Monday, 5 May 2014

You Don't Even Know by Sue Lawson

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.




You Don’t Even Know by Sue Lawson
Published September 1, 2013 by Walker Books AU
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars

From the blurb: Alex Hudson is a good guy. He plays water polo. He has a part-time job. He’s doing okay at school.
Then the thing that anchors Alex is ripped away and his life seems pointless.
How can he make anyone else understand how he feels, when he doesn’t even know?

You Don’t Even Know is the story of Alex Hudson. He lives in Melbourne with his parents, brothers Ethan and Harvey, and little sister, Mia. Mia is the one person in his family he can count on and she adores him. His father places pressure on Ethan and Harvey to be just like him, but only has contempt and hatred for Alex. His mother’s focus is on having a perfect family and worrying about what people will think of them. At school he’s drifting away from former best mates Bashir and Cooper, they’ve joined the footy team and their bullying is not something Alex wants to be a part of. And then Alex’s family is destroyed by tragedy and his world changes forever.

Alex is an amazing guy. His relationship with Mia was lovely, he spends so much time with her, plays dress up and tea parties, and later starts teaching her to swim. Alex loves to swim, and he plays water polo so well he’s been chosen for the state championship, but that’s not good enough for his father, former footy and cricket player. Alex put up with so much verbal abuse from his dad and older brother Ethan, their treatment of him was disgusting,but Alex bore it really well.

The time frame jumps from the present day where we find Alex in hospital to back over the year he’s had dealing with his family and school. There’s a hint in the present time frame that something has occurred to Mia, and slowly over the course of the story, more information is revealed as Alex himself remembers what happened. I was so absorbed in his story, even guessing that something terrible had happened, but I still wanted to know all the details, and liked the way in which the story was told.

I thought the end was well done, though I would have liked to see more repentance from Alex’s father. I’m such a fan of Sue Lawson’s writing, her books always make me feel so many emotions and I’m guaranteed tears at the end. 

Thank you to the wonderful people at Walker Books for my review copy.

Purchase:  Booktopia  /  Dymocks  /  Fishpond (intl shipping)


I love the blues on this cover and thought I'd do some nails to match the titled floor of the swimming pool.


I started with a base of L.A Colors Sea Siren.



Once dry I used a very fine brush and acrylic paint to do the tiled print.






49 comments:

  1. Gosh just reading your review, you have me curious as to what happened to Mia. I think Alex sounds like a great guy, and I hope things worked out well for him.

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    1. I'm glad I got you interested in this one, Heids!

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  2. This sounds really intriguing and I LOVE the nails!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  3. Never heard of this one before but it sounds really good. I don't feel like I read many books from a guy POV that aren't dual perspective so I'm looking forward to that. Really like that cover and your nails!

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    1. Yeah, it's nice to see a guy get a story to himsefl!

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  4. This sounds like such a good book. I like books that are told from a male POV too and Alex sounds wonderful!

    Great job on the nails - I really like the simplistic look of them.

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    1. Reading from a male perspective really makes for a nice change, especially when it comes to YA!

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  5. This sounds like a truly beautiful, incredibly moving and very emotional book, Mands, and your review was beautiful. The way Alex seems to stay true to himself, not rise to the temptation when things are awful and unfair and just horrible for him, that sounds like a really admirable character, and I really smile when thinking of how you described his relationship with his little sister. I'm a little afraid to go in to this book, because I have a feeling (from your review, the synopsis) that something awful is going to happen, and I don't know if I prefer thinking of that relationship like I am now.

    Wonderful, wonderful review! xx

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    1. I know, sometimes it's hard to read a book knowing that something bad might happen, it can really put you on edge! I'm glad you like the sound of this one, Rom!

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  6. This sounds super nice. I really love that cover (and the nails, too!). And I don't even think I've read any books that involve swimming...so that sounds really interesting, too. I swim like a really dysfunctional puppy. It's awesome to behold. (Mime loves to give me grief for it...hehe. xD)

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    1. It's not often you read a book involving swimming, it makes for a nice change!

