All the Things We Do in the Dark
There’s no such thing as a secret.SOMETHING happened to Ava. The curving scar on her face is proof. But Ava would rather keep that something hidden—buried deep in her heart and her soul.She has her best friend Syd, and she has her tattoos—a colorful quilt, like a security blanket, over her whole body—and now, suddenly, she has Hailey. Beautiful, sweet Hailey, who seems to like Ava as much as she likes her. And Ava isn’t letting anything get in the way of finally, finally seeking peace. But in the woods on the outskirts of town, the traces of someone else’s secrets lie frozen, awaiting Ava’s discovery—and what Ava finds threatens to topple the carefully-constructed wall of normalcy that she’s spent years building. Secrets leave scars. But when the secret in question is not your own—do you ignore the truth and walk away? Or do you uncover it from its shallow grave, and let it reopen old wounds—wounds that have finally begun to heal?

All the Things We Do in the Dark Details

TitleAll the Things We Do in the Dark
Author
ReleaseOct 29th, 2019
PublisherHarperTeen
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, LGBT

All the Things We Do in the Dark Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "Sadie meets Girl in Pieces in this dark, emotional thriller by acclaimed author Saundra Mitchell." <----- SOLDI'm really grateful that YA fiction is tackling current, weighty issues for teens. I wish this type of fiction had been more mainstream when I was in high school. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
    more
  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    I blame this book -in a good way- for staying up really late with it on my hands. First of all, thank you for writing this. It's a powerful, raw book. It doesn't sugarcoats, it delivers in a way you feel the stress and the fears of the main protagonist, and that can only come from experience. This is a book about a girl of 9 who is raped by a man, and survives to tell the tale. And that is what she does, share her story. The highs and the lows, how everything she does or doesn't do can or can't I blame this book -in a good way- for staying up really late with it on my hands. First of all, thank you for writing this. It's a powerful, raw book. It doesn't sugarcoats, it delivers in a way you feel the stress and the fears of the main protagonist, and that can only come from experience. This is a book about a girl of 9 who is raped by a man, and survives to tell the tale. And that is what she does, share her story. The highs and the lows, how everything she does or doesn't do can or can't be marked by that fatidic moment. How there are scars in the inside and the outside, and how are things you carry on in yourself all your life.This book makes you feel, connects you, and it scares you because it can be you. It's narrated masterfully, with a powerful voice, and I especially liked how the author worked out the internal monologues when Ava is losing her thread and her fears, and PTSD is making an appearance. I loved how respectfully her mental health is fleshed out , and how believable she is.The book could be kind of a thriller, as she founds a body in the woods and her fears about what happens to survivors and victims of rape afloat and she wants to help the dead girl by finding out what and who happened to her; but to me, this book is more about awareness of the fact rape victims aren't guilty, they aren't the ones to blame and they carry it with them all their lives. Also, they are not their trauma. Also, I really loved the mental health awareness, about knowing sometimes things are too much, you can go from ok to destroyed in 0', and sometimes you will need to ask for help from friends, family or professionals, and it's okay. You might have a trauma, or an illness, but you're neither your trauma or your illness and they are part of you but they don't define you.I loved this book. Is masterfully written, full of truths and daring you to look at them. Is full of understanding and compassion, but not pity. It has a powerful way to deliver its messages, and all the characters that live on its pages are so well developed, so rounded, that you feel they can jump out of the pages and resume their lives in the real world.Do yourself a favor and read it. No, really. It stays with you.
