings: parental death, parental separation & cheating, ableist language I received an e-ARC of this book from Greenwillow Books, a HarperCollins imprint, in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars Blog | Goodreads | Twitter

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joshunda Sanders

    All The Things We Never Knew reminded me a lot of Love & Basketball for obvious reasons, but it's more than that. It's a sweet coming of age romance with a lot of layers, featuring Houston, Texas, so it made me a little homesick for H-Town, which is where I started my newspaper career 20 years ago now. Carli and Rex are brought together on the court with a pretty dramatic incident, and they stay connected, more or less, through some pretty startling revelations/discoveries about their families. All The Things We Never Knew reminded me a lot of Love & Basketball for obvious reasons, but it's more than that. It's a sweet coming of age romance with a lot of layers, featuring Houston, Texas, so it made me a little homesick for H-Town, which is where I started my newspaper career 20 years ago now. Carli and Rex are brought together on the court with a pretty dramatic incident, and they stay connected, more or less, through some pretty startling revelations/discoveries about their families. I love that both Carli and Rex have complex families that are fully humanized and rendered in a three-dimensional way on the page; I also love how smart and talented everyone is. A great page turner that's mostly light and steamy with some heavy moments that turn out to be cathartic.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jade Melody

    Rating: ⭐️ Received an arc from Edelweiss+ for an honest review You know that feeling when you are really excited for something great but it doesn't end up being what you wanted? That's how I feel about this book. A young adult love story that features two teens of color who find a relationship because of basketball; it sounds like something I could really like, but I just didn't. I think this was hard for me to like because something was off from the first page. Specifically what I mean, is that Rating: ⭐️ Received an arc from Edelweiss+ for an honest review You know that feeling when you are really excited for something great but it doesn't end up being what you wanted? That's how I feel about this book. A young adult love story that features two teens of color who find a relationship because of basketball; it sounds like something I could really like, but I just didn't. I think this was hard for me to like because something was off from the first page. Specifically what I mean, is that there was this cringe moment out of movie where the boy looks at the girl for the first time and- oh look they are in love. Not the first chapter, the first page. Everything from there felt weird and unrealistic to a point where it didn't have any redeeming elements to make it realistic to me. As I mentioned, they practically fell in love from the first encounter and they didn't even speak to each other. The main male character, Rex, becomes so infatuated with Carli, the main female character, and ends up looking at pictures from her from Carli's brother Cole's Instagram? Like that is weird. Then he ends up going to the hospital where she is having her surgery?? Keep in mind they haven't spoken to each other for real yet, but he feels close enough to her that he can go try and be with her before her surgery; no boy, sorry that's not okay. Then when they actually do meet, he is confident enough to come up to her like he's known her his whole life. Then they talk while watching Cole's basketball game, they get to know each other, whatever; what ruins this is that they disagree about something and one of the characters thinks to themselves, "Wow this must be our first fight" like no! You don't even know each other yet, nor are you in a relationship! Then thirty minutes later (in book time) they are kissing in front of everyone at the game? Then he gets pulled away and is in trouble with his coach and then Carli has the nerve to be like "why isn't he paying attention to me or looking at me?" like he just got in trouble, and not everything is about you! Both of these characters made me angry. They were childish and not ready to be in a relationship together or separately! For upperclassman in high school, they really didn't act like it, and I feel like Tamani could do a better job portraying her high school characters. Then there was drama between Carli's parents and past/present drama with Rex's father. It's like every cliché thing that can be added to a character or their storyline was present. I wanted something unique but everything felt so cookie-cutter, so much so that one of the cliché story arcs was repeated twice for two separate characters and only changed minor details. I think this was just not the story for me. I'm not a fan of instalove, and I'm definitely not a fan of it on the first page of the story. Overall, there was just a lot I feel like could be improved from this story and I'm sad to say that I didn't enjoy it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Traci at The Stacks

    This is a cute YA love story that centers two Black teens who play basketball and meet by chance. There were parts of this book I really liked and parts that felt a little predictable. I know I’m not a teen but I think young readers will like this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lekeisha The Booknerd

