13 March 2016

Review #367: Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Mental illness turns people inwards. That's what I reckon. It keeps up forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or a cut thumb will grab your attention, holding it so tightly that your good leg or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.”

----Nathan Filer

Leah Scheier, an American author, has penned a heart-rending YA tale, Your Voice is All I Hear which unfolds the story of young high school teenager who meets and falls for a newcomer boy and gradually when this unpopular girl's love story takes up full course, that sweet, innocent boy's ghosts from the past surface up, thereby, making him miserable and depressed with fear, which finally leads to institutionalization. Whereas on the other hand, this girl won't give up on her boyfriend whom she loves more than everything in her universe.


I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key.

And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled hallway, knock on his doctor’s office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen.

April won’t let Jonah go without a fight.

He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?

April is the unpopular girl among her peers and is often subjected to nasty remarks-passing in her high school. But things change when a transfer-student joins her school. Jonah may not be the perfect good-looking jock-type guy, but he is sweet that made April fall for him instantly. But as their relationship started to grow, Jonah's voices in his head took control over his life, but April is a fighter and won't give up on Jonah. As the conditions worsened and Jonah is diagnosed with schizophrenic symptoms, April began to sacrifice her life both in school and in home to support and care for Jonah. Will April's love for Jonah bring him back to reality?

FYI: You need a whole box of Kleenex handy before reading this book.

Firstly, let's begin with the book's cover which immaculately captures the main character's grief on her face and it totally justifies with the story line. The author's writing style is eloquent and heavily layered with PAIN in big bold letters. The narrative is engaging as well as poignant enough to break the hearts of the readers millions of times. The theme of the story is spot-on and thoroughly realistic and the way the author has delivered it is simply enthralling. The pacing of the book is pretty good but at times, the pace went up and down like an ECG graph. The climax is another thing that made me love the story even more as it is extremely heart-breaking.

Apart from being an emotional roller-coaster ride, the story offers mild bullying in high school, realistic high-school characters and depression among teens. And the author has arrested this whole situation of Jonah's psychosis sensitively. The author even strikingly captures the fact that how high school teenagers often hide about their mental problems from their parents, friends and teachers. The pain endured by Jonah while he is hearing voices in his head and starting to lose his control from reality, is vividly portrayed by the author, and there is so much depth in those scenes that I felt goosebumps while reading about Jonah's painful encounter with his ghosts from an uneventful past.

Be it a high-school football jock or a mean-ass teen diva or a strict cancer-survived teacher or the single parent of a teenager or the nurse of some psychotic ward, the characters are all genuine and practical. The protagonist, April, through whose first person POV, I got to see the whole story, is an exceptional misfit girl in her teenagers. Unlike some, she never gave any heed to nasty comments from mean students. She is strong and level-headed when it comes to situation of life. When Jonah was institutionalized, April was subjected to violent remarks, yet she kept fighting for Jonah till the very last page. Now April, here, broke my heart a lot. Her character graph is not at all pristine, it has flaws and shortcomings, but her imperfection and her deep love for Jonah made her stand out and leave a lasting impression even after the end of the book. April was so much devoted to Jonah's well-being, that she gave up her dreams of going to a good college, she alienated herself from her only best friend and never gave any thoughts to what her mother's advice. Her dedication towards Jonah is simply astounding.

The love that is featured in this book is an insta-love, so I must warn you before judging the story too harshly. But not much happens between Jonah and April, it kinda goes into a downward spiral before even Jonah and April shared a proper first-kiss. Their love might not be a true one or a passionate one, but it was quite sad. Both the characters are talented, one in arts and the other in music, so their shared passion of arts and music, bring them close to one another and that really gave justification to their insta-love story.

In short, this novel is compelling to read even though it brings tears into the eyes of the readers.

Verdict: If you like reading about mental illness among teenagers, then this is the perfect book for you.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Leah Scheier, for giving me an opportunity to read and review her book. 

Author Info:
Leah Scheier was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. As a child, she was inspired by her favorite authors, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lloyd Alexander, and C.S. Lewis to dream up tales of adventure and romance. Now grown up with daughters of her own, Leah works as a pediatrician and continues to create new stories.
Her first novel, SECRET LETTERS, came out 6/26/12 (Hyperion/Disney). Her second novel, YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR is due to be released in September 1, 2015 (Sourcebooks Fire).
Visit her here 

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1 comment:

  1. I recently added this book to my TBR list. I’ve seen a lot of really good reviews for it, and I’m glad that you liked it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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