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Stronger Than You Know

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  838 ratings  ·  179 reviews
After police intervention, fifteen-year-old Joy has finally escaped the trailer where she once lived with her mother and survived years of confinement and abuse. Now living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in a comfortable house, she’s sure she’ll never belong. Wracked by panic attacks, afraid to talk to anyone at her new school, Joy’s got a whole list of reasons why she’ ...more
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Albert Whitman Teen (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  838 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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Jolene Perry
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: wrote-this
As an author, I love all my books, but I don't love them equally.
This book is my precious baby of a book.
The one I shed more tears writing than any other, and the one whose ending brought me more satisfaction than any other.
I'm SO thrilled it's found a home and will be making its way into the world.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: C-

After being confined to her trailer for most of her fifteen years, Joy is now safe living with her aunt, uncle and cousins. The scars on the outside of her body don't even slightly represent the pain she carries inside. She barely talks, spends most of her time in her room and has panic attacks when she's near males. Slowly, she begins to take risks and trust her new family and friends.

Jolene Perry created a realistic, traumatized character in Joy, though the speed at which she overcome
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
TW : Child abuse and rape.

Joy has never seen the world outside until a few months ago. She was confined in a small trailer by her mother who abused her and also brought in visitors who took advantage of her. My heart broke so much for this kid. All the inhumane things she went through shakes you to the core.

Finally getting out of that DISGUSTING place, Joy is taken in by her Aunt Nicole and Uncle Rob. These two are my favourite people throughout the book. They are so empathetic, specially Uncl
Craig Wiesner
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Powerful writing sucks you right in from page one. The story is realistic and painful but loaded with hope.

Until a few months ago, Joy lived her entire life locked in a trailer with an abusive mother and further abused by a string of visitors. Now, suddenly rescued from it all, she's having to navigate a life she never dreamed possible, while dealing with the damage of 15 years of unspeakable trauma.

Someone living in such a nightmare may find the strength to escape after reading this book. Som
Michael Burhans
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, novel
Another hard to classify book, except to say it is a leading contender right now for my Book Of The Year award. Powerful, thought provoking, unforgettable, I cannot come up with enough good things to say about this book. Joy has become one of my all time favorite book characters.

There are so many things I cannot say without ruining this book. You need to read it, and then read it again.

In my lifetime there have been perhaps 1 or 2 dozen books that really, truly hit me in my heart and soul. th
Cassie Mae
Apr 06, 2014 marked it as to-read
Waiting for this is gonna be torture!

Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn’t expecting this. I love this book with all my heart😢
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I adored Stronger Than You Know. I think everyone who has ever been through tough situations should read it just so they know that its possible to make it through anything. Also, as a warning, this book is about some pretty terrible abuse. So if you don't like reading about that then steer clear of this book.

Joy is such a timid little thing. When we first meet her all the answers we get are through questions her therapist asks. She is afraid of her uncle and she w
Sarah Elizabeth
3.13 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company and NetGalley.)
16-year-old Joy has spent her entire life in a caravan with her mother and her continual string of abusive boyfriends. Joy has been abused emotionally, physically, and sexually, but now she’s free to live the rest of her life with her aunt, if only she can come to terms with what has happened to her.
Can Joy heal? And can she learn to not be scared of me
Ms. Yingling
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joy has been raised by an abusive mother who rarely let her leave their small trailer and did not protect her from a succession of friends who thought it was funny to extinguish cigarettes on her back and boyfriends who did even worse. Taken away and put into the custody of her aunt and uncle, Joy is having difficulty fitting in and working through her understandable anxiety. Men make her nervous, she doesn't like to eat in front of others, and crowds make her want to disappear. She has a hard t ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

Stronger Than You Know had a few slow patches, but i really liked it!

I really liked Joy, and i loved her new family.
Out of all the characters, my favorite was Rob, so i was really glad when she started to talk to him.
The only one in the family i didn't get along with was Trent, but near the end of the book, he changed, and he grew on me.