    All The Things We Never Knew is a solid read filled with love, heartbreak, betrayal, grief and secrets. I enjoyed all of these things because it just shows how much of an emotional beating that teenagers face in their lives. I wish that I could quote this book, but sadly this is an ARC. I have sticky tabs on just about every page. Tamani writes beautifully the lives of two teens (three If you count Cole, Carli's brother). Carli and Rex..... their connection was so deep in the beginning that I kne All The Things We Never Knew is a solid read filled with love, heartbreak, betrayal, grief and secrets. I enjoyed all of these things because it just shows how much of an emotional beating that teenagers face in their lives. I wish that I could quote this book, but sadly this is an ARC. I have sticky tabs on just about every page. Tamani writes beautifully the lives of two teens (three If you count Cole, Carli's brother). Carli and Rex..... their connection was so deep in the beginning that I knew I was in for a wild ride. I never expected so much to come from this. While Carli is dealing with her own issues of family and health, Rex's story is even more intense because I connected so well with his character. I have known a boy whose life mirrors Rex's and my heart hurt for him. Love life aside, I think he is one of my favorite characters. I can't say what all happens in this book without giving you ALL THE THINGS they NEVER KNEW. It was honestly like watching a car trying to beat the train and you hope that the person driving makes it. Add this book to your summer reads list. It definitely makes for a memorable read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hadewych thereaderinpink

    *2,5⭐️ The beginning of this book was very promising and I thought I was going to love this book. I loved how the story centered two black teens who played basketball. Sadly enough this book had just too much drama and everything was so rushed. The relationship happened so fast and then it was drama after drama and it was just too much for me. The audiobook is good though. I loved the two different narrators.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rich in Color

    Review copy: ARC via author Over the past few weeks, books that make me smile are the ones I’m reaching for and All the Things We Never Knew definitely had me smiling. Of course, it’s not all perfect hearts and rainbows straight through, but there are plenty of giggle worthy moments starting with the unusual meet-cute on the basketball court. What makes Carly and Rex so smile-inducing is that they both have soft and smooshy sides to them and they’re able to share that with each other. Tamani chose Review copy: ARC via author Over the past few weeks, books that make me smile are the ones I’m reaching for and All the Things We Never Knew definitely had me smiling. Of course, it’s not all perfect hearts and rainbows straight through, but there are plenty of giggle worthy moments starting with the unusual meet-cute on the basketball court. What makes Carly and Rex so smile-inducing is that they both have soft and smooshy sides to them and they’re able to share that with each other. Tamani chose to use a dual perspective which helps readers clearly see what leads up to the misunderstandings and miscommunications. I appreciated being able to see the thought processes of both Carly and Rex as they worked through their own personal pain and scars. Beyond the romantic relationship, family relationships are a huge part of this story. Carly’s family is dealing with some major life changes and some rather large secrets. Rex and his father don’t communicate, but Rex has to decide if he is finished trying or if he wants to make an effort to connect. This story revolves around secrets: why people keep them, who we can trust with them, and what happens when they are revealed. These secrets lead to a lot of pain even though avoiding pain is typically why the secrets were kept in the first place. Recommendation: Get it soon if you’re looking for an engaging contemporary romance that will provide some humor along with a few struggles. It’s more upbeat than not and while a little predictable in some aspects, it’s a solid story that deals with those compelling questions of “Who am I now?”, “Who do I want to be?, and “How will I get there?”

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    If anyone is looking for a sweet romance book for the summer starring two Black teens giving a dual perspective I would recommend this. There's just enough secrets to keep the plot moving. There are important messages and depictions of family. There's a sensitive Black boy that isn't afraid to acknowledge his emotions and cry at times. There's a sweet girl discovering what she interests her after years someone else's interests being put upon her. There's basketball and Texas heat. And the writin If anyone is looking for a sweet romance book for the summer starring two Black teens giving a dual perspective I would recommend this. There's just enough secrets to keep the plot moving. There are important messages and depictions of family. There's a sensitive Black boy that isn't afraid to acknowledge his emotions and cry at times. There's a sweet girl discovering what she interests her after years someone else's interests being put upon her. There's basketball and Texas heat. And the writing is so pretty and easy to follow along without sounding trite. Thank you Edelweiss for granting me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Read my full review https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kat (Why Read)

