Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Quiver” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.17  ·  Rating details ·  503 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Set in rural Tennessee, QUIVER by Julia Watts is a brilliant YA novel that focuses on the unlikely friendship between two teens from opposite sides of the culture wars. 

Libby is the oldest child of six, going on seven, in a family that adheres to the "quiverfull" lifestyle: strict evangelical Christians who believe that they should have as many children as God allows becau
Paperback, 324 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Three Rooms Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Quiver, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Emily McIntyre Hi Julia and other curious folks. I grew up in this movement and left when I was 23, going on to a secular life. This book was intensely disappointing…moreHi Julia and other curious folks. I grew up in this movement and left when I was 23, going on to a secular life. This book was intensely disappointing to me both as a writer and a survivor of this world. It read like a dystopic fantasy (the author spent so much time world building and pointing out how WEIRD the world was that she missed a lot of opportunities to deepen the characters and make the story more believable) and not like a compassionate story of people who are doing their best, which is my ultimate conclusion about this movement.

Many of the actual details of the world are true to *some* family lives in this movement, though by no means all. What is not accurate is the black and white portrayal of each character, as well as the ease with which Libby and her family "left". First of all, I've known a lot of damaging men in this movement, some outright villainous and others just hardheaded and delusional, but NONE of them were like the dad in this book. Every one of them had some softness to them, some way in which they proved that they were seeking God in their own way. The dad became a cardboard cutout, like every character in the book.

Another huge inaccuracy is that it is NOT so easy to leave this movement! A year later Libby has shed all her prejudice, looks like the world, and seems totally secure and happy? Bullshit. I knew a woman who left her abusive husband with $11 in coins in her pocket and 6 children under the age of ten. That family STRUGGLED and still does. This is a trite telling that has no bearing on the real lives of people who actually lived similar stories.

I was saddened that Watts managed to write an entire novel about a religious movement and never once highlight the genuine love and yearning felt by the people in it. My memories of my time in this world are tinged with golden moments where I felt connected to God, and where the community around me held me up. Sure there was a lot of restriction and sure there was abuse, but there was also glory.

The book read very much like an outsider with a notebook had written it. Details are catalogued but the soul and thought process is missing. It's great for the novelty factor, I suppose, if you didn't come from this movement, but I do not recommend this book to anybody at all.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  503 ratings  ·  100 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Quiver
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Is it impossible for two people on such opposite sides of things to become friends? Maybe we could be like two sides of a vinyl record, not opposites so much as complementary." - Zo Forrester's musings, page 52

Quiver is narrated in alternating chapters by two teenagers who represent a world of differences.

Liberty 'Libby' Hazlitt is sixteen, the oldest of six kids with a seventh soon on the way, growing up in an intentionally-isolated Christian patriarchal family in rural Tennessee. She's homesc
Liberty "Libby" Hazlett is the oldest six kids (soon to be seven). She is part of an evangelical Christian family who practices the Quiverfull lifestyle--having as many kids as God deems they should. The father is the head of the family and his wife and children (especially the girls) should do everything he says, no matter what. Libby and her siblings are home-schooled and rarely see anyone outside of their family and church. So when a new family moves next door, it's a pretty big deal. Zo and ...more
mad mags
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You say helpmeet, I say handmaid.

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for misogyny, homophobia, and domestic violence.)

Mr. Hazlett’s getting worked up, too. A vein in his forehead bulges disturbingly. “In a Christian home, the man is like God, and his wife is the holy church.”

Dad laughs out loud. Maybe a little too loud. “So you get to be a deity, and she just gets to be a building?”

I don’t know what shocks me more—my grandmother cursing or hea
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the premise of this book: two teenagers from "opposite sides of the culture wars" end up as neighbours and ultimately friends. Zo is a genderfluid teen from a super-left-wing household, while Libby comes from a strict Christian family where girls are confined to traditional gender roles. Libby is homeschooled due to her family's distrust of the secular world, while Zo is homeschooled due to social difficulties at school—I was expecting this to mean bullying based on her gender identity, ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everyone once in a while, it's nice to read a fluffy, predictable, easy, happily-ever-after YA. And for a change, it's not even a romance. There is a romantic subplot, but it's negligible and easy to gloss over.

