Book Review: Whisper to Me

About the Book:

Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She's trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won't let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely.
Desperate for his forgiveness, she's telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She's hoping that love-love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself-can save both of them after all.

About the Author:

Nick Lake is the much-acclaimed author of In Darkness, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, Hostage Three, which received three starred reviews and was named a Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year, and There Will Be Lies. He is also the Publishing Director for fiction at HarperCollins Children's Books UK. Nick lives near Oxford, England. | @nicklakeauthor

The Review:

You know how they keep saying that never judge a book by its cover? Well, bullshit. One of the reasons I got attracted towards this book was the extremely pretty colourful cover. It had been popping up in my suggestions for a long time (yes, I read a lot of YA fiction) and finally I just decided to get my hands on a copy and read it.

I had fallen into a reading slump and honestly, Nick Lake’s Whisper to Me brought me back to my crazy reading habits.

As it happens with most books I read, I developed a personal connection with Cassie. For one thing she starts the story by telling the boardwalk boy that she was going to write her part of the story out in email and send it to him. She would give him two days to read it and wait for him on Friday. Soon we are sucked into the world that Cassie lived in – pretty much alone. Until she finds a foot on the sea beach and obviously something inside of her snaps!

She starts hearing a voice that starts to basically control her life. Her erratic behavior begins to affect her and people are around her aren’t as oblivious as she first thought. She gets help from a psychiatrist, Dr. Rezwari, but during her stint at the psych ward she meets an alluring young woman – Paris French. Paris introduces her to a whole new world of dealing with (as Cassie’s father had termed it) mental illness.

As Cassie falls more and more in love with boardwalk boy, her father’s paranoia rises.  He had already lost his wife and he’s terrified that he would lose Cassie too. Especially because there’s a Houdini killer in their town on the loose! He had been kidnapping women who were prostitutes and making them disappear. And because of the profession that they served, no one seemed to be doing much about their deaths.

Cassie’s voice feels that it is her personal duty to get to the bottom of this mystery and nearly destroys her in the process. Another mention should be made about Paris French who had personal tragedies of her own and who didn’t want to talk about it. She didn’t understand the difference between having fun and doing something that was extremely dangerous! One could understand what was alluring about her to friendless and alone Cassie.

In short, I could understand why people have been going ga-ga over this book. It speaks to you in a really different way. While the focus doesn’t waver from the fact that Cassie is trying her best to win back a boy whose heart she’d broken, everything else that manifests in the background makes you really stop and think about it all.

Favourite Quotes:

“It's so hard, when you fall for someone—the temptation is to look back on the past and rewrite things so they seem more significant. There's a part of me going: Did I know? Did I know the first time we met that you would change everything? That you would change me?”
― Nick Lake, Whisper to Me

“I have learned that some people come into our lives, and then are gone. And that part of the thing, part of life, is to accept that fact, to accept that they're gone. But there's something else too: and that's realizing that a part of them will never be gone. We think of lives as stopping, suddenly. But they don't. They are like waves, like ripples, like echoes that continue to resonate from their point of origin, out into the world...And, of course...I can just remember those voices, and that keeps them with me. Remember their lives. Remember their words...But there are also, of course, people you don't have to just remember, because they're still around. And I guess that's the other thing I have learned. There are people who come into our lives, and then are gone. But there are also people who come into our lives and who we need to hang on to.”
― Nick Lake, Whisper to Me

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