College freshman Victoria Parker is trying to move on with her life after surviving sexual assault by her father and six months in foster care. She's focusing on the positives--attending college, living on her own, repairing old relationships and making new ones, and getting involved with an abuse survivors activist group on campus. But everything's thrown into disarray when a strange woman shows up, claiming to be Victoria's aunt and asking Victoria to lie about what happened to her. With her father's sentencing in a few months, she's nervous about having to share the truth of what happened with a judge. She's not even sure if she has the strength to go through with it. But when her fellow club members begin pressuring her to speak out, Victoria has to decide how to share her story while remaining true to herself.
Nikki Barthelmess is an author of young adult books, including The Quiet You Carry, Quiet No More, and Everything Within and In Between. While growing up in foster care, Nikki found solace in books and writing. A former journalist, Nikki lives in sunny Santa Barbara with her husband, daughter, and a diva of a corgi. When not reading or working on her books, Nikki loves advocating for the rights of current and former foster youth, jogging near the beach, and trying to convince her abuelita that feminism means it’s okay that her husband does all the cooking.
As those who read the first book The Quiet You Carry, you will recall Victoria Parker and the ordeal she went through as at first her stepmother Tiffany believed that Victoria had made a move towards her father until everything unraveled at the end and Jeffery Parker was thrown into jail and it was revealed that he had sexually abused Victoria and tried to abuse her sister Sarah. Now Victoria is in college and trying to move on with her life as her Dad is behind bars, she has a good boyfriend in Kale and she has joined the Sexual Harassment Club at the college and Tiffany/Sarah are on her side. Life though is about to throw Victoria some more curveballs as she receives a letter from a long-lost Aunt Audrey who is her father's sister. Audrey reveals some dark details of her family's past, including the fact that she and Jeff were molested by their Grandfather when they were children. Though this isn't an excuse for what Victoria's Dad did, Audrey hopes that it will help and influence Victoria's victim statement against her father. Meanwhile, on campus, the club is trying to get funding but due to a personal conflict with the Student Body President and one of the other girls Lana in the club - it looks like that won't be approved. What happens though when the president decides to expose Victoria's past and turn her and the group into what he thinks they are - man-haters. Kale wants and believes Victoria's father should rot in prison and that she shouldn't do anything for him and cut contact and move on with her life. He doesn't think it's doing Victoria any good being in the SASH group. What happens when their differences and POV's start pulling them away from one another? I admired Victoria near the end of this book as in the first book and even the majority of this one, it was like every decision and move she made regarding what she went through, was to make someone else feel better. She wasn't thinking of herself and putting herself first as it wasn't just Audrey, Tiffany, and Sarah that were victims and survivors. Victoria was too. This was an amazing conclusion to the series and finished on such a good strong ending with Victoria's speech of "her story".
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of QUIET NO MORE by Nikki Barthelmess in exchange for my honest review.***
Now in college, Victoria continues to recover from her father’s abuse. She’s joined a sexual violence prevention club and struggles to forgive her former stepmother when her father’s sister, an aunt Victoria never knew existed, emerges. Audrey wants her niece’s help to lessen her brother’s sentence. Everyone wants to steer Victoria’s process.
I loved THE QUIET YOU CARRY, the first book in the series, but struggled with the sequel. QUIET NO MORE felt like it was trying too hard to recapture the magic of the book one. The characters feel less unique and more tropish, almost like people I’d see on Law&Order: SVU. QUIET NO MORE read like an Important Message Book rather than a story I was invested in following.
While I appreciate that Barthelmess was trying to show that the story of abuse doesn’t end when the perp is jailed, I’d have rather seen Victoria working through her PTSD with a therapist as a necessary part of her healing.
Readers who like newer episodes Law&Order: SVU will enjoy QUIET NO MORE. Those who prefer more nuanced characters and plots may want to skip this sequel.
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Oh my heart strings. Quiet No More was so freaking good. I mean, I felt so many emotions while reading this book and I didn't expect any of that to happen. In it, you will meet Victoria Parker. After going through the horrible ordeal in the first book, she is now at college and trying to move on with her life. Especially since her gross dad is now behind bars.
Throughout the book, we get a deeper look into her father's life and what he went through growing up. Of course, after we get all this information I can see how it stuck with him and how he eventually did the same. Still grosses me out though.
Besides her own family trying to change her statement, the student body President is also gross and I hate what they did to Victoria and the Sexual Harrassment Club. The whole man-haters or woman-haters just pisses me off and ugh, I wanted to punch someone in this book.
The ending is what broke me. Oh, the tears man. The tears. They got me.
Thank you NetGalley for this review copy of Quiet No More by Nikki Barthelmess.
Quiet No More is the sequel to the contemporary YA novel The Quiet You Carry. The main character Victoria is now in college, has joined a campus advocacy group and is trying to maintain ties with her boyfriend, friends and family back home. Although she’s making forward strides in recovering from her assault she struggling with the impact statement needed for her abuser’s sentencing. To further complicate matters her father’s sister shows up to fill in some missing gaps in her family history.
A lot of teen books are angsty. A lot are angsty for no reason. This is not the latter. What I appreciated about this duology is that the author shows how abused children can struggle under expectations. Even Victoria’s well-meaning friends, family and members of the activist group have strong feelings about how she should handle her father. She isn’t given the luxury of finding her own way or searching for the right words to use in her victim statement. As fun as love triangles can be you can also see the sadder side through this book. As Victoria moves forward in Reno it’s difficult to stay connected to Kale back home and she begins to question their relationship. We even have a “bad guy” as a rival group starts a men’s rights club and uses any means to denigrate Victoria and fellow activist’s hard work and cut off pathways to funding.
