Saturday 12 September 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

Title: Your Voice Is All I Hear
Author: Leah Scheier
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: September 1st 2015

Synopsis: Everything about Jonah is unexpected. On the first day of school, he sits next to April, when he could have chosen to sit with the popular girl. He turns down an invitation to join the school team and declares he'd rather paint. He encourages April to develop her musical talent and shrugs off the bullies that torment them.

April isn't surprised to find herself falling for Jonah. The unexpected part is when he falls for her too.

But the giddy happiness of their first romance begins to fade when Jonah's unpredictability begins to take a darker turn. April understands that her boyfriend is haunted by a painful memory, but his sudden mood swings worry her. She can't explain his growing fear of cellphones, electric keyboards, and of sounds that no one else can hear. Still
l, no matter what happens, April is sure that she'll always stand by him.

Until Jonah finally breaks and is committed to a psychiatric ward.

Until schizophrenia changes everything.

Though everyone urges her to let him go, April stays true to Jonah. But as the boy she adores begins to disappear in front of her, she has to face her worst fear: that her love may not be enough to save him.


*this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

4.5/5 stars 

Your Voice Is All I Hear is a startling story about, first love, mental illness and discovering who you are. 

April is your average teen, who is insecure at times, but also very goofy and made me laugh on a few occasions. But the best the part about her was her growth throughout the story. The way she handled all the ups and downs when it came to Jonah's illness, was pretty remarkable. Yes, she was in denial sometimes, or had her selfish moments, but she is human and is still only fifteen. Yet, there were times where she was so mature and courageous for her age.  

Oh Jonah, he was an incredible character. I'm so happy with the way this author handled him. Some authors don't portray characters with mental illness very well, but oh my god did she do Jonah perfectly! From the very beginning I really liked Jonah, especially the way he treated April. It was quite beautiful seeing the small changes he brought out in her. The way she looked at herself differently in the mirror, or how she grew more confidence in her musical talent. I really adored the relationship that was growing between them. It was so charming and fluffy, you couldn't help but smile every time they were together.

Another character I cherished was Katie, Jonah's little sister. She brought pure innocence to the story, and the way Jonah was around her was so special. That little girl for sure broke my heart in one scene. 

A quarter of the way through the book, I really sensed the tone of the book changeWhen Jonah's symptoms started to break though, I knew things were heading in a darker direction. It's almost like I was put in these characters shoes, and every emotion they were going through, I felt. That shows just how strong the authors writing was. 

My only criticism I have is something that might only be a preference for certain readers. I do wish there was at least one chapter in Jonah's point of view. As I stated before, the author did a wonderful job with Jonah's character, but I think having a chapter where it is only in his mind, would have made me understand what he was going through just a little bit more. 

Fans of Rainbow Rowell and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, will fall head over heals in love with this story. 

Overall, this is a book about mental illness that everyone needs to read, especially teenagers. Growing up, I knew someone with schizophrenia, and I never truly understood what it meant at a young age. This book shows the raw truth about this terrible illness and how it effects not only the person living with it, but also the people around them. Never be ashamed of it, because mental illness doesn't define you. Jonah is a prime example of that, and I believe we can all take a little something from him. 


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