    more
  • alana ♡
    January 1, 1970
    "Everybody else gets to leave a mark on me. Why can't I leave my own?" My first Goodread's update about this book was "this is gonna hurt", and boy was I right. All the Things We Do in the Dark came across my radar when I saw it pitched as The Lovely Bones meets Sadie. Normally, I try not to let the when X meets Y comparison be the reason I pick up books, but I mean, how I could I not for this one? This book centers largely around rape and PTSD and it's important that you go into this one understanding that and in that you'r "Everybody else gets to leave a mark on me. Why can't I leave my own?" My first Goodread's update about this book was "this is gonna hurt", and boy was I right. All the Things We Do in the Dark came across my radar when I saw it pitched as The Lovely Bones meets Sadie. Normally, I try not to let the when X meets Y comparison be the reason I pick up books, but I mean, how I could I not for this one? This book centers largely around rape and PTSD and it's important that you go into this one understanding that and in that you're in the correct headspace for it. While the rape scene is not discussed in full detail it is still extremely unsettling, mainly because Ava, the MC, was nine when it happened. But the quotes in this book y'all, oooof they hit SO HARD. This is a story about survival, rape culture, moving forward after unimaginable trauma, and doing what we think is the best for our own healing purposes, even if it may be hurting us instead of helping us.Here's a little example on the quotes hitting hard in this book: "I had a "good" rape. The kind where I was young enough that it was definitely not my fault. I was not sexy enough for people to think I might have secretly wanted it. My rape was committed by a pyscho-stranger-bad-man-not-anybody-nice-we-know. Extremely not my fault. Of course it's never anyones fault." "I'm obligated to say it out loud for everyone who can't. For the ones who don't have bulletproof stories even though we we're all equal: something evil happened, and it happened to us. We didn't make that evil happen." Those two specific quotes come within the first 2% of the book...so yeah, it hurt. Ava, has lived her life completely in control of everything since her rape. She never leaves the house alone, has one best friend who is the only person (besides the cops and her mother) that knows the truth about what happened to her and her giant scar on her face, and has a whole slew of tattoos that SHE chose to put on her body. It's very apparent that even though Ava's rape happened several years ago she is still dealing with PTSD and understandably so. She's compartmentalized a lot of things in her life since the rape to keep herself in control and feeling safe, until one day after a fight with her best friend she's walking home and finds a body of a dead girl in the woods.You would think that a normal reaction to finding a dead body would be to call the police, however, that's the exact opposite of what Ava does. Her reasoning is literally like a punch in the throat. She's trying to protect her "Jane Doe" from being picked apart and investigated by the police like she was when she was nine. She thinks that she's trying to help Jane even though she's dead and it's just the most heartbreaking thing ever. This book has a touch of magical realism in it because Ava starts to see Jane and without saying too much Jane helps her track down her murderer. All the while this is happening Ava meets a girl named Hailey and starts to develop feelings for her which is something she's never let herself experience before. Put all of this together and Ava is starting to loose control on what was her "normal" for years since her rape.All in all, even though the overall theme of this was heavy I loved the message that this story conveys. We all deal with trauma and grief and different ways and sometimes it's easier to make the choices that will end up hurting us for a quick fix of how we feel vs. taking the long road, asking for help, and working for a better tomorrow. If you think you're in an okay headspace for this one I highly recommend giving it a go! Thank you HarperTeen for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Twitter
    more
  • Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for proving an E-arc in exchange for an honest review.
  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 STARSNine-year-old Ava is scarred by her rapist. Eight years later she carries the weight of her experience within her and a large scar on her face, a mark that reminds everyone what happened. When Ava discovers the naked body of a murdered teen in the woods, she feels a kinship and names her Jane. Not trusting the police, Ava decides to solve the murder.ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK is a beautifully written novel, but one that I didn’t enjoy reading. Saundra Mitch 2.5 STARSNine-year-old Ava is scarred by her rapist. Eight years later she carries the weight of her experience within her and a large scar on her face, a mark that reminds everyone what happened. When Ava discovers the naked body of a murdered teen in the woods, she feels a kinship and names her Jane. Not trusting the police, Ava decides to solve the murder.ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK is a beautifully written novel, but one that I didn’t enjoy reading. Saundra Mitchell chose to write ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK in one long chapter, perhaps because Ava’s narration felt like one long, often psychotic, stream of consciousness storytelling. Mitchell’s word-building is exquisite.I questioned the reliability of Ava’s words from the beginning, once she began hallucinating Jane, I never knew what was real and what wasn’t. Ava’s dishonesty, though a component of her unnamed mental illnesses, added to my reasons to distrust her narration. I felt much empathy for her, but I didn’t like her very much.Plot-wise, ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK felt weak and underdeveloped. Ava was the only character with depth and dimension.The writing carries ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK.