I recommend this duology to anyone that wants to read a non-typical young adult contemporary novel that speaks to being a survivor, activism and paving your own road.
It's rare that an author gives us a chance to see 'what happens next' after a novel fully arcs a particular story. But no real life rounds out with a single event. For a story that centers around a survivor of sexual abuse, this is particularly resonant. Though Victoria began to heal and find her voice in The Quiet You Carry, Quiet No More shows just how non-linear that arc can be. Sometimes even the greatest allies become antagonists and it's impossible to escape the opinions and advice and even directives of people who have a stake in the issue. Sorting out when and how to speak is no easy task. Barthelmess' book deals with just such a challenge. What's the truth? How should it be delivered? Who will affect? Is there such a thing as 'the right way' or 'the right time'? And how does someone struggling with questions about truth and trust form meaningful, healthy relationships? It's important stuff, and Barthelmess delivers it with lots of layers. No doubt readers will recognize some of the interpersonal dynamics within the story as they relate to power, trust, allyship, and how losing a sense of self can have a ripple effect on the people one holds closest to their heart. It's a thoughtful and empowering read and I appreciated the opportunity to witness the continuing complexity of Victoria's story.
TW: Discussion of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as well as toxic relationships.
Victoria’s story continues in Quiet No More. Her father is in jail and she is starting her college career, but the trauma she’s been through over the past year still follows her as she tries to move past it. Worse yet, her case isn’t over and she still has to decide what kind of victim impact statement she wants to submit against her father in court.
I enjoyed the previous book in this series, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book. How much more was there to Victoria’s story? She’s out of foster care (with her stepmother albeit) and attending a college that seems to have a healthy environment for her. Turns out, there was a lot more to her story.
I personally have thought a bit about what really happens to victims/survivors after their abuser is put in jail. I always wondered if they would be able to begin to heal as they still knew that they would have to face this person in court for them to receive justice. Also, would they receive justice, as many abusers don’t get long sentences? This book begins to tackle these issues one by one. Victoria has to deal with a long-lost family member taking her father’s side, and even her own qualms about putting the man who raised her for years in a situation in jail where he might be abused himself. She also has to face the truth about her father’s past, a past she didn’t even know existed. This part of the book spoke to me the most, as Victoria wrote and rewrote her Victim Impact Statement trying to figure out the truth behind her feelings.
The parts of Victoria at college gave me mixed feelings. I loved the idea of a club of people who had survived their own abuse trying to save other students in their college who may be currently dealing with abuse. They know firsthand what these people may be going through and what the signs of abuse are. They are also the same age as the other students, so the students may feel more comfortable opening up to them than opening up to the college’s administration about their experiences. Their motives seemed good, and their club seemed like it was there to help folks rather than to hurt folks.
Nevertheless, Victoria was definitely not in a headspace to be working with any type of club that focused on her abuse. She was still in the thick of the trauma and didn’t seem to be receiving any type of professional help for it. Some people in the club had been abused years ago, and were better equipped to help others after years of treatment. Victoria’s abuse was simply too fresh, and I think being in that club (especially because of some of the members) was too much for her to try to take on in her first year of college. Another thing that was too much for her to take on in her first year of college was trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with her high school boyfriend. She needed time to truly be able to heal, and it was obvious from the start that being in a relationship was not going to be a healthy route for her. I think the involvement of her in these two things gave this character more pain than she needed during this already difficult time. It was difficult reading about Victoria dealing with these things that felt rather unnecessary.
Despite those things, this book drew me in even more than the last one, and I ended up finishing it all in one night. I was happy that Connie didn’t make much of a reappearance, and I enjoyed reading about Victoria healing her relationship with her stepmother and Sarah. Victoria’s aunt was….a whole other story but I feel like she played an important part in the book that really couldn’t have been removed. It is important to recognize that sometimes family members will side with the abuser instead of the abused, making the whole situation more difficult than it has to be. These important messages made the book for me, outweighing the college and relationship incidents.
I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a NA novel that discusses trauma and its effects on someone’s life.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Life after surviving sexual assault. How do you do it? How do you pick up the pieces and get on with your life? Is that what you’re supposed to do? Can you? That is what Victoria strives to figure out after surviving sexual assault by her father and the hardship of foster care.
Victoria’s now in college, trying to get through her classes while inside her emotions are all messed-up. Her father’s sentencing looms ahead and she’s stuck in a love-and-hate tug of war for him, trying to grasp the right thing to do.
I empathized with Victoria over what she was undergoing and the author did a good job showing her doubts, confusion, her pain, her struggle not to let what happened to her drown her.
Right and wrong have always been pretty black and white for me. So I wanted Victoria to see her father for what he was, and I wanted her to make the right decisions but it’s hard to do that when you’ve been pushed into a certain mold.
What her so-called friend did was horrible and a breach of trust and friendship. I don’t condone that. Quiet No More is a book worth reading, providing awareness on what victims and survivors of abuse face from friends and family, strangers and society in general.
Trigger Warning: sexual abuse, PTSD, abuse, alcoholism.
Nikki did it again. Quiet No more is an excellent sequel to the quiet you carry. It's a heart wrenching book of one girls story and how she deals with being a survivor and now in book 2, doing it on her own as a new adult.
