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One of our Books of the Year 2016 | May 2016 Book of the Month This electrifyingly smart story of a teen girl's struggle with a tormenting voice in her head is a masterwork of contemporary YA.
There's a murderer on the loose in Cassie's New Jersey hometown, the so-called Houdini Killer, which sets her quick-to-anger dad even more on edge than usual. A former Navy SEAL with untreated posttraumatic stress syndrome, he now runs the family restaurant, a site of distressing memories for them both. After finding a foot in a sneaker on the beach - one of the Houdini Killer’s victims - Cassie hears a voice telling her that she's disgusting, and it won’t let up. Convinced she's “forever doomed like Cassandra of myth - the girl who leaves a trail of violence in her wake”, the bullying voice makes Cassie promise to obey it. And she does, with near-fatal consequences, when, for example she injects herself with her Epi-Pen, which results in her being hospitalised. In the clinic she meets the irrepressible Paris. A bipolar survivor of abuse, Paris comes to play a huge part in Cassie’s life, as does one of the boys staying in her dad’s apartment for the summer. The only time the voice is really silenced is when Cassie is with him, but the voice has other plans for their burgeoning relationship.
Taking the form of the “most screwed-up love letter ever” written from Cassie to the boy she falls for, this gripping, multilayered novel is an insightful exploration of grief, broken families, mental illness and the lies we tell others - and ourselves - out of fear. It’s also about losing yourself, and coming to find your true voice. Lake has a huge talent for tackling classic YA themes, but always forges his own path, cutting through clichés, stripping back the superficial, to reach the heart of his brilliantly complex characters, all delivered through spectacularly plotted storylines. ~ Joanne Owen
A message from author Nick Lake, ‘I can only imagine thought what it would be like to hear voices more often. And that’s what I have tried to do in Whisper to Me – to imagine it, and imagine how it could be conquered. Because these kinds of illnesses – traumas- can be conquered. That’s something I don’t have to imagine, since for a number of reasons and in a number of ways I have had close and direct experience of mental illness for a large part of my life. And I know, for an absolute fact. That people can get better. Things can get better. Life can get better.’
I love you. I'm sorry for what I did to you. I'm going to write it all down, explain everything that happened, why I broke your heart.
Cassie's own heart was broken when she was younger, by a tragedy she can barely talk about. She lives near the beach, with her angry father and his collection of reptiles, and a voice that whispers strange, dark thoughts into her mind. Cassie is seventeen and she is unravelling. Even when she first meets him, the boy, the one, she can't begin to imagine that anything could happen between them. That he might be someone amazing. That in the course of one summer, she will go to the darkest places and back again, with him by her side. That she might have to hurt him to save herself. Told in flashbacks, as a letter from heartbreaker to heartbroken, this powerful, unforgettable novel is intense, explosive and utterly gripping. From Carnegie shortlisted, Printz winning Nick Lake.
Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
|Publication date:||5th May 2016|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Suitable for:||13+ readers, YA readers|
|Genres:||General Fiction, Romance / Relationship Stories, Thrillers|
|Recommendations:||Books of the Month, eBooks, Reviewed by Children|
Nick Lake lives near Oxford with his wife and family. He works in publishing by day and writes books in every spare moment he can find. His powerful and moving novel In Darkness, about the Haitian earthquake, won the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. His second novel for Bloombury, Hostage Three, also received great acclaim. Nick Lake Q&A: Previous occupations:Student, and then book editor. Which I still am.Favourite job:Being a book editor. No one told me at school that there was a job where you got paid for ...More About Nick Lake