    more
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars review to come
  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you HarperCollins for giving me an ARC of this book
  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict...ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK is an intensely challenging and thought-provoking read with some magical realism elements. In the book, there is a trigger/content warning up front and center, but this does not always appear on online listings, so I will start by saying that this book contains sexual assault, sexual and physical violence, and PTSD. This story is made all the more poignant for the basis of the assault being from the author's own life. This is als See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict...ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK is an intensely challenging and thought-provoking read with some magical realism elements. In the book, there is a trigger/content warning up front and center, but this does not always appear on online listings, so I will start by saying that this book contains sexual assault, sexual and physical violence, and PTSD. This story is made all the more poignant for the basis of the assault being from the author's own life. This is also what gives it a very real feel and makes the characters come to life all the more.The main character, Ava, was sexually assaulted by a stranger when she was nine years old. The traumatic event left her with a scar on her face in addition to the many invisible scars she carries. She carries this with her, and events that happen after are often defined by others as relating to the assault. This is inseparable, however.Ava has found a body of a woman/girl in the woods. Knowing what could happen if she reports it, she instead tries to protect this body, which she refers to as Jane, and to try to figure out what happened to her. She begins to see Jane and speak with her, leading her to do things she has never has done before. She lives a relatively sheltered life, and her desire to protect Jane is taking her outside of that.At the same time, she is bonding with a new romantic partner, a girl who she is getting to know better. She has never sought out such relationships, and this one marks an important change in herself and her life. The romance is both complimentary to the main story and beautiful in its own right.What I loved: This is not an easy read, and the fact that it is challenging is part of what makes it important. Ava's experiences and reflections are really poignant and carry off the page very well. It is easy to understand her and slide into her world, making this a really strong story. I also really enjoyed the romance and how raw, lovely, and true it felt.What left me wanting more: As a relatively smaller point, I really wish that there had been some therapy involved. I know that not everyone gets help in these situations, but I love for people to see resources and how to get help. On the plus side, there will be an inclusion of a resources list for readers.Final verdict: Compelling and thought-provoking, this book is SADIE meets THE LOVELY BONES. Would recommend for people looking for a deep, psychological, and challenging but ultimately pensive and raw read.Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    I borrowed this ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) from a local bookstore for their Teen Advisory Group. My opinion is my own and is not impacted by anyone. All quotes used may not be in the finished copy."You know in your heart, your still-beating heart, that it's a lie. But you take the lie, you chew the lie, you swallow the lie.If you didn't, you might never stop screaming," All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell is an edgy mystery perfect for the creepy October season. I was en I borrowed this ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) from a local bookstore for their Teen Advisory Group. My opinion is my own and is not impacted by anyone. All quotes used may not be in the finished copy."You know in your heart, your still-beating heart, that it's a lie. But you take the lie, you chew the lie, you swallow the lie.If you didn't, you might never stop screaming," All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell is an edgy mystery perfect for the creepy October season. I was enthralled in the storyline but what really stood out to me was the writing style. Mitchell would group words together into one word to draw attention to them (forexampleitwouldreadlikethis). This book was in 1st person so we were reading what Ava was thinking but then in parenthesis, we would see what she was really thinking. Ava would try to think the best of situations but the parenthesis showed what she was actually thinking. It was such a unique writing form that kept me hanging from literally every word. The character development of Ava was very descriptive, I know I wouldn't have enjoyed the book if it wasn't as good. I highly recommend this to 14+-year-olds who want a creepy and edgy read. CW: sexual assault, rape, PTSD involving sexual assault and rape, anxiety.
