Saturday, 8 December 2012

Louder than Words (ARC) by Laurie Plissner

Louder Than Words
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The debut novel of an American original, Laurie Plissner's is both medical thriller and lyric love story in the tradition of magical realism

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.

 Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Louder Than Words(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Merit Press and Netgalley.)
Four years ago, Sasha was in a car accident that claimed the lives of her parents and her older sister Liz. Sasha was unharmed, but Has since been unable to speak – a condition which the psychiatrists have told her is ‘hysterical mutism’.

Now 17, Sasha has been seeing a psychiatrist weekly for 4 years, and is still no closer to recovering her voice. Then she meets Ben.
Ben is also 17 but he seems much older. He rescues her from a near gang rape by four boys from her high school, and she realises how he managed it when he seems to be able to hear exactly what she is thinking.

Ben being able to ‘hear’ her is a revelation for Sasha, and she finds herself falling for him. But when he tells her that he’s worried that she will give up trying to get her voice back because of him, and that they need to take a break, Sasha is devastated, and makes a renewed effort to regain her voice.

Can Sasha ever get her voice back though? Was there someone else involved in her family’s accident? And can she ever get Ben back and have a normal life?

This was an interesting book. Sasha had obviously been through a lot, and was still having to deal with a lot, and being then attacked by boys at school it made her feel even more like a weirdo, which she hated.
I did think at times that maybe Sasha could have been a little more motivated to recover her voice, but after 4 years with no success I can see how she might lose motivation, especially whilst having to deal with her grief as well.

Sasha’s problem was not something that I have read about before, and I did feel sorry for her. I would have hated to have been in her situation, although I didn’t think that her psychiatrist was really helping her very much by basically telling her to fix herself!

I liked Ben, and I liked his supernatural abilities, which didn’t seem so out-there, just cause it was so natural for him. As bizarre as being able to read other people’s thoughts should have been in this contemporary book, it wasn’t weird at all, and was even endearing coming from Ben.
I also liked Sasha’s friend Jules, who was so supportive and such a breath of fresh air. She came out with some cracking lines and ideas and I really loved her influence on Sasha.

Funnily enough, this book was funny in places, and I even found myself laughing out loud. I liked the mystery as to whether Sasha would ever recover her voice, as well as the mystery over whether there was someone else involved in Sasha’s family’s accident.

I did want a little more drama at times. I felt at moments that what was happening should have gotten bigger reactions from the people involved, and that sometimes events were a little anti-climactic, which was a little disappointing.

The romance angle was nice, and although this book was very much a young-adult style book, there was quite a few discussions about sex, and actual sexual moments in the book, although nothing explicit.

Overall; an interesting idea, and a nice mix of mystery and romance.
7 out of 10.

I'm not 100% sure of the release date for this one, as on netgalley it says December 18th, but this book is already available on, and in kindle format at The hardback version is not available on until December 28th.


  1. I have this one still pending from Negalley. It sounds really good, different.

    So happy liked most of it.

  2. I haven't heard of "hysterical mutism." Interesting.

  3. Yet another I would have pass on because of the cover. Great review!