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Strong Enough

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Starting over is hard.

And sometimes, you have to burn a few bridges to do it.

Whitney Brown is average--average intelligence, average height, average weight--but she wants to be someone new. To kick-start her rebirth, she wears formal mourning, a black veil and vintage dress, to a wedding in her hometown, Woods Cross, a community that treasures family values. Is it an atta
Kindle Edition, First, 329 pages
Published February 25th 2013 by Ellen Harger
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  28 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
A well-written, intricate story of a woman’s struggle to find her niche in the world and be accepted for who she is. In the meantime struggling with difficult decisions, big changes and friends and enemies swapping places. Being a DJ with a new identity has given Whitney freedom and something to hide behind, but soon enough she is forced to step into the ‘real world’ and begin living again. There is pain and confusion waiting, but also the realization that there are friends to be found in the mo ...more
Rebecca A
Review cross posted at and Vicariously!

***I gave this book a 4.5 on my blog. I refuse to knock it down to 4 stars just because goodreads doesn't have half stars.***

I'm going to breathe for a minute. I just finished reading this beautiful baby and the nostalgia that's waxing poetic in my head is completely overwhelming.

Can I just say that I'm hella thankful for the beautiful people in my life? The many Sadi-like creatures that make my days lovely and beautiful?

On to the review.

This boo
Brandee (un)Conventional Bookworms
Strong Enough is a powerful novel. It's a story of self-discovery, of growing up, of changing perceptions and expectations. And it's poignantly told. It was amazing!

I feel Strong Enough is actually the story of three women. These women knew each other in college and now find themselves, once again, living in the same town. Whitney, the main focus, left her small home town, after a rather defiant act, in an attempt to be adventurous in building a new life of her choosing. She's now a DJ at a loca
Wise Louise
Nov 20, 2013 rated it liked it
The cover was plain but in the typical cartoon style of 'chick lit', the title was nice and large as was the author name. I liked the title. It was simple, yet appealed. I was put off by 'a midwest novel' tag on the microphone but only because being from the UK I felt I might feel excluded from urban slang and so forth (I wasn't).

In the blurb I'm introduced to the main character, Whitney, who is average in just about everything. But she wants to change. She's tired of being average. What I liked
Christie Palmer
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, 2013, contemromance
My Review
This book is a story of several woman and how they move through life, love and relationships.
The book is slow to start and moves rather sluggishly through the entire book. I had a difficult time relating to the story line and the characters. They seemed to be chasing their tails and moving in circles throughout the book.
I kept waiting for something to happen that would draw me to them and never really found it. In fact by the end of the book I actually disliked the characters more.
Jennifer Sutliff
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I make no bones about the fact that I am a Midwestern gal, born and raised in Joplin, MO and then I transplanted myself here in Springfield, which is the inspiration for Harger’s fictional town of Sundown, MO. But even if you’ve never been to Missouri, there is quite a lot about this novel that is enjoyable.

Right away, we are introduced to the book’s main character, Whitney, in a very memorable way. Harger has this skillful way of making the reader connect with the characters she has created. Wh
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
If you like music and like to read this is the book for you. Strong Enough incorporates music and reading the two things I love to do. This is a story about love, friendships, and finding one's true self and where you belong. Have you ever just had enough and said F%^& it! Have you ever just wanted something but never gone after it? Well that is what happened to Whitney our main character in Strong Enough. She has decided she needs to find herself. But where to start? She dresses different a ...more
Jackie (Jackie's Book World)
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone :)
Recommended to Jackie (Jackie's Book World) by: Author
Review can also be found @ Jackie's Book World

*A copy of the book was provided by the author for an honest review*

"We are free to make our own choices but we are never free from the choices we make"

Strong Enough is a book about finding new beginnings and finding your true self. One of the things that I loved about the novel was that it was very well written, the titles of each chapter were named after songs (which it made the novel unique and much more interesting). Although it took me some tim
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I initially picked this book because it sounded like something I could relate to. A midwest gal who has burned some bridges along the way? Sounds familiar.

The book itself has a good plot. An average, everyday girl is trying to make a name for herself after what was a rather rocky exit from her hometown. She is joined by two college "friends," as well as the men in their lives and friends of friends. You follow Whitney through her life and all of the different events that occur in her life.

