Sunday, April 28, 2019

Book Review: The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess

Title: The Quiet You Carry
Author: Nikki Barthelmess
Publication Date: March 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Victoria Parker knew her dad's behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights.

Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden.

But some secrets won't stay buried especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can't stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won't leave you alone?

I'm a fan of young adult contemporary fiction when it deals with serious issues. When I read the synopsis for The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess, I knew it was a book that I needed to read. Luckily, it didn't disappoint!

I found the plot of The Quiet You Carry to be very interesting indeed. I've always found books that deal with the foster system to be intriguing. I won't rehash the synopsis since the actual book synopsis does a good job explaining what the book is about. I found the plot to be very believable and extremely realistic. I didn't find any plot holes, and I was not left hanging. I didn't think there were any plot twists, but with this kind of book, it didn't need any plot twists to be good. I like the way The Quiet You Carry showed what I imagine life would be like for a teen in foster care trying to balance a new school, a budding romantic relationship, friendships, school, and the turmoil of what had happened. It's a lot for a young person to have to shoulder.

The characters in The Quiet You Carry were all realistic sounding and fleshed out perfectly. My heart went out to Victoria. What her father put her through was horrible, and then how he acted as if it were her fault. I hated that her stepmom chose to believe Victoria's father about the abuse. I know this actually goes on, and that's what makes it worse. I loved how she was willing to put everything on the line to protect her younger stepsister. I didn't agree with all of Victoria's choices, and I wish she would have done some things differently, but I realized she's supposed to be a 17 year old girl. I felt bad for Connie, the foster mom, as well. She was only following state rules, but the foster kids thought she was too strict. I think she got a lot of hate, and I always thought she was a good person from the beginning. I actually really liked Connie. Victoria's friends, Kale and Christina, were also really well written. I loved how they wanted to protect Victoria and how much they really cared for her.

The pacing was a bit shaky in some parts during the beginning of the book. However, the shakiness didn't last long, and before I knew it, I was totally immersed in Victoria's journey. I devoured this book, and I couldn't wait to see where Victoria's story would take her.

Trigger warnings for The Quiet You Carry include incest, sexual abuse, violence, domestic abuse, attempted suicide, and drug and alcohol references.

All in all, The Quiet You Carry is a great read. It started out a bit shaky, but it takes off before you know it. The plot and cast of characters were written so well that it was hard to put this one down! I would definitely recommend The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess to everyone aged 14+. You will not be disappointed.

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