I know it’s been a little bit since my last review. I was out of town for a few days, which was fabulous, but I am glad to be back! Before I jump into my review for Whisper to Me, I’d first like to announce the winner of my DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND to PRINT GIVEAWAY!!!
The prize for this giveaway will be a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND. For any questions pertaining to this giveaway, please reference the original giveaway post. And the winner is…
And now on to today’s book review:
‘I love you. I’m sorry for what I did to you. I’m going to write it all down, explain everything that happened, why I broke your heart, and then I’m going to email it to you. I will be waiting for you at 5 p.m. Friday by the windmill hole at the crazy golf at the Pier where we played once. If you still want me then, when you’re done reading this, come and get me. OK? Consider this the most screwed up love letter ever.’
So begins Nick Lake’s tour de force romance which introduces readers to Cassie, a New Jersey Shore teen who, over the course of one summer, experiences the exhilarating highs of new love, the frightening free falls of personal demons and family tragedy, and the bumps along the way to forgiveness, acceptance, and self-discovery.
Length: 544 Pages
Publisher: Bloombury Publishing
Release Date: May 5, 2016
About the Author
Nick Lake is the much acclaimed author of In Darkness, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; Hostage Three, which received three starred reviews and was named a Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year; and There Will Be Lies. He is also the Publishing Director for fiction at HarperCollins Children’s Books UK. Nick lives near Oxford, England. http://www.in-darkness.org @NicholasLake
I have to say, this is one book I initially chose because of its cover. I figure, anything with a ferris wheel has to be awesome, right? But is was more than that. I really do love the premise of this story. I feel that more books need to tackle the issue of mental illness, head on. And Whisper to Me certainly did that. Cassie is a young adult that has had her fair share of trauma in her life, and as a result, hears a voice on a regular basis. A voice that insults her, tells her to hurt herself, etc. I am grateful for books that are willing to tackle difficult subjects like that.
But as much as I love what the story was attempting to convey, I never felt like it accomplished what it set out to do–whatever that might have been. Some of it was because of the writing style.
The entire 544 pages is one long letter to a boy. And there are many times when she tells him something and then says, “but you already knew that.” The poor boy who was on the receiving end of a 500 page letter, and much of it was apparently stuff that he already knew. It made it obvious to the reader that those portions were only for our benefit, and I found it quite distracting.
Another distracting aspect was the continual use of the *asterisk* instead of swear words. Cassie was constantly swearing throughout the whole book, but she replaced 90% of them with asterisks instead of writing it out. But your brain is still trying to fill in those places with what was intended. Swear, or don’t swear, but don’t make me stare at 2 lines of asterisks.
SPOILER ALERT: Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to read a small spoiler
The only main issue I had with the story/plot itself, was the relationship between Cassie and the boy she is writing the letter to. When they first meet she is a complete mess, both physically and emotionally. And even though she pretty much blows him off, he continues to be nice to her. I like that. But then she continues to hardly give him the time of day (by outward appearances). And then all the sudden they are dating (for a very brief time), and when she dumps him, he is crying, heartbroken, and it’s like she destroyed his world. WHAT?!
Not only that, but when a friend is in trouble and he wants to team up with Cassie to help this friend, Cassie’s freaking out because she think he is only helping because he likes her friend. Seriously? Your friend is in trouble and you take the time to worry that this boy you barely know is helping because he likes her more?
SO much of the story relies on their relationship, and I find it so unbelievable, that it was enough for me to drop the rating because of it.
Therefore, I am giving Whisper to Me 2 out of 5 Stars.
CONTENT (0 being none and 5 being A LOT):
1 or 2 small domestic situations, as well as some self-harm
This one was tricky because, like I said, most of the swearing was filled in with asterisks. But because the brain still fills in the missing words, I’m ranking this one as if the asterisks weren’t there.
References to sexual abuse and situations, but nothing graphic