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  7. Great review on the book. Love the nail art especially that checkered pattern.

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  8. What a pretty book cover and manicure! This sounds like an awesome read...adding to my tbr right away!

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  9. Great review! I love sad books sometimes. Love the mani it definitely looks like swimming pool tiles! I might do this sometime as a mani dedicated to my boyfriend who is a swimming teacher... I can't swim at all though haha :p

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  10. Did Sue Lawson also write Pan's Whisper? I've been meaning to read her work, so I'm glad to see you've been enjoying it so much, Mandee. I also loveeee the checkered nails -- they're so neat! :)

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  11. I haven't heard of this before, but it sounds like a good read. I already really like the sound of Alex and Mia's relationship. It sounds so sweet. I'm glad you liked this overall, Mandee! I love the cover, and love the nails, as always. I want to bring you over here so you can do mine. ;)

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  12. I haven't heard of this book before, but it sounds like a great read. I think I'm more curious about Alex and Mia's relationship more than anything. I love when sibling relationships are portrayed in a positive way and Alex and Mia sound like they are very close.
    Lovely review, Mandee! I love the nails. Blue is my favorite color!

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    1. I love reading about sibling relationships, too!

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  13. Holy crap, what a steady hand you must have. Love the tiny tiles they look awesome. This one sounds really intriguing, love anything set in Australia, especially Melbourne. Going to add this one to my list. Thanks for the incredible review Mands.

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  14. I have this ongoing cart on Fishpond that seems to get larger and larger every time I read your blog! This sounds really interesting and I want to know what happened to Mia! Great review, and your nails are gorgeous as always! Did you do those squares freehand??

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    1. Haha, oh no! I am going to make you spend all your money! Yes, I did them freehand :)

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  15. Great review. Sounds like an intense read. But oh my gosh I love your nails. Cool concept. And oh my I feel so bad for only now finding your blog. So cute.

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  16. I haven;t read anything by Sue Lawson before, but I love the sound of Alex. His character seems to have a depth and substance that can sometimes be missing in YA characters. The alternating view between past and present also sounds interesting and a bit different too!

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  17. Great review Mands, this sounds really interesting and is something I'll definitely have to read! I love your mani too :)

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  18. This sounds like a really interesting read, Alex sounds like a unique protagonist. As usual, love the nails!

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  19. I'd never heard of this one but it sounds like a lovely and emotional read. Alex sounds like the kind of MC I would root for all the way! The writing style sounds perfect to build up a bit of a mystery and a sense of suspense. Lovely review Mands and the mani is brilliant - absolutely eye-catching, I love the colours ♥

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  20. This sounds really moving. I have to admit that I struggle with books with abusive parents--and his father sounds horrible, but I do like books where an event is slowly revealed. I might check this out sometime.

    Love the nails, as always. The checked pool floor is very cool. Great review and awesome nails!

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    1. I do too, they really upset me/make me angry!

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  21. This sounds like an emotional story! I'm anxious to know what happened to Mia. Alex sounds like a fantastic brother and a really intriguing character. I love the cover with the poolside, and the checkered nails to match are absolutely lovely. :-) Fantastic review and nails!

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  22. I haven't heard about this book before but it sounds amazing. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
    Great review!

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  23. I've never seen this book before but it sounds so good. I will definitely be adding this to my TBR shelf so hopefully it's one I can track down. This feels like it's going to be an emotional read, one that will probably really get to me. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  24. I've not read anything by Sue Lawson, though I remember I was working at a book store when Finding Darcy came out but at that stage it was the complete opposite of my reading tastes. I really like the cover of this, that blue is a fantastic shade and I really like the font they've used. I think you've done a great job on the nails, yet again, and I loved how you picked up the pattern on the pool tiles, which initially I hadn't noticed.

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