The pacing could be quite slow, so there was times where i started to lose interest a bit..
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, read-2016
Interesting perspective into abuse and mental health issues. Great character development. However, the ending had too many loose ends for my liking and was a bit ambiguous and abrupt.
Samantha Diget
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read the book “stronger than you know” by Jolene Perry. I felt this book was sad but had a happy ending and it relates to me really well. In the book, the main character was named joy and when she was younger she was abused. She would have panic attacks when a guy got close to her. Then she moved to her aunt’s house and was having a perfect life. She had parents that loved her, friends, and a boyfriend. She never talked about her past because she was scared to but then she had to testify and b ...more
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book introduces in depth problems many people face in the real world, in a softer enviornment than the real world. Stronger Than You Know perfectly illustrates the concept of smiling on the outside, crying on the inside, and is an inspiration for anyone battling a silent fight.
Lupine Smile
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the story and like the characters in the story. The only reason that I gave it one less star was that the changes in the characters happened way too fast at times. i understand that it is a short book and pacing needs to be maintained, but people were doing about faces in only a few pages. If those issues were cleaned up, it would have easily been a five star book.
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to pause reading this because of life stuff. I read 92 pages and LOVED THEM and look forward to reread them and finishing this book in the future. I hope an audiobook comes out ASAP!
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
"You're going to start breaking free from this, Joy, and when you do, life's going to be good to you." ...more
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
i liked how realistic this book is, especially the therapy parts, and how it took Joy time to warm up to her therapist
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very heavy story of a girl, who believed she is broken and crazy for what happened to her in the past. Such an emotional journey that she goes on. A hard, but a good read.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have not cried over a book in so long!!! Ugh! All of the feels.
Ali Mark
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Read more reviews at:

Published in 2014.
Pages: 244
Number of books by author: 6 YA Novels
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

When someone saves Joy from her very own Hell, her Aunt and Uncle decide to take her in to prevent her from going into the foster care system. We follow Joy as she is on her own path of personal-discovery while trying to cope with her past and get acclimated to her future.

You may like this book if you like the following sub-genres:

Erin Arkin
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Stronger Than You Know tells the story of a fifteen year old girl who has dealt with things she never should have had to deal with. It also tells the story of how she learns to navigate the challenges that come along with trying to figure out who she is and where her place is in the world.

I have to admit, when I finished this book, my first thought was that I would never ever do this story justice with a review. This always happens to me when I read something that I absolutely love and Jolene P
Kelly Gunderman
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

Stronger Than You Know is a horrifying portrayal of one girl's struggle to feel normal after facing abuse for her entire life, leading her to severe trust issues, anxiety issues, panic disorder, and fear of the outside world and most of the people in it. It is a story of survival and overcoming odds, as well as finding happiness and a good life afterwards.

Joy has only ever known the small trailer that she lived
Xitlalie Tafolla
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wanted to know what a girl with depression and anxiety is thinking and feeling? Well this realistic fiction book is a book you should read. I honestly love this book, this book gives you so many details and descriptions on Joy's point of view of things.Joy is the main character of this book. "Stronger than you know" is a book that will get you thinking and wondering how she was able to survive through all those problems she had back home. You will be amazed when you read this book ...more
Wandering Librarians
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

More like 4.25-4.5 stars. I didn't expect to be completely blown away. A little reminiscent of If You Find Me, Joy's story is incredibly heartbreaking but still manages to be hopeful. I really really liked this one!


(Originally posted on Alexa Loves Books)

Stronger Than You Know is the story of a girl name Joy, who is currently trying to deal with the aftermath of the terrible circumstances she was used to and adjust to her brand-new "normal" life. It sounds so simple, doesn'
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
More reviews at Blame it on the Book

“I’m still in shock over the things that happened to me. The things I didn’t know weren’t normal. And now that I know what normal can be, I’m amazed I survived.”

When I started I knew it would be emotional but I had no idea what I was getting into. Joy didn’t just have a bad home life, it was awful. She was abused, both emotionally and physically by everyone she had meet until she was finally taken away at the age of 16.

She moves in with her Aunt Nicole, Uncl
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I first fell in love with Jolene's writing when I read The Next Door Boys, since then I may be stalking her on goodreads for new books, so the minute I saw Stronger Than You Know on Netgalley I knew I had to request a copy, even though I didn't really think I would get approved.

I knew before I started reading Stronger Than You Know that it wouldn't be an easy read, that it would be emotional and that I probably would cry my heart out, and I was correct. Stronger Than You Know is an emotional, he
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
The book jacket does not do this novel justice. If it was not for the synopsis, I don’t think I would have read this book. There is something about the lettering, the bright colors and the girl on the front that turns me off. If I compared the book’s themes to the cover, to me, it just doesn’t match. Her name is Joy and her childhood is far from joyous. Joy lived in constant fear, locked away with her mother in their trailer. She’s subjected to her mother’s many boyfriends while her mot
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I’d like to thank NetGalley and Albert Whitman & Co. for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

From my experience with another book written by Jolene Perry (The Summer I found You), I already knew that this was likely to be a character-driven book. And I was right. Joy has an extremely heartbreaking story, and now that she is finally out of the terrible situation she grew up in, she has to deal with all those ghosts. At first, it was really interesting and well done. But
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