REVIEW: What He Doesn't Know by Kandi Steiner

by - 9:00 AM

"The wedding ring on her finger didn't mean a goddamn thing. She was mine."

Back of the book blurb:

On the northeast side of town, there is a house.

The house was once magical, filled with love and joy and plans for the future. 
Inside its walls are many things that belong to me — my books, the china from my mother on my wedding day, the beautiful cage once home to two birds, now empty, just like me.

And a man.

A man who also belongs to me.

A man I no longer wish to keep.

A man who, no doubt, has not slept, though the sun is rising. Because the house where he waits is where I laid my head to rest every night for eight years. Until last night.

No one who knows me would believe Charlie Pierce, the quiet, bookish girl who never made waves is pulling out of the driveway of a man who isn’t her husband.

But they don’t know me at all.

I don’t even know me.

Not anymore.

They say there are two sides to every story, and I suppose in most cases, that’s true. But the one I live inside of? It has three.

On the northeast side of town, there is a house.

But there is no longer a home.

Chase’s thoughts:

Publication Date: March 15, 2018
Publisher: Kandi Steiner
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781985636682

Available for Purchase:

My rating:

            I literally think I measure my life in two ways: times I’m reading Kandi Steiner novels and times I’m waiting for Kandi’s next novel to be released. Thankfully, Kandi majors in torture (in the form of angst-y novels) and doesn’t keep us waiting for too long for her next tearjerker to be released. When I first read the description of what What He Doesn’t Know and the next part of the duet, What He Always Knew, would be about… I just knew we would be in for a wild ride. And after reading What He Doesn’t Know, I was right!

“On the northeast side of Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, there was a house. But there was no longer a home.

            Kandi’s writing ages like fine wine. Her words are lyrical and atmospheric. Her characters feel like old friends. Her worlds are complex and exciting and most importantly, they’re real. While reading any of Kandi’s novels, not once have I ever felt as if I was outside of the story. Kandi is so extremely adept at grabbing onto the reader’s shirt and pulling them into her worlds. Basically, it’s Kandi Steiner’s world and we’re all just living in it.

            The prologue sets up such a beautiful introduction to her newest world and characters. It honestly gave me chills while reading it. This is what I mean—from page one, Kandi gets the reader excited to know what’s going to happen next. From Weightless to What He Doesn’t Know, I’ve always been in awe of how Kandi’s words surround me and force me to feel every single emotion that I’m capable of feeling.

“Charlie Pierce, the girl who always said yes.”

            Kandi’s characters have always had their flaws—that’s what makes them great. However, aside from Natalie from Weightless, Kandi’s characters are pretty confident in themselves. One of my favorite character tropes is the insecure girl who learns to love herself. And Charlie did love herself and she loved her husband until one day, they got lost. In the wise words of Lana del Rey, “Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough. I don’t know why.”

            I always want to say that each new character in Kandi’s novel is my new favorite! They’re all just so incredible. Charlie is truly special, though. I want to just put her in my pocket and protect her from the world. I loved watching her go from the small, shell of herself girl at the beginning of the novel to the more self-assure girl at the end. She still has a long way to go and I’m so excited for the next part of the duet to find out what happens next!

“Charlie Reid was married, she was Charlie Pierce now, and still, it didn’t matter. I loved her, anyway.”

            Oh, REESE!!!! My dreamy, dreamy schoolteacher. God, the way he felt for Charlie… it was literally tangible. My heart hurt for him when he kept trying his best to just be there for Charlie and pretend that it was enough. Reese was absolutely adorable and he is definitely a new favorite book boyfriend.

“If I am a river, you are the ocean. It all comes back to you in the end.”

            To be honest, after reading the entirety of What He Doesn’t Know I cannot pick who I am rooting for more. Charlie and Reese or Charlie and Cameron. It’s easy to hate Cameron at the very beginning, but the more you read, the more you know, and the more you fall for both men. I absolutely love that, though. It adds even more angst to the novel because you literally do not know which way Charlie should go. I couldn’t even imagine writing this… it brings a whole new meaning to “kill your darlings.”

            All I know is that I am so so so excited for the next book, What He Always Knew, to find out what happens next. Please pick up What He Doesn’t Know asap! You will not regret it. And if you do, it’s only because you read it in one sitting and now have to wait the (very) short wait for What He Always Knew.

Happy Reading!

The Wandereader

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