Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone
Hannah and Emory have been best friends living just 36 steps from each other since forever. That friendship status changed three months ago when Hannah betrayed Emory’s trust and didn’t defend Emory during the biggest crisis of her life. This resulted in Emory saying the kinds of things to Hannah that you just can’t take back. In the absence of Emory, Hannah has her faith, her involvement in her church/school’s semi-famous a capella group, and a burgeoning (although inappropriate) love interest. In the absence of Hannah, Emory has her boyfriend (Luke), her theater friends and passion for theater, and rehearsals for her lead in the play, Our Town. Hannah and Emory’s friendship appears to be over. But fate works in mysterious ways.
Emory and Luke’s love story is one for the YA ages. They are absolutely adorable, sex-positive (their sexual relationship is a natural part of their romantic relationship - beautifully done on the author’s part), and absolutely aware that though they are madly in love with each other, their relationship is finite. He’s off to the University of Denver in the fall and she’s (hopefully) off to UCLA. They have no delusions that a long-distance relationship in college can work. The chapters that Emily narrates are headed by numbers stating how long they’ve been together and how many days they have left (ex: Day 290, 147 to go) and she does the sweetest thing where she adds a note to her phone every day of a cute thing that Luke said. Girl, I hope you’re backing up that note app!
Faith is a huge part of Hannah’s life, but ever since she found out that her father used all of her college money to hire a hip, young music director to save the church/school he leads, that faith has been shaken. She begins questioning and investigating other avenues of faith and discovers meditation (meditation isn’t an important part of the story but I mention it because Hannah’s journey led me to try meditation and I’m currently on a 58-day meditating streak! Thanks, Hannah!).
When Luke suffers a near-tragedy, he becomes obsessed with the afterlife and religion and faith. He only knows one person with a strong background in those topics - Emory’s ex-best friend, Hannah. Luke and Hannah begin a friendship as she tries to help him through his issues. Their friendship is and stays just that - a friendship. No love triangle here! And that friendship gets messy but ultimately leads to some pretty awesome stuff.
Little Do We Know is the book you didn’t know you needed in your world. It’s got romance, friendship, family, faith and it’s a beautifully written, little slice of life that packs a powerful punch. Highly recommended!
Finally, it's rare when a book cover gets a paperback reboot when the original cover is gorgeous on its own!