Have you ever had one of those books where you go through a wave of emotions? This was that book for me. The way Nikki writes is absolutely phenomenal. Shedding light on so many subjects that are considered taboo, foster care, sexual abise, healing, and so much more. This was an easy read, and by easy read I mean it was so good I clutched onto every read and lost myself in the pages. Not once skipping through to see how much longer until the next chapter.
This is a book where you most definitely need to read the first one to understand the backstory and history of this book.
If only something like this had been available when I was in High school. To show kids its okay to deal with your healing in different ways, what might work for others might not work for you, that you are a strong person, you are a Survivor and you are deserving of love!
Vicotria Park is now a collage student. She is starting her new life after the assault she survived from her father and six months in foster care. She is ready to branch out into her new life, repair some old relationships, build new once, attend collage, join a club to help abuse survivors, everything is going to be great. Of course all of this is distributed when out of no where a woman shows up claiming to be Victoria's aunt and she wants Victoria to lie about what happened. The sentencing for her dad is coming soon, and Victoria is being pulled so many ways, her aunt and dad want her to lie, her friends want her to lie. But what does Victoria want?
Nikki Barthelmess does an amazing job yet again with continuing Victoria's story. When I first read The Quiet you Carry I didn't think there was much more you could do to make the story better. But I was proven wrong when I read this. I enjoyed being able to read about Victoria grow and become more than just a child who was victimized. She is on her own in this book and it was so much more to see her as a young adult in collage instead of a teen in high school.
Nikki Barthelmess does character development so well, you still get to see characters that you grew to love in the first book which was an amazing touch because I was really nervous we were going to miss out on those characters in this book. However so many were added into the cast of this novel. It was amazing to have a well rounded cast of characters that didn't always have the best intentions and things didn't always work out for the best. It added a truly realistic feel to the novel that a lot of young adult novels don't have, I appreciated that feeling a lot.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a hard hitting contemporary but do read her first book The Quiet You Carry First as it adds so much more for Victoria's story first!
Trigger Warnings: Talk of sexual and physical abuse (the physical abuse story is fairly graphic). Scenes in a prison. Bullying.
Thank you to TBR Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book all opinions and reviews are my own.
First of all, thanks to NetGalley and Flux/North Star Editions for approving my request and sending me an eARC in exchange for a honest review. You have to know English isn’t my first language, so feel free to correct me if I make some mistakes while writing this review.
Real rating: 3,5 stars.
TRIGGER WARNING: post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual assault (past), incest (past).
This book is the sequel to The Quiet You Carry, so references to the previous book will be inevitable.
I had literally devoured The Quiet You Carry in two days, but this sequel took me almost a month to finish it because something in it was blocking me - and I still don't understand exactly what it was.
We find Victoria trying to rebuild her life: after saving her stepsister Sarah and finally pressing charges against her father, Victoria is now in college. She lives alone - even though she sees Tiffany and Sarah once a week for family dinner - and is still in contact with Connie, her foster mother, with whom, after a stormy period, she has finally come to establish a relationship of mutual understanding. Her best friend Christina is away in college in Washington, while her boyfriend Kale is still in Silver Valley finishing high school. That's why Victoria feels the need to make new friends and a group that tries to promote support for survivors of abuse by trying to eradicate rape culture seems right for her.
Here she befriends Jasmine, Lana and Trey in particular, but even that is not enough to distract her from what still fills up her mind every moment of the day and every nightmare at night: her impact statement as a victim about how the abuses by her father's hand have changed her - which she should turn over to the judge before the sentence is given. But every time Victoria is about to start writing she finds herself stalled, torn between the anger she feels - especially when she thinks of Sarah - and the love she still feels for her father, because it's hard not to remember the happy moments during her growth.
Even more troubling in Victoria's life is the appearance of an aunt she didn't know she had - an aunt her father had never told her about who also brings a terrible family secret with her. And this secret will make it even more difficult for Victoria, who will find herself wondering if what she has discovered can be a mitigating circumstance. But can she ask for compassion and leniency for her abuser if that means hurting Sarah even more? Victoria doesn't know what to do and feels like Kale will never really understand her - not like Trey does. The distance between her and Kale no longer seems to be just miles, but is also becoming emotional and although she has sworn to no longer keep secrets, it's proving difficult to speak about what's going on in her head. And what makes Victoria regret having confided in someone is one of the people she thought she could trust, who uses her personal story as an example of how - in their opinion - survivors should not react.
With so many people wanting to impose their will on her, now is the time for Victoria to find her voice to tell her story in her own way.
I don't know what went wrong.
With the previous novel it had been easy to lose myself in the story, to feel Victoria's pain - here instead there were many moments where I felt emotionally detached, uninvolved.
It's something that fortunately I have never experienced and perhaps because of this - and because of my tendency to see things only in black or white - it was difficult to read about Victoria, who for three quarters of the book thinks about writing her statement, begins and then tears it up. Over and over, always with the same thoughts. And I also feel bad about saying this because luckily I don't know what it means to feel split between hate and love at the same time for a parent. And Victoria doesn't just have that on her shoulders: in addition to wondering what the right decision is regarding her statement, she would also like not to give Sarah further sorrow with it. But to do this would mean giving Aunt Audrey a pain - and that now knowing her family history.
Undoubtedly, Victoria is subjected to multiple emotional blackmail, even when confiding in those she believes to be friends raises a fuss since they believe that with her decision she's betraying all the victims and survivors of abuse. And it's not easy for Victoria to see and feel herself being thrown to the wolves, with her story published and used as an example of what she shouldn't do when she's still confused about it. Each of the people in her life would like her to behave a certain way and they get angry when Victoria doesn't respond like a puppet.
