Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Silence by Deborah Lytton
Published January 6, 2015
Reviewed by Laura
YA has become one of my favorite genres. When this book came up for review, I was excited to be reading it. Perhaps my expectations were too high. The story line caught my attention right away. Stella has a beautiful singing voice and dreams of someday performing on Broadway, but an accident causes her to lose her hearing. Hayden is a boy in her school who stutters. They forge a friendship that helps them overcome the obstacles that hold them back. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, I began to struggle with this novel almost from the very beginning.
The main problem I had was with the writing. The author writes in short sentences that has a staccato effect. This is a technique that can bring attention to a particular paragraph. Or situation. Or person. But when it's used. All the time. I wanted to take a red pen. So I could start. Making. Corrections. It began to annoy me to the point that it detracted from the story.
The second problem I had with this book is that it's a romance, Harlequin-like romance. The kind where it reminded me of the romance novels I read in the eighties where the characters are so in tune and in love with each other and they've barely spoken a word. Even before he walks into a room, she can feel him. He keeps staring at her from across the hallway, across the room, all the time, and she's smitten. She's never even spoke a word to him. He could be a stalker. It just wasn't realistic. It's the first time I read a YA contemporary novel that has this kind of heavy "nothing exists but you and me"romance. Do I want my 14 year-old daughter reading this stuff? Do I want her to think that a boy will be the answer to her problems? Not really. I think romance is great as a subgenre in YA, but not flowery and starry-eyed as in this one.
This is a good story with Stella having to overcome an adversity and Hayden his abusive past. It had so much potential. But for me the unrealistic romantic elements and the writing style made it difficult to enjoy the story.
Note: This book is rated G, This was a clean read.
Disclosure: Thanks to Shadow Mountain for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.