Over the weekend, I finished reading the book Silence by Natasha Preston. Although it does feel like it is written for a Young Adult audience, the subject matter is mature and the plot caught my interest when I read a description of the book. Overall, I would give this book 4-stars out of 5. I had it finished in just a few days and had a hard time putting it down, even reading later into the night than I should have and every free moment I had in between jobs. There were some spots that seemed to contradict each other, but it wasn’t offputting and I have already started reading the sequel.
The book starts off with Oakley leaving for school with her best friend, Cole. They’ve been friends since they were young children and do almost everything together. Oakley stopped talking when she was five years old, but despite this, she and Cole have a bond where he knows what she wants without her using words. He accepts her for who she is and is there for her as a friend and protector when other classmates give her a hard time.
Nobody knows why Oakley stopped speaking, and she lives in fear every day of people finding out and it hurting those around her. She blames herself and believes that her family will hate her, blame her, and most of all not believe her if she speaks out. It isn’t known right away to the reader, but every so often a little more detail is given as to what happened to Oakley to cause her to remain silent.
It is obvious that Cole and Oakley have feelings for each other, and throughout the book, their feelings become harder to hide. They eventually do begin dating with the plan of telling their families on her sixteenth birthday, which is just around the corner. There are mixed emotions from both families when it does become known, but the eventual agreement that they all seem to come to is that their relationship isn’t such a bad thing as long as Cole doesn’t hurt her.
When Oakley’s past comes back to haunt her, she calls on Cole to come to her rescue, and it is then that everything comes out in the open. With the help of Oakley’s mom, brother, and Cole, she is finally able to share her story and begin to heal from the scars that she has been carrying with her for eleven years.
I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something with real-life situations, a little romance and based on surviving through pain and traumatic experiences, only to come out stronger from it.