Although understanding why her friend reacted that way, it was still something that horrified me - totally the opposite of showing support to the survivors and giving them the freedom, the time and the way to tell their story. Their truth. I hated her friend for it, but in the end I liked the way Victoria reacted even less - and that's because I'm the black or white type of person and forgiveness is hardly a choice I would make.
In general, it was Victoria who made me angry in this book - and I repeat, I am ashamed to say this. Even when I read the previous book I was of the opinion that Victoria shouldn't have gotten romantically involved with Kale - being only friends would have worked, but it was too early for a relationship and this is amply demonstrated here, although this is useful for understanding that survivors need time to heal and therapy. And really, Victoria should have gone to therapy long before the book was finished. Victoria behaves really badly towards Kale: she pushes him away because she feels he can't understand her, but at the same time then she gets mad at him when he lives his life with his friends in Silver Valley. And it's not fair to Kale, who genuinely loves her, while it has always been clear to me that what Victoria felt in reality was more a need of security and stability than love. That's why I scrunched up my nose the first time I saw Trey appear, but luckily the same dynamic didn't happen again.
In general, a lot of things happen here too soon and too fast for Victoria to be able to deal with them without first starting to heal a little. Her participation in the SASAH (Students Against Sexual Assault and Harassment) is also perhaps precipitous because although the intent is noble, this distracts her from her problems to focus on helping others, but it is clear that in the end she is still overwhelmed by everything.
I definitely preferred the first book - here, between the somewhat repetitive scenes and Victoria's mental process, which is not easy to digest for those who are always clear about their positions (and especially for those who have never been there in the same shoes), there's that gets lost in terms of emotional involvement and attachment to the protagonist, but it certainly remains an important book for its themes within.
Because every survivor has the right to choose whether to tell their story or not and, above it all, to react as they see fit, without other people's expectations of behavior or emotional blackmail - you just need someone to listen when you decide to talk. Because, like Victoria realizes, it's not up to the survivors to solve other people's problems - not always, anyway.
I'd give it perhaps a 3.5, as I did really enjoy the story overall and found myself very compelled, but at the same time I couldn't help but find it rather annoying with how cliched it became with the already shoehorned romances (because of course you can never seem to have a female protagonist without a love interest!), as well as the so-called "friend" who she actually ends up making amends with, and just how cliched and how much of a drama overload the whole thing became as it tried to cram too many things in!
Well, I must say that was a very intense, heavy read, even more so than the last one in a way given there was more drama packed into it, with three different story-lines, all full of drama of course, so was very overwhelming, which is a good thing though of course, keeping me very engaged with the amount of drama, tension and suspense that it was filled with, and by filled I mean jam-packed! It was so crammed with drama that it honestly left me feeling quite overwhelmed, realising just how much effort the author put into it and just how strenuous it must've been to write, as it was sure as heck very strenuous to read, just like the last book, though even more so due to just how much drama is crammed into it with three different narratives going on like I say that were all full of drama. I had mixed feelings though about how much drama was crammed in, as like I say it meant it kept me gripped wanting to know what would happen, but it also felt a bit too much, with her turbulent relationship with Kale just going round and round in circles, and also feeling unnecessary and somewhat incoherent with the rest of the drama that was going on.
Despite her not being 100% likeable throughout this book, I couldn't help but feel for poor Victoria and just how much she was really going through and how incredibly overwhelming things were for her in her life, being bombarded with so many different problems she was having to deal with. Perhaps 'cause I could relate, not to the sexual abuse part but to the part where you have so much going on in your life that is bringing you down and depressing you. It was amazing actually just how much I found my feelings varying throughout the book, as it really was an ultimate emotional rollercoaster/whirlwind of emotions, as at the beginning I felt really happy for Victoria seeing that she was finally free from Foster care and had started living independently in her own place and was achieving so much, doing so much with her life. However, when things started to fall apart for her, first with all the stuff with her father as her auntie and him tried to manipulate her into downplaying the abuse she experienced in her statement just for her father's own selfish sake, then her relationship falling apart with Kale, then this HORRIBLE Blake guy threatening to tell everyone about what happened to her, then actually telling everyone on Twitter about her sexual assault case with her dad, then her so-called "friends" from the Sexual Assault Activist group turning against her and using her case with her dad to hold a rally against her, I just felt so much pain for her, finding myself full of anger, shock and despair, realising just how incredibly hard this must be for Victoria to be going through all this at once, as if she hadn't already gone through enough adversity in her life as it was before this. It really was very intense and overwhelming, but that is what kept me so absorbed of course, and it was amazing to see just how incredibly far she had come with Connie, who despite having appeared to be unpleasant in the last book for the first half of the book, only to end up reforming in the second half, she actually ended up being one of the few people who was truly there for Victoria this time around when she was going through all this trouble, really sticking by her and being there for her, to the point you just cannot believe this is the same person who could be rather unpleasant and aggressive to her in the first half of the last book. She's the only one really to be honest who is actually there fully supporting her, like giving her the right advice and words of wisdom, the only one who even advises her to go to therapy, which was truly amazing to see. I did find it weird to be honest that Victoria's stepmother and stepsister were already seeking therapy yet Victoria who was the actual, main victim wasn't until the very end. So yeah, amazingly Connie actually ended up being the most likeable character in this.
