Saturday, 31 May 2014

Review: Stronger Than You Know

Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry

Title: Stronger Than You Know
Series: none
Author: Jolene Perry
Published: Albert Whitman Teen; 2014*
256 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley

Rating: 2 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

After police intervention, fifteen-year-old Joy has finally escaped the trailer where she once lived with her mother and survived years of confinement and abuse. Now living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in a comfortable house, she’s sure she’ll never belong. Wracked by panic attacks, afraid to talk to anyone at her new school, Joy’s got a whole list of reasons why she’s crazy. With immense courage, Joy finds friends and grows closer to her new family. But just when hope is taking hold, she learns she must testify in her mother’s trial. Can she face her old life without losing her way in the new one? Will she ever truly belong in a world that seems too normal to be real?

My Thoughts:

 Stronger Than You Know was a heart-warming story about a young girl named Joy who is trying to heal after being through every sort of hell and more. Not only has she had one hell of a childhood but was constantly abused verbally, physically and sexually. Now, living with her uncle, aunty and two cousins, she is trying to move on so she can start to really live her life.

Joy was a beautiful character. I admired her not only because of her strength of will but because of her frame of her mind. She knew that she wasn't quite okay, at least not fully, and acknowledged that. She did that because she wanted to move past it, she wanted control back in her life and was willing to fight for that - how can you not admire this sort of quality in a character?

The other characters were also very well written. I liked their variety and diversity and also the fact that they were flawed. This made them completely realistic and relatable. I really admired their perseverance and their acceptance of Joy. They did what they could to help her out and the relationships they established with this trust was admirable and simply gorgeous.

To summarise, the character development in this book was spot on and simply superb. However, that was all that this book had: character development. I understand that Joy was on a journey of healing and that it was going to take a hell of a lot longer than a few days, or even a few months, for her to recover but I struggle to read this because it was so slow-paced and... well, dull. Nothing actually happened. Joy healed and that was about it. There was some light romance attempted but I wasn't fully on board with that either. I needed something more. My attention span is about as big as the memory span of a goldfish - that is, very short. I got very bored reading this then.

However, saying that I absolutely loved the way that this was written and the characters were perfect. I would easily recommend this for people that enjoy a character-based contemporary romance and I will be happily checking out the author's other novels.

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Jolene Perry and Albert Whitman Teen, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process

Release date: September 1st, 2014

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