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Review: Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

Blurb from Goodreads:
Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth-century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt, it’s the “rex,” the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books (and conveniently make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out.

But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. And if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. Their flourishing romance is one that will never be allowed. And with both eyeing the same prize, it’s a romance that seems destined for failure. As their attraction deepens, danger looms on the other side of the hills, causing everyone’s secrets to come to light and forcing Samuel and Rachel to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry, and with it a new life together, or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other?
My Review:
About this book, Maggie Stiefvater wrote: "It was pitched as Indiana Jones meets Romeo & Juliet. The pitch was not wrong."  And honestly, this is why I wanted to read this!  Not only was the pitch not wrong, but this was very charming - a mix of adventure, romance, history and, of course, dinosaurs!  It was slightly rambling at times and maybe a bit too long but still super fun and descriptive.  The romance was slightly more prominent and mature than I expected (I still have a hard time figuring this to be YA and not middle grade given some of the other characterizations) but the action adventure story worked.  I was transported to the Badlands and was rooting for every archaeological find! This one would be a great Christmas gift for tweens, for sure!

Every Hidden Thing came out earlier this year and you can purchase HERE. I definitely recommend this one if you like historical, action filled YA and/or DINOSAURS!

For as long as I could remember, I'd been looking for things. As a boy it might be a warbler egg or the knuckle of an ox or the larva of a monarch butterfly. The thrill of the hunt, something lost now found. I'd kept shelves in my bedroom for my specimen boxes. They made me happy--but almost from the moment of the finding, that hunger rekindled and made me turn to something new, something more I needed to be discovering. 


  1. Indy + Romeo * Juliet is one interesting mix! Sounds like this would be perfect for someone who loves some action/adventure in their YA. Glad you enjoyed this one even if it got a bit rambly at times.

  2. I was curious about this book, but wasn't sure if it was for me. I do like the sound of the action adventure plot though.
    Great review, Eva!

  3. I'm not one for Romeo and Juliet type romances, they always seem fraught with problems, but this does sound interesting. Wonderful review, Eva! :)

  4. I saw this book on Twitter once and remember wanting to read it. I'm glad it was a hit for you. Lovely review!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  5. I keep hearing great things about this book! I just... don't totally even understand what it is about? I mean, I get it, kind of but... dinosaurs in the 19th century has me scratching my head. It's certainly unique, I will give it that! I like that it was quite full of romance, that makes me want to read it more actually! Great review!


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