    more
  • Brenna Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Edelweiss for the ARC of this novel! I honestly did not know what to expect from this book when I requested it. I knew the cover was beautiful and that the premise felt like a YA horror novel that I could not miss out on. It was so much more than that, and I was left with an overwhelming sadness but also a kind of peace. It was so genuine and felt like the protagonist was telling her story to just me and soon she became less of a fictional character and more of a living, bre Thank you so much to Edelweiss for the ARC of this novel! I honestly did not know what to expect from this book when I requested it. I knew the cover was beautiful and that the premise felt like a YA horror novel that I could not miss out on. It was so much more than that, and I was left with an overwhelming sadness but also a kind of peace. It was so genuine and felt like the protagonist was telling her story to just me and soon she became less of a fictional character and more of a living, breathing person. Little did I know until I reached the afterword from the author that it was probably because Saundra opened up her heart and poured her life onto these pages. We meet Ava, and she wastes no time in telling us her story. There are people and places that have shaped the Ava that she presents to the world, and her story intertwines with that of a girl just as broken as she is that leads her to find who she really is. She starts at the very beginning, even though she states first off that she knows we want to get to the meat of the story, but to tell that story is to begin with hers. She recounts her encounter with The Summer Man, a stranger who took her childhood, safety, and peace of mind, and left her with a scar trailing down her face at nine years old. She could never hide what happened to her, and it made her cautious. She sought out a routine and never broke it. She hid behind celebrities when she was able to escape in the tattooist's chair; taking their art for her own. She stayed inside her house, and her mom let her. Tiny things started adding up to crack the shell of her resolve. She meets Hailey, who is sweet and funny, and makes her feel things she didn't know that she could anymore. Her best friend, Syd, is unexpectedly rude and callous towards her, and won't tell her why. The biggest thing, however, is that one night as she attempts to walk home from the city via the woods, Ava finds Jane. She is hidden in a tree stump, mutilated and with the life drained from her. In Jane, Ava sees a kindred spirit. Her first thought is to call the police, but her own experience after The Summer Man stops her cold. She doesn't want Jane to be put through the things she had to endure, and so she covers her back up but takes her essence with her.Ava sees and hears Jane everywhere. She starts to do things she never dreamed she would; sneaking out of her house late at night, stealing her mother's car, making a move on Hailey, and standing up to Syd. She starts to break open, and it is terrifying and beautiful all at the same time. When she finds someone else at Jane's impromptu grave site, she realizes there is so much more to this story than she could have ever deduced alone. We see Ava find out Jane's true identity and bring her killer to justice. This completely changes Ava. She is a completely new person, and she is able to ask for help to deal with her trauma.This is a story about life. Lives interrupted, lives changed, lives reborn. I love the open and inviting way it was written, and I cannot thank the author enough for her courage in sharing her life with us. She writes in the afterword that she tells her story so others out there don't have to. She didn't want to make up something to damage this character that would just be another fictional happenstance that we would read about and then close the book and set it all aside. She put her truth in these pages, and though it is surrounded by fiction, you can feel the heartbeat of sincerity. It was a truly compelling read, and I think it's going to help so many people.
    more
  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    This first person story lets us deep into the mind of a young woman dealing with a significant tragedy in her life. Ava was raped and assaulted when she was nine years old which has left her with a scar on her face as her only visible injury. Inside she's much more damaged. Now seventeen, she doesn't go anywhere without her mother or her best friend Syd. She doesn't like being around groups of people which makes school a kind of torture for this very bright young woman.She has a numb This first person story lets us deep into the mind of a young woman dealing with a significant tragedy in her life. Ava was raped and assaulted when she was nine years old which has left her with a scar on her face as her only visible injury. Inside she's much more damaged. Now seventeen, she doesn't go anywhere without her mother or her best friend Syd. She doesn't like being around groups of people which makes school a kind of torture for this very bright young woman.She has a number of hidden tattoos that are all chosen because they are like tattoos that some of her favorite actors and artists have. She is having some troubles with her friend Syd who broke up with her latest and got a new tattoo without telling her while Ava was away visiting her father. She feels that she and Syd are drifting apart and she doesn't know why.One day she's walking home from school alone when she discovers the body of a young woman hidden in a fallen tree. She can see that the girl has been assaulted. She knows she should call the police but then she remembers all of the things that happened to her after her rape and doesn't want to submit the body to the same things. Ava also meets a girl that she has known all her life but hasn't hung out with and she falls in love with her which just adds more trauma to a girl who likes things to stay the same and who buries memories in a series of boxes in her mind. Between being haunted by the body that she names Jane, trouble with her best friend Syd, and a new romance, Ava is reeling. When she goes back to visit the body, some boy is there. She chases him down and finds his dropped phone. When he tracks her down again - he's sort of a techno-geek, he tells her that he knows who killed the girl and the evidence is on his phone. This was a very personal story about the aftereffects of being raped. It was uncomfortable to read and I kept wondering why she - and her over-protective mother - hadn't gotten therapy to deal with these issues. Being told in the first person, it left me wanting to know more about Nick who ended up being her partner in trying to solve the girl's murder and who sort of disappeared off-stage once Ava had to tell about finding the body.Fans of this sort of psychological thriller will enjoy reading this one. I enjoyed the hopeful ending.