    TRUST ME... YOU NEED THIS! ⠀ It’s like Love & Basketball meets Love at First Sight! Do you remember your first love? I know I do... it was birds chirping in the distance, sunny every day, and heart bubbles blooming from my ears! It was all that and yet it wasn’t. In actuality It was messy dysfunctional, jealousy galore, and self doubt. And yet I wouldn’t change it for the world! ⠀ This book gave me the emotions from both sides of the first love story from crushes and self discovery, to rage and frustr TRUST ME... YOU NEED THIS! ⠀ It’s like Love & Basketball meets Love at First Sight! Do you remember your first love? I know I do... it was birds chirping in the distance, sunny every day, and heart bubbles blooming from my ears! It was all that and yet it wasn’t. In actuality It was messy dysfunctional, jealousy galore, and self doubt. And yet I wouldn’t change it for the world! ⠀ This book gave me the emotions from both sides of the first love story from crushes and self discovery, to rage and frustration. And yet I absolutely adored it! ⠀ Thanks again to the author for entrusting me with an honest review! ⠀ A very happy book birthday & I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did! ⠀ xoxo, Kat

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Carli was always looking for signs. So, when Rex blew that kiss in her direction, she knew there was something special there to explore. This was my first Liara Tamani book, but after finishing it, I immediately pushed her debut, Calling My Name, up my TBR. She captured me with her beautiful prose, wrapping me up in the rapture of first love using vibrate and lush imagery. But, it wasn't just the gooey love stuff that got me. I was hit with every emotion these characters were feeling, and I felt Carli was always looking for signs. So, when Rex blew that kiss in her direction, she knew there was something special there to explore. This was my first Liara Tamani book, but after finishing it, I immediately pushed her debut, Calling My Name, up my TBR. She captured me with her beautiful prose, wrapping me up in the rapture of first love using vibrate and lush imagery. But, it wasn't just the gooey love stuff that got me. I was hit with every emotion these characters were feeling, and I felt them with full force. Obviously, this book was about first love. It was sweet, and heady, and intense, the way teen romances tend to be. I loved watching Rex and Carli navigating these new feelings, and forming such a strong connection with each other. I can already hear the cries of "instalove", but I don't care! I remember being a teen, and all those firsts were so extreme and powerful. I also was sold on this union, because of Rex. When Carli looked at him and spoke to him, he finally felt "seen", and I accept that as a driving force to seek deeper connection with someone. Rex was quite a complicated character. He carried around a lifetime of hurt, grief, and guilt related to his mother's death. He craved to be loved, and to be loved for who he was, not his skills on the court. I could feel his joy, when he was embraced by Carli and her family, and it was both touching and heartbreaking. He was a rather sensitive young man too, who wasn't afraid to bear his soul, and I never get tired of seeing boys like that. I felt so rewarded, when Rex started to build a positive relationship with his dad, but as things started looking up in his world, Carli's was falling apart. She had always enjoyed a rather idyllic home life. Her brother was caring and very generous with his love. She had a mother she admired, and a father, who was known to dote on her. Now, her parents were getting divorced, and she had to choose which parent to live with. This decision, plus her resolve to quit basketball was weighing on her. She had many difficult choices to make, this weight sometimes kept her from being as emotionally open with Rex as she wanted to be, and as he wanted her to be. Let's just say, their relationship experienced the same sort of ups and downs, that they were personally experiencing apart. There were also many secrets, and they played a big role in this book. It seemed like everyone had some, and ready or not, they were all getting uncovered. I think the one I didn't see coming until it was right in front of me, was the secret which prompted Carli's parent's divorce. I may have let a "wow" escape from my mouth, when I realized what had happened there, but I rather liked how it played into the overall story, the way Carli embraced the secret. Overall, I had a fantastic time reading this roller-coaster romance. This was a wonderful story of first love and family, which was filled with fantastic characters to root for, lots of emotion, and many beautiful and heartfelt moments. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  11. 4 out of 5

    Slaa!!!

