By Hannah Harrington
Summary from Goodreads
Confession: I was instantly drawn to this book because of its pretty cover. You may not can tell from the picture but this cover isn’t just shiny, it’s iridescent. That’s not just an “interesting” kind of attractive, it’s a full on “gravitational” pull. It could have been full of blank pages or written in Farsi and I would have taken it home clutched to my chest. Unfortunately, I would have enjoyed the blank pages and Farsi version better than I did the real story.
Note: While this book left a sour taste in my head, there are great things about it. Harrington is a very talented writer and I am not disputing that fact. If you go to the Goodreads summary (link above) and read the comments/reviews you can find many good things that people are saying. This post is a content advisory, meaning just that; letting you know about the “stuff” that is all mixed up in the story. That being said, this is a well written and well constructed book that I did not enjoy reading.
Heads up: within the first chapter are multiple instances of swearing and underage alcohol use. The main character Chelsea attends the NYE party of the Best Friend, having told her mother she is babysitting. At the party, in search of a bathroom to barf in, she finds two boys in one of the bedrooms. By the second chapter one of those boys is in the ICU from a bully beating after she makes a very drunken announcement. Back at school she finds herself the target of more bullying, and without her best/only friend. In the third chapter she takes a sort of vow of silence as an exercise in self-control and thinking before speaking. This is an obvious connection to the title, but a less obvious one is that make several appearances in the story is concept of being “speechless”, of being in a situation and have no idea what to do, or say, next, of having no direction.
Through what I read of the story (I skipped over quite a bit) Harrington weaves some very intricate characters and places them in relatable developmental situations. Chelsea forms new friendships and begins to process of rebuilding her self-worth. On a basic level the story is positive, with good lessons at heart. Unfortunately it is populated with foul language, disrespect, and negative attitudes, making it very unpleasant to read.
I lost count in the first chapter.
No sex happens on the page, but it comes up several times
Some physical relationship abuse and lots of verbal.
P.S. This book was a ARC curtsey of Gretchen over at Little Joe’s Books & Coffee Shop in Katonah, NY. I received it in November of last year, but it got lost in the shuffle and I’m just now getting it up! For shame, I know.