I'll admit, while I'm satisfied that Blake did get some comeuppance, as he did get into trouble with the school authorities and was basically given a sort of restraining order to stay away, though this was kind of vague as to whether this just meant their group or the college itself, like he was expelled, I still felt it perhaps wasn't enough, or rather it should've been more clear about this, like was he expelled from the college with his behaviours going on record, making it harder for him to get into another college, or was he just told to stay away from the Sexual Assault Survivors group? I also feel he should've faced some criminal consequences, ideally juvie, and should've definitely been blocked from Twitter. I just wish this had been clarified a bit more, as it was kind of annoying just how vague it was for something as serious regarding his consequences and what he did. I hated Blake so much, he just made me so angry with his relentless, abusive, aggressive hate campaign and bullying towards the Sexual Assault group, all while claiming the Sexual Assault Survivors group to be a "hate group", being an ultimate hypocrite at that, as well as the ultimate hate sink, that I just wish they'd been more clear about his comeuppance.
I also found myself liking Kale quite a lot less in this book, as yes while Victoria was still wrong the way she was treating him unfairly, distancing herself from him, being all cold and angry with him while also stringing him along by falling for another guy and almost cheating on him with this guy, and actually emotionally cheating on him at that, I still don't think he was by any means in the right either. For example I hated it when he was being all hostile and angry with Victoria when she started crying to him about how everything in her life was falling apart, when yes I know he had every right to be angry with her for distancing herself from him and stringing him along, but right then at that moment he still should've at least started showing some sympathy towards her, rather than just going "I'm sorry but what does that have to do with us?" then demanding she leaves after breaking up with her. I mean you don't further beat a depressed person down like that. He didn't even congratulate her on her speech which seemed weird, also how on earth did he manage to just sneak in and go unnoticed by her that entire time?!
That is what I found to be the biggest flaw of this book, being that the whole storyline with Victoria and Kale's relationship becoming more and more strained seemed to drag out quite a lot, as I found it all to just keep going in circles, getting too repetitive, with a lot of the scenes seeming to be the same with them just arguing with each other again and again. I felt that it wasn't that necessary either to include this in an already jam-packed story with so much already going on, as there was already enough going on and was just a bit disjointed, and Victoria just had so much on her plate already that did she really need all this boyfriend trouble too? I mean it just felt like the cliched romance being shoehorned in, and was really annoying the way nearly every scene with them was just them arguing and having clear communication issues with each other for the majority of the book which just became very repetitive. Also she is only 18 after all so why does she need a serious boyfriend at this stage, who she loses her virginity to the second it becomes legal for them, when she's got too much going on in her life already, so I don't think she was in the position to have a boyfriend at this stage in her life. I felt they were rushing everything, as they're only teenagers and this just seemed too much, with them being in a full-on, serious relationship and sleeping together whenever they met. Also the way she has yet ANOTHER, new love interest in this book, being the guy in her Sexual Assault Survivors group, Trey, I just found this really annoying and not all that realistic or relatable for vulnerable people like this to suddenly have a series of love interests/boyfriends, like it's not that straightforward in reality for them to suddenly be thriving in these kinds of social situations. Again as well, it annoyed me how our female protagonist here just always seems to need a love interest, even when it doesn't fit in with the story, just for the sake of additional drama/romance, and the cliched kind as well. The scenes with Victoria and Trey clearly finding themselves attracted to each other were kind of cliche and cringey too, with the whole "Oh I want to kiss you but you have a boyfriend!" and "It's complicated!" I found the whole Victoria and Trey romance really annoying, forced and cliched to be honest, the way Trey just happened to have experienced sexual abuse from an older male relative as well much like Victoria, I mean even if they were in a Sexual Assault group together it still seemed kind of forced just to give them a reason to connect. I also found it kind of weird the way she integrated Kale and Christina with her new friends when they came over, I mean maybe it's an american thing but to me that seemed weird and awkward, like she was only just getting to know these new friends of hers herself but then she's introducing her already established friends/boyfriend to them, and it proves to be kind of awkward as they just kind of ignore Kale going on about their club which Kale can't join in with of course. It seemed a bit contrived to me to be honest. It just seemed like there was too much focus on the whole cliched, american social scene of things which were annoying, and the whole love triangle scenario was really annoying and cliched, and totally unnecessary too.
I also couldn't stand Lana, even before what she did to Victoria she was just annoying and unlikable. I found what Lana did to Victoria to be unforgivable and most toxic, and so it really annoyed me that they had Victoria rekindle her friendship with Lana at the end, as she just seemed toxic to me after what she did, and she didn't even seem that sorry either. I mean I know Victoria said that their friendship would never be the same again, and appreciate that Victoria didn't forgive her straight away, but it annoyed me the way they just made up so easily, just because the idea of their friendship and Lana herself had seemed so "cool". Like I couldn't help but feel she was more ashamed after Victoria publicly called her out than she was actually guilty and remorseful for what she did to someone who's supposed to be her friend. I mean when Victoria called her out the first time and rightfully angrily stood up to her for this, even when she could tell how upset and angry she was, she still wasn't sorry about how she hurt Victoria, and she didn't even seem sorry enough considering what she'd done and how much she'd hurt Victoria and breached her friendship and trust, just making me ultimately hate Lana, as this hadn't even really redeemed her. She just wanted to get out of Victoria's bad books rather than actually having felt really guilty about what she did, I mean she even started off apologising by trying to justify or at least explain why she did it. So I was pretty annoyed at having them become friends again, even if it's not clarified just how close they'll be again. It seemed unfair and annoying as well when there were others in the group, such as Lance and Jasmine, who had been loyal to her and been there for her when Lana and Cadence exploited her like that, who she should've ended up having as her main friends, but instead she actually ends up rekindling her friendship with the toxic Lana, who had betrayed and abused her trust. It annoyed me that Lana and Trey were seen as being her two new main friends at the college too when they weren't even that likeable and Jasmine and Lance like I say would've been much better choices. I could understand her and the others feeling mad at Victoria for her decision to downplay her abuse (I don't know why Victoria even announced it to them either tbh), but what they did forming that rally against her while using her own sexual abuse case against her was just downright appalling and unforgivable, and annoyed me that they had them make up in the end, just because their friendship had already been well established and Lana seemed "too cool" to drop as a friend for good. I get sick of this trope as well, of the loudmouthed, outspoken, feminist girl being made out to be cool, with her toxic behaviour being simply justified as just being "how she is", because she "stands up for what she believes in", even if that involves publicly betraying her friend's trust and exploiting her sexual assault case. She should've been there for Victoria when Blake publicly breached her privacy like that, but no, she basically just helps by further adding Blake's humiliating actions.