Everything in this story went exactly as I predicted it would, but I didn't mind because I was looking for a cute LGBT-centric book like that.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have a new favorite YA author, and her name is Julia Watts. I absolutely couldn't put this book down and finished it in less than 24 hours. Representation of Southern/rural queerness and discussions across political and religious divides are subjects dear to my heart and so important for teens. ...more
Jenni Frencham
Watts, Julia. Quiver. Frontlist, 2018.

Libby is the oldest of her family's six children. They live on a remote farm where their mother home schools the children and their father works at his pest control business. They are a Quiverfull family, and thus they believe that the father is the head of the home just as god is the head of the church. Zo just moved next door to Libby. Zo's family is also home schooled, but Zo is genderfluid and her (when pronouns are used for Zo, they are always feminine,
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you Edelweiss for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review

If I had to compare this book to anything, it would probably be Jennifer Mathieu's Devoted. It's one of my favorite faith/belief stories, expertly weaving together all the positives and negatives of religion as well as showcasing the extremes one will go to cling to their perceived spirituality. This book takes that concept and runs with it so far it was honestly incredible. There's a term used in this book,
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up "Quiver" because one of the local library branches had it on their June Pride display. I had not heard of this book and after having read it, I am surprised that more people aren't talking about it especially as it is a LAMBDA Award winner.

This book was beautifully written. It shows respect for all of the aspects of believing in God and not believing. It fleshes out both main characters wonderfully and shows a level of love and acceptance that I wish more people adhered to in the rea
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have long hankered for a YA Quiverfull novel (yes, I know my reading interests are a little...odd...sometimes), and between Quiver and The Book of Essie (which I have yet to read but have out from the library), I think I may finally have gotten what I was looking for.

Quiver is the story of Libby and Zo: Zo's family believes in women's rights, LGBTQIA rights, vegetarianism, and Democratic candidates. Libby's family believes that the government (including anything like hospitals) is too corrupt
Marie desJardins
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this young adult book that explores the lives of two homeschooling families living in rural Tennessee: the Hazletts, a family of evangelical Christians, and the Forresters, a family of liberal/progressive "crunchy granola types." Libby Hazlett (the (mostly) dutiful oldest daughter of seven Hazlett children) and Zo Forrester (the gender-fluid older child of two Forrester children) become close friends despite the families' differences.

The book is surprisingly empathetic towards both fam
This was so so sweet. I finished it in two days! A heartwarming story that discusses religion and gender fluidity and sexism. I would give it a complete five starts except it is really more like a 4.5 because of one of my pet peeves: CW: assault (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I started reading Quiver, I started groaning internally a bit and thought "this is why I don't read much fiction, and certainly not YA fiction, anymore, these books are so predictable, but, heck, I'll give it a shot." I'm glad I kept giving it a shot! This book was definitely not predictable (but not unrealistic either) and I enjoyed reading it. In fact, I finished it in less than a day. ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I like the idea of the story more than the writing. A good representation of patriarchal Christianity though and a gender fluid teen.
Resolution was a little too tidy and quick, but overall a quick and interesting read.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This ticked all the boxes for me as an ex-Mormon gender-whatever southern person.
haley ☆
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
what a well-written, thought-provoking read. at first I was wary given the subject matter but everything is so accurate and well done. definitely going to check out the author's other work now!! ...more
Do you ever read a book that references so many of your niche interests that it’s weird it exists?
Quiver is that, for me.

Quiver is narrated by two teenage neighbors, who, at first glance, couldn’t be more different.
– Zo Forrester is genderfluid. The Forresters are vegetarians. They aren’t religious. Zo’s dad is a nurse.
– Liberty “Libby” is the eldest child in a Quiverfull family (like the Duggars of 19 Kids and Counting). Her mom is going through an especially rough pregnancy. The treatment fo
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Quiver by Julia Watts is a thought-provoking young adult novel that explores fundamental Christianity and gender-fluidity.

