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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

REVIEW: Louder Than Words, by Laurie Plissner

Since the snowy night when her family's car slammed into a tree, killing her parents and little sister, Sasha has been unable to speak except through a computer with a robotic voice. Nothing is wrong with her body; that's healed. But, after four years, Sasha's memory, and her spirit, are still broken. Then one day, she's silently cussing out the heavy book she dropped at the library when a gorgeous, dark-haired boy, the kind of boy who considers Sasha a freak or at least invisible, "answers" Sasha's hidden thoughts -- out loud. Yes, Ben can read minds; it's no big deal. He's part of a family with a host of unusual, almost-but-not-quite-supernatural talents. 

Through Ben's love, Sasha makes greater progress than she has with a host of therapists and a prominent psychiatrist. With him to defend her, bullies keep the world from ever understanding Sasha, he pulls away. Determined to win him and prove her courage by facing her past, Sasha confronts her past -- only to learn that her family's death was no accident and that a similar fate may wait for her, in the unlikeliest of disguises.

I honestly can't imagine not being able to speak for myself, literally speak. Sasha, it seems to me, is doing remarkably well for such a horrible tragedy. Sure, she has only one friend, but she attends school, has a support system, and isn't in an institution or considered suicidal. Really, I think she's doing pretty well. Aside from that pesky mutism thing.

I liked the story okay, but it felt like it was just trying to be too many things, have too many elements. There's the mystery surrounding the car accident that killed her family, there's the mind-reading boyfriend, then the "push past the tragedy/heal myself." Two of those would've been great, all 3 was over the top. And Ben is too together, too mature/worldly, too unbelievable to make a good connection with the reader.

I like Alyssa's stubborness and I like that she overcomes her problems and finally achieves closure. It certainly shows that you can overcome crippling tragedy. 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Merit Press through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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