    more
  • Gemma
    January 1, 1970
    I was gifted a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book was raw and emotional. It told a really powerful story based of the authors own experiences with rape and sexual assault, so trigger warnings for these things. This book does have it's own trigger warnings in the front too which is great as it doesn't rely on early readers and reviewers to make people aware of these. The main character tells her story and as you follow her we discover ways in which she I was gifted a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book was raw and emotional. It told a really powerful story based of the authors own experiences with rape and sexual assault, so trigger warnings for these things. This book does have it's own trigger warnings in the front too which is great as it doesn't rely on early readers and reviewers to make people aware of these. The main character tells her story and as you follow her we discover ways in which she copes with what has happened to her but also how she struggles with what has happened and how she's feeling. This book definitely promotes the importance of talking to people and asking for help however, it doesn't force this upon you. I think it was extremely well written and handled all of the topics very well. There was a bit of a mystery aspect to this plot as well that ran alongside the main characters day to day life and I think this was an interesting way to depict the characters thoughts and feelings about how she's coping in her everyday life. There's also LGBTQIA+ rep in this book, our main character ends up in a f/f romance and again this didn't feel forced or included on purpose. It complimented the story well. Overall I enjoyed this story when I read it and it definitely covered some really important topics extremely well. It was a raw and powerful read, full of emotion and I think it was very well written and handled all of the topics well. The only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars was because I found the story itself, although extremely important, didn't fully immerse me.
    more
  • Michayla (WaitingfortheSecondStar)
    January 1, 1970
    So. So. So. So. So. So. Good!Basically read this entire thing in one sitting.The first paragraph had me sobbing.The remaining story had me turning pages, toppling into Ava’s life, her burdens and her growth.This is an incredibly important read that speaks truth to our culture in unapologetic ways.I will be rereading and recommending this one for years to come.A million thank you’s and blessings to Saundra for sharing her sto So. So. So. So. So. So. Good!Basically read this entire thing in one sitting.The first paragraph had me sobbing.The remaining story had me turning pages, toppling into Ava’s life, her burdens and her growth.This is an incredibly important read that speaks truth to our culture in unapologetic ways.I will be rereading and recommending this one for years to come.A million thank you’s and blessings to Saundra for sharing her story, even in a fictional setting.
    more
  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    This really does live up to its pitch, though I'd say it's more Sadie meets Cheryl Rainfield's Scars. Definitely an interesting writing style I did not expect, and where breaking the fourth wall isn't usually my favorite, I thought it worked really well here. I expect this book is going to help a lot of assault and especially CSA survivors <3
    more
  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    A thrilling and suspense filled novel that has an emotional atmosphere to it. I felt like for a young adult novel it has a lot of heavy themes running through it. A definite must read for mystery lovers. Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for the E-arc copy of #AlltheThingsWeDointheDark.#YAMustRead2019
    more
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    This wasn't quite what I expected it to be. All the Things We Do in the Dark is a genuine, touching portrayal of survival and the struggle of coping with traumas and PTSD. Ava is a character you might not be able to relate to, but she's someone you'll immediately fall in love with. Saundra Mitchell crafted an important and poignant story that'll stay with you long after you've finished reading it.*Thank you to HarperTeen and HarperCollins for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an/>*Thank This wasn't quite what I expected it to be. All the Things We Do in the Dark is a genuine, touching portrayal of survival and the struggle of coping with traumas and PTSD. Ava is a character you might not be able to relate to, but she's someone you'll immediately fall in love with. Saundra Mitchell crafted an important and poignant story that'll stay with you long after you've finished reading it.*Thank you to HarperTeen and HarperCollins for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
    more
  • Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you kindly to HarperTeen for my review copy. Trigger warnings: sexual assault, violence, and PTSD.Wow. This one cut deep. A moving, challenging book to read. Full review to come.
    more
  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Queer content: queer MC
  • Louisa
    January 1, 1970
    This book was dark and fantastic! It does come with some trigger warnings, it's a really amazing read!
  • Shauna Yusko
    January 1, 1970
    Strong 3 1/2.
  • Louise Esson
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ pg149Might come back to this on audio once the book is out, it’s just not keeping my attention just now
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Pretty decent - very raw and psychological.
Write a review