Tiffany Mcgee
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a Midwestern girl, Ellen Harger’s Strong Enough is like peering into the lives of my colleagues and classmates. Every woman can identify with Whitney’s struggle for independence, autonomy, and adulthood. Female friendships are the backbone of this debut novel, proving that first impressions can be deceiving, enemies can become friends, and sometimes a pair of socks can break the camel’s back. The romantic relationships are three-dimensional, and the heartbreak is real. I strongly recommend th ...more
Amanda Bayless
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Strong Enough is a delightful gem of a debut by Ellen Harger. It is a well-written story about making decisions and starting over, about knowing when to hang on and when to cut your losses. The author did a good job creating relatable, true-to-life characters who face tough situations to which, sometimes, there is no easy answer. Kudos to Ms. Harger for tackling difficult social issues and their unavoidable pain with grace and honesty. This is ultimately a story about friendship, courage, learni ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Ellen pens "Strong Enough" a well written story about making decisions, starting over and friendship. Her main characters were realistic and believable, although there were many characters to follow I really didn't have that much trouble keeping up. A great debut novel that will keep you turning the pages.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Kobby Gyampoh
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it

OK. I don't get it. They sniff each other's armpits? And he says, "Yup." afterwards??

More like... YUCK!! But then again it's not always you have characters who don't have body odor (from all the chaos you put them through). A plus to Whitney.

I loved, loved this book. A shaky start, I must say, but it turned out well through not-far-from-the-start, the middle and the end.

One thing I love about this book: there's no room for predictions. Everything in the blurb ends before the first chapter. And
Donna McBroom-Theriot
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked the way the author bounced right into the book with "Starting over is hard. And sometimes, you have to burn a few bridges to do it. Whitney Brown is average - average intelligence, average height, average weight - but she wants something new. To kick-start her rebirth, she wears formal mourning, a black veil and vintage dress, to a wedding in her hometown, Woods Cross, a community that treasures family values. Is it an attack on marriage or has she just gone bonkers?"

As a reader, I foun
Queen Spades
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: royally-favored
Disclaimer: Slight spoilers.

For the full, extended review, please go to The Review Board.

I wanted to point out some opportunities before going into the things I liked so much about this work.


Hook: Through the first part of the book, the interest did not stay at anticipatory level. Although you get drawn back towards the middle of the book, you almost get lost on Whitney being the main character because of the dynamics of the supporting cast.

Spotty development of main character: Alt
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on The Canon! {}

I feel like Strong Enough is one of those books I will read again and again, mostly because the characters are so extraordinarily vibrant. From the first page, each and every one of them stuck in my mind due to the personalities and traits described through Whitney's eyes. Leah is the bitchy friend that pretends to be nice, Sadi is defensive, and Whitney is on the journey from pushover to being "strong enough" <- =]

Aug 14, 2013 rated it liked it
While there was some excellent writing in this book, I really struggled to finish it as the characters simply did not draw me into the story. Even the central character, Whitney, did not become likeable until I was several chapters in, and there were times even then that I found her poor choices and wishy-washy behavior off-putting. Some of the supporting cast were people who did not like each other, and I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't just all go in separate directions.

But of course,
Terri Lee
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love the title....Strong Enough. The main character, Whitney, is in a very fragile state when we first meet her.At a turning point in her life, she doubts everything about herself. But she comes to find out that she is indeed, 'STRONG ENOUGH'. Sometimes we find our strength only when we learn to lean on others. The story takes its times and allows you to get to know the characters at a leisurely pace. Which is how it is in real life. Sometimes it's takes a bit to warm up to people. That's what ...more
Suanne Laqueur
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Whitney, who is, by her own definition, just an average woman, heads back home to Sundown, intent on realizing her dream of being a radio DJ. Looking for growth and change, she struggles to make her talents known in a difficult work environment as she takes the first tentative steps towards romance with a firefighter named Gabe. Whitney also deals with the cavalier treatment of men by Leah, her closest friend, and harbors a growing suspicion Gabe may be one of Leah's toys. There's also the intim ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What do you get when you open a book by Ellen Harger? It's more than words, it's a banquet of eloquent language that encompasses characters you can relate to and feel for. Harger's first novel opens up in a Midwestern town with a woman who's seemingly gone off the deep end. While Whitney's situation might be a little removed from what most women would do, she does what a lot of us desire--she starts again somewhere else. While it looks like she's got it all under control by opening herself up an ...more
Asli Fratarcangeli
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I started reading this book, I sat there thinking, that these were three very different women who hanging out together. And then I got it!! This story, about the relationship between these women was so compelling. Watching how some bonds strengthen and while another gets completely severed, because of jealously and stupidity, truly captivated my attention!

One of the things I really liked about this book, is how the relationship between Whitney and Sadie grows from indifference to an actual,
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I’m Ellen. I’m a word gypsy and emotion sifter, writing about broken condoms, unhappy marriages and women’s issues. Filled with sass and snark, my novels live at the chick-lit end of women’s fiction and women’s fiction end of chick-lit.

Why? Because to me, chick-lit is the niche between sultry romance and a comedienne who gets the last laugh. Women’s fiction, on the other hand, borrows heavily fro
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