Friday, March 13, 2015

YA Romance: Silence Review

Stella was born to sing. Someday Broadway. Even though she is only a sophomore at a new high school, her voice has given her the status as a cool kid. But then a tragic accident renders her deaf. She cannot hear herself sing not to mention speak. She cannot hear anything. Silence. What happens when everything you have dreamed of and hoped for is shattered in a single moment?
Enter Hayden, the boy with blonde curls who stutters. He is treated like an outcast because he is not normal. And, yet, Stella feels an attraction to him that she cannot 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 whose deaf 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 beauty and love in unexpected places.

About the Author:
Deborah Lytton is an established writer who began her work life as an actress at the age of six. She graduated from UCLA and Pepperdine University with a degree in law before becoming a writer. She lives in California with her two daughters and is an active blogger and member of SCBWI.

My Review:

4 out of 5 stars (I enjoyed it)

Silence is a beautiful love story that captures the hope that exists even in the midst of darkness and pain. When rising star, Stella loses her hearing in a pool accident, she faces not only the loss of her musical gift, but also the loss of her identity as a person. She’d pinned all her future hopes on the goal of Someday Broadway after her parents’ divorce. Now, she must figure out what else is worth living for, and Hayden, a boy with his own mysterious, dark past, can help her do just that. If she will let herself trust him.

This book read more like poetry than a novel in many places. The prose was lyrical and almost like a song itself. It is told in first person present tense, which I don’t mind, but others might find difficult to get into. The main characters were both a mix of real and ethereal. Hayden with his stutter and ability to read things so clearly, and Stella’s sensational voice with her broken family and now lost hearing brought depth to the book. It is a beautiful, clean story of courage to live and love that is more than just skin deep.

A couple things in the book, did bother me. The word “I” is used a ton. I know it is difficult to avoid that with first person books, but even taking that in account, it got a bit annoying at times. Another slight annoyance came more from my study and involvement in the deaf culture. While I thought it was cool to read lips and use technology, I would have liked to see the option of sign language and other ways of communicating explored a little. Also, while cochlear implants can sometimes restore someone’s hearing, it is rarely, if ever, to one hundred percent. Usually, it is only a small portion that is restored, and the implant causes added difficulties that weren't mentioned. The process was presented as an easy fix, which didn't strike me as realistic.

For the most part, I thought this was a very sweet YA romance that is great for teenage girls. I’m definitely going to check out Deborah Lytton’s other books.


Purchase Links:

Deseret Book

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cragbridge Series Book 3 . . . Now Available!

From Chad Morris, author of The Inventer’s Secret and The Avatar Battle, the first two books of his highly acclaimed Cragbridge Hall series, comes THE IMPOSSIBLE RACE , the final installment in the epic fantasy saga eagerly anticipated by fans everywhere. Morris yet again weaves an exhilarating adventure story around his beloved characters, bringing them together one last time to face the ultimate enemy: fate.

Morris firmly believes that imagination is a help, not a hindrance, to lifelong learning, and his writing style reveals a unique flair for fusing fiction and nonfiction. “Kids, don’t be afraid to imagine and dream big,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to fantasize and see the world in a different way. Make what you read your own. As the great ones of history show us, reading and learning don’t suddenly end when school ends; they can and should be the exciting pursuit of a lifetime.”

To celebrate this release, The Inventor's Secret has been marked down to $1.99 on Amazon. Awesome! This offer only last until March 17, so don't wait too long. ;) Enjoy a little book blurb below while I slip over and grab my copy!

Every year the futuristic school, Cragbridge Hall, holds its most popular tournament, the Race, a series of challenges that require the use of the school's amazing inventions, like its holographic time machine. But this year is different. Rather than a monetary or academic award, this year's winner will be the recipient of a carefully guarded school secret, a secret that could prove both powerful and dangerous.

Afraid that the secret may be one of their Grandfather's inventions, Abby and Derick gather their friends and enroll in the contest. But when Derick gets a mysterious message from the future, the team of friends must figure out how to succeed even when they know they are destined to fail. The stakes have never been higher in this page-turning, time-travel adventure that teaches powerful lessons about choice and consequence, believing in yourself, and valuing the lessons of history.



CHAD MORRIS would love to be able to control animal avatars, see history in 3D, and show everyone how he imagines stories. Since the inventions that would make that possible currently exist only in his imagination, he settles for reading, writing, playing basketball, rappelling down an occasional slot canyon, dating his wife, and hanging out with his five awesome kids in his home state of Utah.