4 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · contemporary fiction · mental health · Young Adult

The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess | Release Day #BookReview



The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess

Published: March 5, 2019 

Publisher: Flux

Pages: 272

Genres: young adult, contemporary, mental health

Rating: 4 stars 

Recommend to fans of: books about foster care, not too triggering books about sexual abuse, teens dealing with tough challenges 

Foodie Vibes: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day, because the state doesn’t pay your foster mom enough money 



Victoria Parker knew her dad’s behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine—until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights.

Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden.

But some secrets won’t stay buried—especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can’t stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won’t leave you alone?



Thank you to NetGalley, Flux, and Nikki Barthelmess for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

Trigger warning: not too graphic mentions of sexual abuse and incest, suicide attempt, self harm 


  • We get to see Connie, the foster mom, grow as a person and a character
  • Connie means well and her rules are there for a reason even if they seem unfair 
  • The different characters’ experiences – we get a more well rounded picture of foster care through the parents, step parents, foster parents, other foster kids, step siblings, friends, teachers, and social worker
  • Victoria’s friends
  • Mentions how the stress physically affects different characters


  • A book about foster kids (both young kids and teens) good representation for an often not talked about set of kids and experiences
  • Victoria (main character) is relatable, hard working without being perfect, willing to change, the kind of girl you’d want to be friends with
  • The adults who look out for Victoria’s well being – shows that there are people out there who care
  • The revelations of how much the dad manipulated the whole family – really important to show how manipulative, deceptive and mean abusers can be, even within their own family


  • The dad and the step mom’s actions/inactions
  • Some parts feel a bit contrived to make the story work, but it could also be extremely realistic

Wish that:

  • The book was longer (I get that shorter reads appeal to a young spectrum of readers, so I understand why.)

Overall, a realistic happily ever after book about foster care challenges and surviving sexual abuse. I can see this book being very important, educational and validating for many teens and pre-teens dealing with similar experiences. 


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Goodreads: Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

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