I also found it really annoying the way that Audrey woman who's her aunt just seems to do nothing but cry in LITERALLY every scene she's in. I was so annoyed with her and Victoria's father for trying to manipulate her, (the victim) into protecting her dad (the culprit), as if that was Victoria's responsibility like was emphasised of course, while also just dismissing and disregarding the victim's well-being like this, like it was just so damn selfish. I mean I guess you could expect that of the culprit themselves more, but the nerve of the aunt just coming out of nowhere after having not even been in Victoria's life and asking her to downplay her abuse, like what happened to Victoria didn't matter but what happened to her dad did. It's not like she was even there when the abuse took place so what right did she even have to have a say in it?!
Overall it was a very compelling book; definitely a very heavy and intense read, but also too much of a drama overload, with the romance storyline of her having relationship troubles with Kale and finding herself falling for another guy, who of course is also attracted to her, to be very cliched and unnecessary, not to mention pretty incoherent with the rest of the story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Readers may expect Nikki Barthelmess’s QUIET NO MORE [North Star Editions, October 13, 2020], sequel to The Quiet You Carry, to continue following the tumultuous life of a young woman dealing with the trauma she experiences following the sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of her father. While QUIET NO MORE does follow the events after the young woman’s father is convicted of his crimes, it is much more than what typical young adult novels focusing on tough experiences tend to be. QUIET NO MORE is much more a novel depicting the inner struggles one must go through in order to heal from their past.
The sequel in the “Quiet You Carry” duology, QUIET NO MORE continues the story of college freshman, Victoria Parker, as she tries to navigate her new life in Reno after her father is convicted of sexual abuse against children in her home of Silver Valley. In order to try to control her whirlwind of a life, Victoria decides to join SASAH---Students Against Sexual Assault and Harassment, a club that focuses on helping sexual assault survivors. Shortly after beginning her freshman year and navigating her place amongst the other students in SASAH, Victoria finds herself in the middle of even more problems than she had before. An aunt Victoria never knew she has suddenly walks into her life and causes several problems for her, a student in charge of funding SASAH blackmails her into keeping a deep dark secret private, and some friends even betray her.
There are many reasons why QUIET NO MORE is a novel both adult and young adult readers should pick up, one of them being the way Victoria’s progression and healing from her trauma is portrayed. At the beginning of the novel, it is clear that Victoria has not had enough time to come to terms with her trauma and to begin healing from it. One of the ways Victoria is able to heal from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her own father is through the new friends she makes at SASAH. Even though some of these new friends end up having some conflicts with Victoria, the way she is able to connect with these new people on a different level is one of the ways she is able to change into a more confident and stronger woman by the book’s conclusion. Additionally, readers may find it comforting to know that there are other people in the world who have had to deal with many unfair circumstances. Another aspect of the novel that is enjoyable and readers could benefit from it is the way Barthelmess is able to portray the trauma recovery process. The recovery process is often described as somewhat of a “rollercoaster” and QUIET NO MORE definitely portrays this accurately through the conflicts Victoria finds within herself, her family, and her group of friends.
In addition to the different portrayals of recovery and struggle, QUIET NO MORE provides many different relationships between Victoria and the people around her. From betrayal to heartbreak, readers will be able to see and understand why Victoria feels the way she does about the trauma she faced in the previous novel. From beginning to end, readers are able to see Victoria’s transformation from a shell of a person into the woman she was always meant to become; a strong and resilient one. While the majority of QUIET NO MORE focuses on Victoria dealing with her trauma, there are several instances where her thought process leaves a lot to be desired. When it comes to the way Victoria reacts to difficulties that come into her life, it seems as if instead of trying to be strong she shuts down and blocks everyone out---including the reader. It would be helpful if readers were able to see Victoria actually sit with herself and work with her trauma more throughout the novel instead of at the conclusion. Then, readers would be able to connect to Victoria more and understand why she reacts to these situations the way she does, especially if they have not experienced trauma themselves.
I received a galley of this book through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review This book has content warnings for sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, child abuse and mention of suicide.