Sixteen year old Liberty "Libby" Hazlett is the oldest of six (soon to be seven) children. Her family is part of the "Quiverfull" sect of Christianity in which birth control is eschewed, the children are home-schooled by their mother and their father rules the home with an iron fist. Libby, her siblings and her mother live an isolated, insular life although her fath
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
A book I never would have heard of without Goodreads, and had to buy for Kindle as soon as I read its synopsis, I read this unique YA novel straight cover to cover in just over 3 hours this morning. It's a compelling read for someone who is a political lefty like myself, but who also has an absurd fascination with cults and the Duggar family on TV. The story centers around the friendship of Libby, the oldest daughter in a fundamentalist Christian family who follows the Quiverfull movement (like ...more
Amy Cummings
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book will drive you crazy if you don’t like a lot of rushed exposition and there is also a hint of tokenism going on, but it does ultimately get points for diverse characters and for being a deeply unique story in YA. I thought the beginning was whack but I got more and more into it as the book went on just because the storyline about the religious family kept getting more wild (note, it’s about a family in the Christian Patriarchy movement and you have to know this is considered extremism ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: early-reviewers
I don't usually read YA lit, but I was given this ARC by a friend who recommended it. And I have to agree, this book was riveting, well written and difficult to put down. The story is of a "quiver-full" family, who lives next door to a very liberal family. They share some values- homeschooling their children, being resourceful, old arts - in general, a fondness for homesteading. The conflict arises quickly, however, when the fathers start a conversation about women's roles. The children are then ...more
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this down.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
GAH! This book was awesome. I have a bit of an obsession with the Quiverfull people (like the Duggars, those families who believe the are breeding an army for "god"). This book reminds me of some of my "favorite" fundie families who are leading their own religious cults. It's YA, so it's easy to read. I read it in a single sitting last night. ...more
Stephanie Estes
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was tough to digest at the beginning due to the rigid ness of one Christian family. I am Christian and I dislike when religion. Is used against the person to portray them as stupid or ignorant. But, as I keep reading, I realized that the other family was being portrayed as stereotypically as the Christians. It took me a bit of time to wrestle past these stereotypes to get to the meat of the story, but at the heart of it all was a beautiful friendship between two people. And, friendship ...more
I picked this up at 11:30pm and was like "it wouldn't hurt to read the first chapter" and then I proceeded to read the whole thing. It is not often that I stay up until 2am reading books, so really, this book is great.

Both of the POV characters are lovely. Zo and Libby share an unlikely friendship, the former as the genderfluid child of some hardcore liberals and Libby the daughter of a controlling fundamentalist family that belongs to the Quiverfull movement. Zo's narrative tends to be about e
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-2018
Libby, short for Liberty, is 16 years old and the oldest of 6 (soon to be 7). What she doesn't have is much freedom. In her strict, evangelical Christian patriarch family, her father is the equivalent of God. She thinks this works, until more contact with her new gender fluid neighbor, Zo, and the outside world, makes her question if it really does. Set in rural Tennessee.

I really enjoyed watching Libby and Zo relate to each other and work on building their friendship while also being two very d
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, rainbow
This book is really quite good. I preferred the Libby chapters to the Zo chapters. Libby felt more researched and thought out. The author does highlight a couple of her Quiverfull resources, which I am now totally inspired to go check out myself. What a wild way to approach life. And as always, David Bowie makes everything better.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this genre of YA novels where two people from seemingly opposed situations find a way into connection and friendship. While others typically stick to one viewpoint (WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER? comes to mind), this novel is helped by including both Libby's and Zo's voices. Judgment, prejudice, and doubt run both ways in this story, and seeing each character work through their own biases to understand the other brings a lot of power and meaning to their relationship.

That said, I'm u
Allison Shockley
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Being from an extremely religious and at times misogynistic family, this book really struck a chord with me. It was easy to relate to Libby's internal struggle between what she wanted to do and what she thought she had to do to please her family, namely get married and have as many babies as God would bless her with. The oldest of six children, she is already well on her way to learning how to be a good mother and wife by participating in chores, cooking, cleaning, and child-care. She thinks tha ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
QUIVER author Julia Watts disinvited from Teen Lit festival 1 3 Sep 06, 2019 12:36PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Pulp
  • Music from Another World
  • Nirvana Is Here
  • Orpheus Girl
  • A Dance of Sisters
  • The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali
  • Camp
  • How It Feels to Float
  • Stručné dějiny Hnutí
  • Raising Them: Our Adventure in Gender Creative Parenting
  • The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness: A Guide for Students
  • Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children
  • Nothing Ever Happens Here
  • You're Welcome, Universe
  • What Beauty There Is
  • Weird Girl and What's His Name
  • A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars
  • Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Julia Watts is the author of over a dozen novels, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning Finding H.F.., the Lambda Literary and Golden Crown Literary Society Award finalist The Kind of Girl I Am, and the Lambda Literary Award finalist and Golden Crown Literary Award-winning Secret City. She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Tennessee, an M.A. in English from the University of Lou ...more

Related Articles

Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either... Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial...
81 likes · 11 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »