Book Review: Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner

Louder Than WordsLouder Than Words
Laurie Plissner
Merit Press, December 2012
ISBN 9781440556654

What a cool, and very sneaky book!  It begins with our main character, Sasha, reliving a terrible accident that ripped her from a normal life; leaving her a shell of a person, with no parents or siblings, no childhood memories, and no voice.  As if the perils of adolescence aren’t challenging enough, Sasha uses a “speak box” to communicate.

Before too much sympathy can be evoked, we learn that Sasha chooses to use the robot-voice on her voice box, rather than trying out the human-esque voice choices.  Despite being an adorable teenager, she balks at fashion, existing in sweats and tees.

Like it or not, she attracts attention.  As she walks home from the library one evening, four male classmates surround her.  It can’t be good.  Enter our amazingly dreamy male lead, Ben.  Well, technically, he entered at the library about an hour ago, but this is more dramatic.  Not only is he hot, but he happens to be on his way to martial arts class.  Through a few well-placed punches and kicks, he convinces the boys to move on.

Oh, okay, it is going to be a romance….I’m down with that.  Of course Sasha and Ben are immediately attracted to each other, when it becomes clear that Ben has an extra ability, above and beyond his black belt.  Ah, intrigue…..this is going to be more than a romance!

As Sasha finally begins to live again, memories begin to surface.  Was the car wreck really an accident?  Of course, slick roads, going too fast, it made sense; but didn’t feel right.  Sasha risks a visit to the crash site to find white tulips and very bad poetry.  The remnants of older bouquets are there, as are more cryptic notes.  No.  Not an accident.  Someone tried to kill her entire family.  But, why?  Now that Sasha knows, won’t she be targeted?

Aha!  We have a mystery.  This story keeps giving.  The tumultuous journey to unravel the mysteries is absolutely riveting.  Now, you won’t be able to put the book down.  It’s okay, it’s totally worth it.  Skip your chores and finish the book right now.

While, I (clearly) enjoyed this book, there is one thing I feel I would be remiss if I left out.  Sasha and her best friend speak rather frankly about sex—not actually having sex, just the stuff a typical teen would find in a Cosmo; however, it is enough (in my humble opinion) to leave out a younger audience. Without the sex-talk, I would easily recommend this to young teens.  I would even suggest it for Middle School, Jr. High and High School libraries; but with the sexual language, I feel that I can really only recommend it to high-school students.  This makes me sad, because it is such an amazing story, and I really didn’t feel that those conversations added anything.

Reviewed by jv poore, November 2012.