I was a bit conflicted on how to rate this book. Overall I did really enjoy this book, maybe enjoy isn't the right word but you know what I mean, and just like book one this one discussed a lot of important subjects and did so in a super impactful way. However, I just felt like this book had too many things going on. I know that all of the things happening in this book are realistic but having them all together in one book didn't work for me. I feel like all of the different things just didn't get enough individual page time and it was hard to really care for some parts of the book. God, this is hard to explain without spoiling anything. Anyway, for the rest I was just super frustrated with most side characters. Almost none of them gave our main character the time to fully explain and completely overreacted based on one sentence. They also just didn't put in much effort to try to understand her and overall just ended up abusing her feelings and experiences to further their own agenda (also not the exact correct word but idk how else to explain it spoiler free). Some of those characters did get called out but others weren't and I feel like they deserved to as well. I also thought it was weird that absolutely no one in Victoria's life brought up going to therapy until like 80% in this novel. It's not like therapy is taboo in her circles as literally everyone around her that went through similair experiences is going or has gone to therapy and had positive experiences with it yet absolutely none of them thought of mentioning it as an option for Victoria. It just made it seem to me like none of these people actually cared about her and her mental health as much as they claimed to do. So yeah, I absolutely loved the first book and I was a bit dissapointed with this one, however I would still recommend it as it discusses a lot of important topics.
QNM picks up after The Quiet You Carry, and now Victoria is in community college. She has an apartment and a great boyfriend and mending ties with her step mother. And things look fine, as she's a part of the sexual assault prevention club on campus, and organising a fundraiser. Everything's fine until her supposed estranged aunt drops out from nowhere.
Just like TQYC, QNM was hard-hitting and emotional. We see Victoria grow and yet have hey own set of doubts. The amount of complications that she still has and goes through, I think, makes the story very real. The fact that even after everything, those memories never leave you and you cannot help but second guess. That is what exactly happened with Victoria too. On one hand she was glad to have her father behind bars for what he did, but on the other hand she's conflicted too because he's her father after all. And as someone not in her position, we won't understand it, but I think it was very valid.
The dropping of aunt into the scene further ruffled the feathers. She's pleading Victoria to try and lessen her statement for her father's trial. And at one point, Victoria almost comes this close to doing it. The emotional blackmail that she is put in - by her aunt, by her friends - it was unsettling.
And then at times I was extremely mad at Victoria. I swear. The was she treated Kale was sad and bad - there wasn't a single point where she accepted the fact that it was she herself who was going around with a boy and having feelings for him and then blaming Kale for hanging out with his friends. I was so mad, goodness!! I was glad that they broke up and led happy lives apart, and that at least at the end, she didn't run into Trey's arms.
The whole story felt a little haphazardly put at times. There were few scenes that I felt were simply put without any ulterior motive.
Another thing I didn't like was how Victoria only blamed her friends for arranging the anti protest and never once acknowledged the fact that she might have been wrong in her decisions too. Both the parties were at fault - Victoria should've thought more before taking that decision and her friends shouldn't have announced her trauma to the crowd. Nothing was right in that situation. But yeah, I get it too.
The discussion around trauma and victim and survivors was really well done I feel. The idea that survivors have to share their stories for the greater good is nothing but a hoax, and no one should be compelled to put there traumatic experiences out for people to exploit and use. I liked that, how Victoria realised her stance at the end, how she grew through it all and found her ground. The last speech was lovely and strong and it was powerful!
Quiet no more was a difficult read, once again. The author puts us readers in a difficult situation, because Victoria is a complex character and her thought process is something that not everyone would like. But it is real and honest, and I liked it that way. Because no matter how much I wanted to dislike her, I also couldn't overlook the emotional blackmail that she had grown through over the years that has made her double guess.
It wasn't my favorite book, at times I felt detached from the story and felt like the same thing was repeating. But I also feel the book series is an important one to read and understand.
Thanks to the publishers for an e-copy. All views expressed are solely mine.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I had read the first book, The Quiet You Carry through NetGalley as well. The story continues as Victoria Parker starts community college and joins a club, Students Against Sexual Assault (SASEH). She is getting settled in her new life but is trying to prepare a victim impact statement for the case against her father, who sexually assaulted her when she was 17. Victoria makes new friends through the club and finds courage to advocate for the abused while sharing her story with a select few. I felt the writing was a bit rushed, and perhaps frustrated as she struggles to come to terms with new information about her father, his past and family, and what it means for her future. The way in which new friends turned on her was startling, as I could see she was being victimized all over by her father and aunt to pressure her to change her story. Part of the grieving process is bargaining, and I feel that is what she was doing. While some of the sections were vague, the writing grew stronger as Victoria got her courage and strength back. There are trigger warnings needed for sexual assault/incest survivors.
This is the 2nd book in a series, Victoria who is our main character hasn’t had the best life, in book 1 her stepmother Tiffany thought that Victoria had lead on her father, finally realizing that both Victoria and her sister were abused by their father Tiffany tries to make amends. Victoria has now moved to college and has joined the Sexual Harassment club. One day she receives a letter from a long lost Aunt who shares some secrets and tells Victoria that both her Audrey and Jeff were sexually abused by their Grandfather when they were children.
As Victoria’s dad continues to be behind bars awaiting trial, Audrey tries to influence Victoria’s victim statement.
In college the club is trying to get funding but due to a conflict of interest within the Student Body President and one of the other girls, it looks like that won't be approved. the president of the club decides to expose Victoria's past and turn her and the group into what he thinks they are "Woman Hating Men" The story unravels and we see Victoria become a true survivor. This was an amazing conclusion to the series and concluded with suche a good strong ending Which was Victoria's victim statement.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me this to read and review. All opinions expressed are my own
Quiet No More by Nikki Barthelmess is a YA contemporary following college freshman Victoria Parker as it follows the aftermath of a sexual assault from her dad, and the upcoming trial. Concurrently it shows Victoria advocating for her self and raising awareness through her college's sexual harassment and assault club. It is set for publication in October 2020.