    Overall, I think this was a really good book and the writing was beautiful. It starts off with so much instalove intensity, RIGHT from the first scene, and for a while it really reminded me of Jacqueline Woodson’s If You Come Softly. If she had stuck with that being the focus, I feel like it could have been an especially strong short story or novella. But noOooOoO. What didn’t really sit right with me is that there’s no where to go from instalove - nowhere UP anyway. Thus it turns into a mess, r Overall, I think this was a really good book and the writing was beautiful. It starts off with so much instalove intensity, RIGHT from the first scene, and for a while it really reminded me of Jacqueline Woodson’s If You Come Softly. If she had stuck with that being the focus, I feel like it could have been an especially strong short story or novella. But noOooOoO. What didn’t really sit right with me is that there’s no where to go from instalove - nowhere UP anyway. Thus it turns into a mess, really a kind of toxic relationship, because they are both so passionate but so “damaged” with so much personal stuff that they haven’t healed. So it goes from one extreme to the other SO fast, continuously back and forth, and I can have SOME compassion for them, but I can also want to knock them upside they heads. Their behavior and reactions to things were just so so so dumb and obnoxious a lot of the time. I had compassion for them but didn’t necessarily like them as much as I would have liked to. So it’s mixed feelings, but generally a good read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carli

    Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins or the advance Kindle copy of this book - it is out next Tuesday (6.9.20)! All opinions are my own. • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this basketball-centric love story. High school juniors Rex and Carli attend different schools, where they are both basketball stars. Rex is a future NBA prospect; Carli can have her pick of college scholarships. When Red blows Carli a kiss before he shots a free throw, the pair’s paths converge on an emotional rollercoaster of a relationship. Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins or the advance Kindle copy of this book - it is out next Tuesday (6.9.20)! All opinions are my own. • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this basketball-centric love story. High school juniors Rex and Carli attend different schools, where they are both basketball stars. Rex is a future NBA prospect; Carli can have her pick of college scholarships. When Red blows Carli a kiss before he shots a free throw, the pair’s paths converge on an emotional rollercoaster of a relationship. Best for grades 9+.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chelsey

    When Rex blows a kiss into the stands at his basketball game (his typical free throw routine), Carly literally falls for him. Is fate bringing them together, to help them navigate their increasingly-complicated lives in tandem? The instalove in this made the story feel like it basically had no conflict until about 75% of the way through, which made for a really odd reading experience. I kept wondering what the story was actually going to be about, because nothing much of importance was happening. When Rex blows a kiss into the stands at his basketball game (his typical free throw routine), Carly literally falls for him. Is fate bringing them together, to help them navigate their increasingly-complicated lives in tandem? The instalove in this made the story feel like it basically had no conflict until about 75% of the way through, which made for a really odd reading experience. I kept wondering what the story was actually going to be about, because nothing much of importance was happening. It wasn't an un-enjoyable experience, but just one that felt inconsequential.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    A perfect book! At the beginning it sounded very cheesy but it revolved around a lot of difficult themes concerning the main characters' families which are not only side stories accompanying the love story, but are very important in itself. Never did i find the main characters, from whos perspective the book is written, unrealistic or badly written! They are very mature and especially towards the end they discuss how to love someone "correctly", how to communicate with each other and how not to A perfect book! At the beginning it sounded very cheesy but it revolved around a lot of difficult themes concerning the main characters' families which are not only side stories accompanying the love story, but are very important in itself. Never did i find the main characters, from whos perspective the book is written, unrealistic or badly written! They are very mature and especially towards the end they discuss how to love someone "correctly", how to communicate with each other and how not to do it. I think everyone should read this book!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    JoJo

    A hard-hitting YA contemporary romance about two basketball-playing teens who meet by chance and fall in love. They experience first love, heartbreak, and strong family ties. Part realistic, part predictable but young readers will really resonate with the characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Zvitkovitz

    This was a pretty good story of teenage romance and coming-of-age struggles, but I'd say it had a bit too much drama for my taste.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Briuana Green

    Such a beautiful story of young love and heartbreak mixed with the love and pain that comes with family and secrets being kept.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    Well-written teenage romance complicated by family secrets and emotional losses. The basketball scenes might draw in sports fans who don't normally read books about relationships.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bookablereads Reviews

