Title: Whisper to Me
Author: Nick Lake
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
A remarkable story of strange beauty and self-discovery from Printz Award winner Nick LakeReview by Nara
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 he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all.
This was certainly a very unconventional book. Probably one of the most unique books I've read this year, but that was also a bit of a downfall because it was almost too unconventional for me to fully enjoy. First, the book was written in second person, and the "person" it was addressed to was a character in the book (something I don't think I've actually come across despite having read several books written in second person- they're usually addressed to "you" as in the audience). Second person isn't my favourite type of POV at the best of times, and I think it tipped the book just a little too far out of my comfort zone.
But overall, I must say the book was very well written. It had interesting formatting with no formal chapters- instead the book sort of jumped to different pages like it was a long stream of consciousness style of story-telling. Sometimes you'd come to blank pages, sometimes there'd be pages with a single word- this stylistic choice was actually very well suited to portraying Cassie's state of mind, and helped give you more understanding about the nature of her mental illness.
Speaking of which, the mental illness aspect of things was very well done. It was certainly very interesting how Cassie would describe the voice that she heard, and very realistic. Disclaimer time: I'm a medical student, and have had some experience with patients with auditory hallucinations. None quite as severe as Cassie's, but the way some of those patients described their voices was quite similar to how Cassie describes hers.
Anyway, overall, this was a book I can definitely recommend. While it was unconventional, I think that it wasn't too unconventional as to stay outside the boundaries of what the general YA contemporary audience would read.