Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 2015 by Shadow Mountain
Love is blind, but it's also deaf. Stella was born to sing. Someday Broadway. Even though she's only a sophomore at a new high school, her voice has given her the status as a "cool kid." But everything changes when a tragic accident renders her deaf. She can't hear herself sing not to mention speak. She can't hear anything. Silence. What happens when everything you've dreamed of and hoped for is shattered in a single moment?
Enter Hayden, the boy with blond curls who stutters. He's treated like an outcast because he's not "normal." And, yet, Stella feels an attraction to him that she can't explain. As Hayden reaches out to help Stella discover a world without sound, his own tragic past warns him to keep a distance. But their connection is undeniable. Can the boy who stutters and the girl who's deaf ever find a happily-ever-after? Silence is a story of friendship and hope with a lesson that sometimes it takes a tragedy to help us find and appreciate beauty and love in unexpected place.
Reviewer's Copy: e-ARC
Source: Publisher (Thank you!)
Stella was a talented singer and she dreamed of making it to Broadway. However in one accident, she lost her hearing. What good was a singer who couldn't hear? In one single moment, she lost her gift and her dreams. Post-accident, she found a friend in Hayden, the boy who saved her and continued to save her in his own little ways. Stella was a kind spirit. Even before Hayden saved her, he had always seen him not as the stuttering, stammering guy but the guy who made good music, the one who offered nothing but kindness and happiness to her.
Hayden had been lingering in the sidelines of the story. Until the day that Stella fell into a pool, and he dived in to save her. I liked him even more when he proposed to show her how to live life without sound in 17 days. It was a bit movie-like for me - every day that he spent with Stella seemed like something straight out of a movie, sweet and cute and inspiring. I liked Hayden's voice. For me, it was the voice of a teen gentleman: respectful, clean and considerate. It was like stepping into a guy's head and cutting out the profanities, the rude and green stuff. This makes me wonder if there is truly someone out there who thinks the way Hayden does? I just find it so pure and clean, that it's almost surprising. It was refreshing to encounter a fictional character who was flawed in his speech and yet so finesse in his narration. There was redemption in this step, and it also allowed me to comprehend the stark difference in how people see Hayden and how he could be.
Stella and Hayden had a connection and they were able to see through each other's armors. All the worries, anger, pain and sadness wrapped around them like multiple layers, and each of them helped each other peel away the many layers covering them - until finally, they were free of baggage. They helped each other survive and overcome problems. Hayden and Stella developed a friendship that soon turned into something more. I liked how the sparks buzzed off of their skin and how the emotional pull was palpable. I enjoyed reading about them and seeing them fall slowly, inevitably for each other. They had their own way of conveying emotions and thoughts, without making too much of an effort. The ride was like heaven, cute, sweet and romantic.
There were a lot of items tackled in the book, including friendship. Stella and Lily's friendship was beginning to come undone. Lily was self-centered and didn't really consider Stella's situation and thoughts. The family dynamics in the book were explored well, both Hayden and Stella has unorthodox families: Stella's parents were not together, she lived with her mom but was in touch with her dad; Hayden lives with his grandfather, he didn't know his father and his mother was almost always absent in his life. There was also the universal theme on pain, forgiveness, acceptance and letting go.
Silence is a clean, heartfelt and sweet YA contemporary romance. It is not your typical contemporary romance. I encountered two main characters in difficult situations: a singer who lost her hearing and a musician who had trouble with his speech. It was a roller coaster of emotions to see the world using the lens of Stella and Hayden. I admit that I would never see the world in the same way again after this.
4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!