This tackled some pretty dark topics including sexual assault, grooming, paedophilia, grooming, victim blaming... and the list goes on. This gave me a good insight into the ongoing implications of being affected by familial sexual assault. Saying that, this didn't make a huge impact on me. I must note that this is a sequel and I hadn't read the first one, so maybe that had something to do with it. But for some reason or another I couldn't really connect with the characters. Also, the main character's boyfriend's name was Kale (I know, like the vegetable) so I couldn't take that seriously.
I still recommend this, however; personally I have read a lot of other YA contemporary's that tackle this subject matter more and have made more of a lasting impact. I finished this and nothing really stuck out, unfortunately.
How do you move on when the you know devil still contacts you?
Quiet no more is the second in the quiet you carry series. It continues where the first heart wrenching novel left off. The new story goes deeper into what it’s like to try and move on while still having to face your attacker.
Victoria is now a freshman in university and trying to help spread sexual assault awareness through a club on campus. However, as the sentencing in fathers case starts to draw near, she begins to feel pressure to help him instead of speak against him. As these pressures’ way down on her she also starts to drift away from her old friends. And if that’s not bad enough some other students aren’t too fond of the club she is involved with and want to bring them down. This stories about finding your own voice and speaking up for yourself when you’re on your own.
I love how raw and real this series is. Especially with how it brings awareness to some serious issues that exist in the world. You don’t have to be a survivor of sexual assault or abuse to really connect with the characters created her. These stories have brought raw emotion across and help other people understand how someone going through this situation feels.
I would like to thank North Star Publishing and the netgalley website for allowing me to read this book which is the sequel to "The quiet you carry".
I love the cover of this book which is beautiful where we see Victoria Parker in profile.
Victoria is in her first year of college and is trying to move on with her life, having had a trauma in her past, a sexual assault by her father and having lived in foster care for almost six months. She's going to focus on her new life, her studies, her friends and will be part of an advocacy group for abuse survivors within the university. Except that everything changes when a very strange, mysterious woman shows up and claims to be her aunt, forcing her to lie about the abuse. Her father's trial is coming up and Victoria will have to decide if she will tell the truth or not during this trial.
A book read in one sitting, so much so that I was hooked on the story, so moving in certain passages, addictive, captivating, gripping, full of suspense and twists and turns with very endearing characters.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this title.
This book is about Victoria's life in college after a sexual assault by her father. She has to learn to navigate life now that he is imprisoned, and figure out what to say in her victim statement. She balks at the word "victim" throughout much of the book. The book is mostly about how a sexual assault survivor can tell their story, remain true to themselves, and the path that they take on that journey.
This isn't a bad book. I just felt that it was a little too after school special. There were points where it didn't feel authentic. The characters didn't feel quite fleshed out enough, which is surprising in that this is a sequel. Something about it just felt flat.
I really did loved this sequel novel. I really enjoyed that I tackled harder topics like the aftermath of abuse and its effects on your relationships and also just your life. I also like this book tackled the larger topic of the me too movement. It was sometimes hard to be in victoria head at points but I really liked how this book was set in college. I read so few YA Novels that have that setting. It was read that read quite fast. I liked the how it took victoria two books but she has created her own found family. I def like the insight to what happens to foster care kids during college. Such a great read.
Title: Quiet No More Author: Nikki Barthelmess Genre: YA Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Victoria has been through awful things but she’s trying to get her life back to normal. Unfortunately, specters from her past keep interfering and she has to figure out—again—how she will handle the ugly truth about what her father did to her. Her friends, new and old, all seem to have an opinion on what she should do, but when the truth comes out, Victoria must decide what is right for her.
I thought The Quiet You Carry, the book before this one, was very well-done and well-written. I have the same feelings about this book. This is about a tough topic, and the author handles it with respect and care.
(Galley courtesy of Flux in exchange for an honest review.)
I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. I remember how moving and complex The Quiet You Carry was and to get my hands on the sequel. I knew that I had to know what would happen next in Victoria's life. What she has to go through to try to move on with her life in college. Then when someone shows up and tells her to go against what she believes in. Those that were to stand with her turn on her. She is under a lot of pressure and doing her best to please one and all. It is a wonderful follow up to her story. The story was just details and complex enough to keep me turning the pages.
I received this ebook from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I was impressed with Victoria’s chapter development. Sexual assault is something that happens way too often. It’s refreshing to see a character overcoming their fears and becoming real survivors. We need more of this in our books. I’m a little disappointed in Victoria and Kale’s relationship, but I understand why it needed to happen.
Quiet No More is a tough read. This Nikki Barthelmess book is full of abuse and the process of trying to heal from such abuse.
I have a love/hate relationship with this book.
I wanted to love it, but the way Victoria treats her boyfriend drove me crazy. I know she's in over her head with some serious personal issues, but he treated him like complete crap, and then has the nerve to get jealous when he's talking to someone else.
I just couldn't stand her behavior and stopped reading.
Quiet no more is just as good as A Quiet You Carry, You'll learn about her Father's past and why the way he is, which still isn't a excuse. You think she would get some peace but her family trys to sway her to change her report. The ending is just wow and you'll be balling at the end of it.
I loved Nikki Barthelmess's first novel, "The Quiet You Carry," and this is a mature follow-up about a young woman coming of age and forming her own identity after experiencing a trauma at home. This is an important story about hope in the foster care system and beyond.