    Huge thanks to Harper Collins International for sending me an eARC through Edelweiss. I love how the author describes basketball in the story. It makes the reader learn about the beauty of the said sports. One thing I don’t like in the story is the plot line. It has insta-love or what we call love at first sight. I’m not against instant love but the way their relation and meaning of instant love is mehhhhhh. Who in their right mind that when they saw the person for the first time in just like two t Huge thanks to Harper Collins International for sending me an eARC through Edelweiss. I love how the author describes basketball in the story. It makes the reader learn about the beauty of the said sports. One thing I don’t like in the story is the plot line. It has insta-love or what we call love at first sight. I’m not against instant love but the way their relation and meaning of instant love is mehhhhhh. Who in their right mind that when they saw the person for the first time in just like two to five seconds can say that they are in love with them. That they stalk the people and immediately know all the things about the person. The story is kinda creepy for me. I don’t like the idea of it. If I’m the girl in the story, I would go to the police and sue the guy. Because of the relationship of the main characters, I decided to DNF it and it don’t spark a joy to me and I feel like wasting my time reading it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    William Abbott

    This love story had me so in my feelings. I loved how sensitive Rex was. We need more boys written like this! I also loved Carli's strength. Their love journey was amazing. And felt so real. I rooted for them so hard. I'm not even into basketball like that, but this book was still so, so good.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ciara

    I really wanted to hands down love this book but unfortunately I only liked it. I really loved the characters, I felt like they were real and relatable and the relationship between the 2 main characters took me right back to high school where everything was exciting and new one second and the end of the world the next. I didn’t like the insta-love but not because it was instant love but because I felt like it took away from the story’s potential. The fact that the main characters didn’t know eac I really wanted to hands down love this book but unfortunately I only liked it. I really loved the characters, I felt like they were real and relatable and the relationship between the 2 main characters took me right back to high school where everything was exciting and new one second and the end of the world the next. I didn’t like the insta-love but not because it was instant love but because I felt like it took away from the story’s potential. The fact that the main characters didn’t know each other that well led to them believing, almost immediately, believing the worst in the other person when there was a misunderstanding. I would have liked to see this framed in terms of 2 best friends realizing they were in love with each other while their friendship was in decline. I could literally think of an entire re-writer of the book (view spoiler)[ Rex could have still been keeping his secrets about his dad and always have hung out at Carli’s house growing up. Carli could have found out all that stuff about her parents divorce a while ago and hid it until her dad moved out, telling the same lie about them being on a break. The stress of this and general attitude about it could have made her desire to want to quit b-ball even more. She could have fainted at the tournament like usual but due carli wanting to deal with her parents situation alone her and Rex haven’t talked to each other for a while and when Rex caught her they both could have realized their feelings. Carli could have opened up a little about her parents and her frustration that they weren’t telling her the reason for the divorce and wanting to quit b-ball but promise him to be at his tournament. Carli could have found out her dad’s secret and missed rex’s game, Rex could have went off again and told her secret about wanting to quit b-ball. She could have gone over to Rex’s house for comfort and to explain about her parents, since he wasn't answering the phone. She could have found out about his dad and either gotten mad that he hadn’t told before or comforted him about his loneliness and his guilt over his mom. Rex’s dad situation could have resolved at the end, honestly in the book it was a problem until it wasn’t a problem so it could be handled in the same way or Carli could have convinced Rex to talk to his dad or they both talk to him together or whatever (hide spoiler)] so I think that would have heightened the book because Rex being emotionally unstable for very understandable reasons, is understandable. But I honestly wouldn’t want them together because he always jumps to the wrong conclusions, and yeah he was sorry when he found at the truth but I want someone more stable for Carli honestly. But yeah it was enjoyable but I think it could have been a little better.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    I can't say that I believe in soulmates in real life, but I sure do love to read about them. The term "soulmates" was never used in All the Things We Never Knew but in some ways, the concept was there. The description tells you so this is no surprise, but Carli and Rex have an instant connection. But even if you have an instant connection with someone, that doesn't mean that you won't have to work to maintain your relationship. Or that you will never have problems to work through together. Man Ca I can't say that I believe in soulmates in real life, but I sure do love to read about them. The term "soulmates" was never used in All the Things We Never Knew but in some ways, the concept was there. The description tells you so this is no surprise, but Carli and Rex have an instant connection. But even if you have an instant connection with someone, that doesn't mean that you won't have to work to maintain your relationship. Or that you will never have problems to work through together. Man Carli and Rex both have so much to work through. Carli looks like she has a perfect life. Mother, father, brother. A homey, comfortable, warm home. But appearances can be deceiving. Her parents are splitting up. Secrets are coming out and she and her brother, Cole, are having to decide which parent they will live with full-time. Rex's mother died giving birth to him and his father has been essentially absent. Rex feels guilty for his mother's death and he assumes that his Dad resents him for it too. There's so much pain between these two characters. I appreciated that Liara Tamani forced the characters to work on themselves before their relationship with each other could work. We have to love ourselves before we can love others, right? There were so many pieces of this story. They all affected the main characters, but the pieces weren't all about the main characters. The only highlights I had were a couple of comments about white people. Guys, racism is real. It isn't always one-sided. I certainly don't have all of the answers. I don't know if we can celebrate our difference and expect everyone to be blind to them at the same time. Again, I do not have the answers, and I do not know what it feels like to be anything other than what I am. I don't have much to say about this other than the fact that I noted these comments. I also highlighted a quote from Khalil Gibran's Prophet which is one of my all-time favorite books. I will say that I read this book incredibly fast. I didn't want to put it down. Both main characters had a lot of heavy, heart-wrenching things to work through. But I enjoyed the journey. I can't say I didn't have a few issues. I didn't appreciate the dialect, but this isn't a race thing. Go back through my reviews and you will see that this is a consistent thing I complain about. All the Things We Never Knew gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read All the Things We Never Knew? What did you think? Let me know!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stella

    idk when I will write this. probs never! --------------------------------- update. here it is. this book wasn’t what I expected it to be. this book follows a girl named carli who is a basketball player and rex who is one at an opposing school. I was thinking this was going to be a sports romance, but the author took it in an entirely different direction. any book that takes place in Texas is going to get bonus points. instantly. too much romance. im not someone that loves to read books with love. idk when I will write this. probs never! --------------------------------- update. here it is. this book wasn’t what I expected it to be. this book follows a girl named carli who is a basketball player and rex who is one at an opposing school. I was thinking this was going to be a sports romance, but the author took it in an entirely different direction. any book that takes place in Texas is going to get bonus points. instantly. too much romance. im not someone that loves to read books with love. basically she faints when rex blows her a kiss during his free throw routine and then it is insta-.lovey from there with rex not able to get her out of his head and finding out how she looked like. carli goes to the hospital and has to have surgery, leaving her in the stands for a while. then, they meet up at a game, and there’s a scene where they share their astrological signs. I like how rex had a fascination with numbers because he likes how they never run out, and they keep going on forever. when asked about his favorite number, he says he doesn't have one while carli says 12. they are into each other early on and say I love you early in the book. also, how carli treats rex at times by getting mad so easily at him was just… heartbreaking to read. I guess that comes with a relationship where you get attached that quickly. anyway if you like love, then you will enjoy carli and rex ,but it just wasn’t my favorite thing especially with rex telling her his secrets and her being private and lying when she wasn't telling him everything.. lots of sadness. this book had rex talk about how his mom died giving birth to him and feeling neglected since his father was permanently grieving the loss of his wife. they moved to a new house, and he barely even has a conversation with his son. carli secretly hates basketball and wants to quit even though she is v good. she hasn’t told her dad yet but her mom knows. her parents are getting a divorce and throughout the book, she is deciding if she is going to live with her mom or her dad. her brother, cole, is looking forward to living with her dad because that means he would be at the same school as rex. carli is wanting to live with her mother. the championship game. it was predictable that carli would win hers and rex would lose his but that doesn’t stop the mess that follows this book. she is playing against her nemesis and the girl basically outs that her dad had an affair with this bball player’s mom and that’s the reason of the divorce. THIS GIRL SAID THIS DURING A BASKETBALL GAME. literally saying how wonder where your dad was on Sundays like geez. it got in carli’s head however, Jordan made the game winner for the win. then rex finds out that carli hasn’t been truthful with the opportunity to come to his school and outs her at the trophy ceremony for not liking basketball and being a fake. she’s pissed. then the climax. this was depressing. we have carli talking to her mom finding out about her half-sister. she tells carli that she has a right to be mad and angry and shocked but she needs to talk to him and tell her how she feels about everything. also, we get an honest convo w rex and his dad when he says how it wasn’t his fault, and how his mom had a heart problem. she talks to his dad and learns that her half-sister’s mom was her dad’s best friend and one day they reconnected. at the end, she learns that basketball isn’t her whole identity and even though she doesn’t know what she will do next, there is still time to figure it out. basketball knowledge. also, what girls bball game is going to have a score of 87-77 like…. that honestly isn’t that likely like at all especially with how low scoring girls games are, especially HIGH SCHOOL. um. also, some personal flaws were the fact that Stephen a smith was commenting on a high schooler’s bball players personal life. im not saying Stephen a smith would never comment on a high school player especially a number 1’s pick but I just didn't see it. also the little basketball in this was upsetting. this book was so short and it was spent with one character hating basketball and the other just barely having time to shine.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I.....didn't like this? I get that they are 16 and they have shit going on, but I don't like the message this sends to young readers. Rex was a deeply hurt character, who was filling a love hole in his life by always dating someone and projecting onto them. The love at first sight was so hard for me to get behind, because from literally the first second they were like YOU ARE THE ONE!! And that dragged throughout the whole book. All of their problems and fight risen from not knowing each other a I.....didn't like this? I get that they are 16 and they have shit going on, but I don't like the message this sends to young readers. Rex was a deeply hurt character, who was filling a love hole in his life by always dating someone and projecting onto them. The love at first sight was so hard for me to get behind, because from literally the first second they were like YOU ARE THE ONE!! And that dragged throughout the whole book. All of their problems and fight risen from not knowing each other and what they care about. This was the type of relationship in which everything is fine and amazing one second and when shit happens they are like I NEVER EVEN LOVED YOU WE ARE DONE. The fact that they did not get back together in the very last couple of sentences did not redeem anything for me, because even then it was hinted that they are going to have love in the future. I really don't think this is a good example of a relationship for high-schoolers. Also the adults in this book were all like ?????? super messy. The only thing I could relate to was how Carli had so many interests and they all seamed like too big of a dream to pursue and she did not have a clue which to go with and all that.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shar // sunsnacksseries

    TW: parental death, cheating, parental separation. rating: 3.5/5 stars All We Ever Knew is YA love story told from the perspective of two Black teenagers who play basketball and end up meeting by chance and fall for each other almost instantly. The story is about love, heartbreak, family issues, and more. If you're a fan of the insta-love trope, you should definitely pick this up! My heart ached for both of the main characters, Rex and Carli, throughout the story. There was a lot of emotion in their TW: parental death, cheating, parental separation. rating: 3.5/5 stars All We Ever Knew is YA love story told from the perspective of two Black teenagers who play basketball and end up meeting by chance and fall for each other almost instantly. The story is about love, heartbreak, family issues, and more. If you're a fan of the insta-love trope, you should definitely pick this up! My heart ached for both of the main characters, Rex and Carli, throughout the story. There was a lot of emotion in their dialogue, and I felt it all. My only problem is that I wasn't the biggest fan of the romance. It was toxic at times, but both of the characters also had a lot going on in their lives. Overall, this was still an enjoyable read and I will definitely be picking up more books from this author!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Sometimes, holding everything in isn't the way to go. In this novel,both Rex and Carli have to learn this lesson the hard way. Rex meets Carli and feels an instant connection with her. It also doesn't hurt that they both have a passion for basketball, poetry and music. Seems fairly normal, right? It is for the most part, except both of them have family secrets and a past they'd rather not talk about. Can they have a relationship that works for them? Will they be able to deal with their pasts? Ho Sometimes, holding everything in isn't the way to go. In this novel,both Rex and Carli have to learn this lesson the hard way. Rex meets Carli and feels an instant connection with her. It also doesn't hurt that they both have a passion for basketball, poetry and music. Seems fairly normal, right? It is for the most part, except both of them have family secrets and a past they'd rather not talk about. Can they have a relationship that works for them? Will they be able to deal with their pasts? How will they deal with changes in their lives? Read it and find out! To all my beautiful Black people,you matter! Also,to my beautiful Black people, talking about emotions and getting therapy is more than okay!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura Beam

