When You Know What I Know

Featured
When You Know What I Know
Age Range
8+
Release Date
March 23, 2021
ISBN
978-0316535427
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This harrowing, and ultimately hopeful novel in verse sensitively depicts a girl's journey through the aftermath of abuse. One day after school, on the couch in the basement, Tori's uncle did something bad. Afterward, Tori tells her mom. Even though telling was a brave thing to do, her mom still doesn't believe her at first. Her grandma still takes his side. And Tori doesn't want anyone else—even her best friend—to know what happened. Now Tori finds herself battling mixed emotions—anger, shame, and sadness—as she deals with the trauma. But with the help of her mom, her little sister, her best friend, and others, can Tori find a way to have the last word? From debut author Sonja K. Solter comes a heartbreaking yet powerful novel that will strike a chord with readers of Jacqueline Woodson and Tony Abbott.

Editor review

1 review
Beautifully Written in Engaging Verse
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
'When You Know What I Know' by Sonja K. Solter is a beautiful story of a girl who is soul-searching to figure out how to move on with her life after she deals with her uncle having done something bad to her. When she tells her mom, things don't go as planned, and Tori's frustration grows, because the one person she hoped would believe her doesn't. As time goes on, her mother comes around, but then her grandmother heaps more disbelief, siding with the uncle and trying to talk sense into Tori. After all, she must have misunderstood (or so believes her grandmother).

Tori has a best friend, Rhea, but she doesn't want to talk to her about it. She's embarrassed, ashamed, and worried about what Rhea will think of her. All the while, Rhea is upset that Tori doesn't seem to be there for her, not knowing that Tori's mind is weighed down with thoughts of her uncle and how to move past this terrible event that has taken place in her life.

Along with her sister, her mother, and eventually some others, Tori grows into a headstrong girl who has so much maturity in her for such a young age. While it could be said that she has to be mature since she was thrust into an adult mindset due to her what her uncle did to her, her words prove that she is wise beyond her years.

Beautifully written in engaging verse, one amazing line reads: "It turns out that 'sorry' isn't the same thing as back to normal." Another is: “How can you forgive someone you have been trying not to think about ever again.” Anyone who enjoys novels in verse will fly through this story of heartache, frustration, and desperation, and see that it also captures so much love, strength, and joy as Tori learns how to cope with her troubles, find the people who will be there for her, and navigate each relationship with aplomb.
Good Points
Beautifully written in engaging verse, one amazing line reads: "It turns out that 'sorry' isn't the same thing as back to normal." Another is: “How can you forgive someone you have been trying not to think about ever again.” Anyone who enjoys novels in verse will fly through this story of heartache, frustration, and desperation, and see that it also captures so much love, strength, and joy as Tori learns how to cope with her troubles, find the people who will be there for her, and navigate each relationship with aplomb.
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