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QUIET NO MORE

From the Quiet You Carry series , Vol. 2

A sensitive and satisfying story of surviving sexual abuse.

The sequel to The Quiet You Carry (2019) explores what happens to now–college freshman Victoria after she told the truth about her father’s sexual abuse.

Victoria’s father is in jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty, and she has aged out of foster care, tentatively reconnected with her stepmother and stepsister, gotten her own apartment, and enrolled in community college. There, Victoria joins Students Against Sexual Assault and Harassment and begins to make new friends. Disturbing revelations and a request from an aunt she never previously knew existed force Victoria to agonize anew over her victim impact statement. Her many drafts reveal how challenging this statement is for her to write. Victoria faces other dilemmas as well. Is she still in love with her high school boyfriend? What should SASAH do about the student government leader who wants to shut them down? This volume stands on its own, and Victoria’s first-person voice remains as strong and appealing as it was in the previous book. Occasionally the characters’ dialogue can feel stilted as they talk about sexual assault statistics and the emotional impact of abuse. But the plot moves quickly—and believably—as Victoria sorts through her options and acts with the help of friends old and new. Except for two relatively prominent secondary characters, all characters are White.

A sensitive and satisfying story of surviving sexual abuse. (resources) (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63583-063-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me, three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind. (author’s note, content warning) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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