    This book was not at all what I expected it to be. I definitely walked into it thinking that it would be a rom-com, I mean it is pink and purple with doodles all over it and two cuties together on the front. However, despite it not being what I expected it to be, I did really enjoy it. It asked a lot of big questions about how we treat each other and what it means to not look at the other persons's point of view. It also deals with family and how hurt people hurt people. Despite it having some r This book was not at all what I expected it to be. I definitely walked into it thinking that it would be a rom-com, I mean it is pink and purple with doodles all over it and two cuties together on the front. However, despite it not being what I expected it to be, I did really enjoy it. It asked a lot of big questions about how we treat each other and what it means to not look at the other persons's point of view. It also deals with family and how hurt people hurt people. Despite it having some really hard parts to read, the book does end hopeful and has the message that it is our responsibility to do the work of healing ourselves so that we do not harm those around us and so that we don't pass down generational trauma to our children.

  28. 5 out of 5

    dylan

    super cute story! i really liked how beautifully the author switched POVs. the romantic relationship between the two main characters felt so natural and real, and even though their emotions and personal problems caused chaos, they tried to maintain a healthy relationship. and i like that romance didn't miraculously solve all their problems! i think this book did a good job demonstrating how relationships take work, while also being an enjoyable teen romance this story plays heavily into the ***mi super cute story! i really liked how beautifully the author switched POVs. the romantic relationship between the two main characters felt so natural and real, and even though their emotions and personal problems caused chaos, they tried to maintain a healthy relationship. and i like that romance didn't miraculously solve all their problems! i think this book did a good job demonstrating how relationships take work, while also being an enjoyable teen romance this story plays heavily into the ***miscommunication trope***, which isnt a bad thing! but just a heads up to other readers if that's not your thing

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill Murrin

    Very easy read. Two teenage basketball players fall in love. Not going to lie, I picked it up because it was described as a book version of LOVE AND BASKETBALL, the class romantic drama film. It has a hint to that to it, but to be honest, I didn’t love the love story between Carli and Rex. They are both a bit toxic towards one another (especially Rex... kind of stalkerish in the beginning and only cares about his feelings throughout). What I liked about it were the parts of the story where they Very easy read. Two teenage basketball players fall in love. Not going to lie, I picked it up because it was described as a book version of LOVE AND BASKETBALL, the class romantic drama film. It has a hint to that to it, but to be honest, I didn’t love the love story between Carli and Rex. They are both a bit toxic towards one another (especially Rex... kind of stalkerish in the beginning and only cares about his feelings throughout). What I liked about it were the parts of the story where they weren’t together and figuring and handling their own family dramas and how life continues dispute setbacks.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    *Thank you to Edelweiss & Greenwillow Books for the eArc* 3.5 stars. I just couldn't get behind the insta-love between the two main characters. Rex comes across more than a little stalker-y, and neither of them had any business being in a relationship with everything else going on! Also Cole needs to learn some digital literacy skills, like don't post your sister's room # on Instagram! These things bothered me enough that I just didn't get into this. That said, teens will likely enjoy this becaus *Thank you to Edelweiss & Greenwillow Books for the eArc* 3.5 stars. I just couldn't get behind the insta-love between the two main characters. Rex comes across more than a little stalker-y, and neither of them had any business being in a relationship with everything else going on! Also Cole needs to learn some digital literacy skills, like don't post your sister's room # on Instagram! These things bothered me enough that I just didn't get into this. That said, teens will likely enjoy this because of the messy relationships and issues in all the main characters' lives.

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