Saturday, March 5, 2022

Review: You Won't Know Her Name by Shanti Hershenson with Giveaway!

 Today's read heads in a more serious direction. Plus, it's written in poetry form. Add that it's written by a young teen, who uses her own real-life experiences, and I was definitely interested in taking a peek at this one. There are trigger warnings, since it hits various forms and intensities of bullying. It's also stated in the foreword that it might not be appropriate for sensitive readers. 

With all of that in mind, off we go!

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You Won't Know Her Name
by Shanti Hershenson
YA Contemporary / Poetry
July 27, 2021



“I thought they were my best friend…”

There lives a little girl whom you will never know the name of, and for her, a terrible storm is coming. She is going to a new, public middle school knowing no one but her sister, and the horrors are absolutely endless.

But she doesn’t expect what is to come.

In her first few months of school, terrible and unspeakable things begin to happen, that go beyond what is considered “normal”. Finding the courage to get away from the wrong people is a difficult thing, but when a horrific incident occurs, she finds herself running from who she once thought to be friends.

Now lost and alone, The Girl turns to one thing to help her get through her darkest moments. Writing poetry is the one way she can express her anger, and when her school announces that they will be hosting an open-mic night, she knows she has to enter. But entering means that she will have to face her demons, and it could be her worst nightmare…

From a teenaged author, You Won't Know Her Name shines a light on a heartbreaking reality that often goes unspoken about - the issue that is bullying in middle school. From hateful comments to real, shocking violence, this book shares what cannot be ignored.

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The poetic form allows thoughts and feelings to hit with impact and draw the reader in with each and every page.

A girl attends a new middle school and has difficulties settling in with a much larger student body than she's accustom to. She believes she's found some friends, especially one, but instead, she finds herself bullied....and that in horrible ways.

The book hits upon tough themes, all which center around bullying. It's mentioned in the foreword that this isn't a book for more sensitive readers and does hold violence, mention of suicide, bullying, harsh language, and more. Even during the read, it's mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, which triggers exist in the upcoming text as well as the type of area it will dive into. For those, who want to avoid certain themes, this is helpful. 

The entire thing is written in poetic form, which works well. Scenes and world building don't take place, allowing feelings and thoughts to drive every moment forward. At times, it comes across a little choppy, but this does bring across the confusion, hesitation and emotions of the Girl well. Her character, as well as that of others, is never fleshed out completely, giving all of it a very general sense, which allows a large variety of readers to connect with the situations. This is even further strengthened through the use of The Person, as the bully is called. 

Emotions and situations come across clearly and with tons of pain and heart in a clever way, which will bring familiarity to a broad readership. 

Shanti Hershenson author picture
And here she is...

Shanti Hershenson's first two novellas were published when she was in the sixth grade, although her writing journey started long before then. Ever since she could hold a pencil, marker, or crayon, she was creating stories. They started from pictures, mere scribbles, and eventually, turned into captivating tales.

Author links:
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This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours and the tour runs from 21 February till 6 March. You can see the tour schedule here.


There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of You Won’t Know Her Name. 5 winners will win a paperback copy of You Won't Know Her name by Shanti Hershenson (US Only).

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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