I bought these books a while back when I was low on money (when aren’t I) but wanted something to read when putting of my dissertation, (yet again, when aren’t I?) The story is told in two books and I dutifully sat down the devour the first book ‘Silence.’ Needless to say as the end of the book I was eager to read on but also doubtful whether I would finish the second. When reviewing these books I was tempted to put them together and do a longer definition, however the books rely on very different ways of telling the story due to the main character and I feel pushing them together would not allow me to discuss them fully. Therefore I am reviewing them separately. So here it is! my review!
For eleven years, Oakley Farrell has been silent. At the age of five, she stopped talking, and no one seems to know why. Refusing to communicate beyond a few physical actions, Oakley remains in her own little world. Bullied at school, she has just one friend, Cole Benson. Cole stands by her, refusing to believe that she is not perfect the way she is. Over the years, they have developed their own version of a normal friendship. However, will it still work as they start to grow even closer? When Oakley is forced to face someone from her past, can she hold her secret in any longer?
Something has stopped Oakley talking; this small and delicate character is not speaking a word and no-one knows why. Although there are no spoilers here, it does become evident what the problem is, or what has happened in the past. However, this doesn’t detract from the story and it does continue to pull you along to the very end. One of the most genuine parts of the book is the emotion that is felt between Oakley and Cole. The way that their friendship develops is simple but beautiful. You can see from the very beginning the feelings that are slowly creeping out and growing between the two of them. However, it is written so that you keep waiting for it. Oakley also draws it out, making you wonder whether she will ever be ready to accept that she is good enough for him. Even though at times it seemed a little clichéd, it is dealt with minimally and honestly making it even more clear and lovely. Additionally, I found that the romance was a little too naïve and immature; and although I understand it is because they are young adults there could have been more of a fever to their impending relationship change. However, the way that they communicate and the way he gets her, whilst not being uptight or challenging about her inability to talk is written in a lovely way. The characters are well thought out and they all bring something to the story however I felt that their traits were downplayed. If you have read any of my reviews you will know that this is important to me as a reader and I felt that the characters lacked conviction, passion and fervour. I don’t know whether I am picky or I like expressive characters but I felt like the entire book lacked anything. It needed some oomph.
Towards the very end of the book we learn why Oakley is not talking and although I thought it was handled with dexterity and thought it felt rushed and sudden which was unfortunate as the whole book was reaching for the moment when we found out what was really going on. Instead of a rush I felt confused. However, I must state that it was handled really well. Another additional problem was the book needed another edit; at time there were a number of grammatical errors that could have been ironed out with another edit. Although often I can look past the errors, this had so many tiny errors that at time it was a little to aggravating! However, another edit and this could definitely be improved. Additionally, I thought that although the story had a plot and a definite idea, and a plot line and a good solid set of characters it lacked the pull, the desperation, the feeling that you need to make a book like this work. When you are dealing with such an interesting twist, mainly a character that doesn’t speak and needs impressions and expressions in which to interact, you need to push the emotions to get the reader to really understand. Finally, I felt that the ending was too quick and snappy. I won’t spoil it because it will ruin the reading of the book however I felt that it didn’t wrap up the book well enough. However, there is a second book! However, it still would have been nice for a more drawn out ending. I know I have probably put this book down a little, I still enjoyed it, but just know that for it me it wasn’t a great read!