Book Review: Silence by Natasha Preston

This was a book that I literally struggled to decide whether to read it or not, here’s the blurb for it:

‘For eleven years, Oakley Farrell has been silent. At the age of five, she stopped talking, and no one seems to know why. Refusing to communicate beyond a few physical actions, Oakley remains in her own little world. 

Bullied at school, she has just one friend, Cole Benson. Cole stands by her, refusing to believe that she is not perfect the way she is. Over the years, they have developed their own version of a normal friendship. However, will it still work as they start to grow even closer? 

When Oakley is forced to face someone from her past, can she hold her secret in any longer?’

It caught my attention and I got a feeling of what it would be about, yet at the same time I wondered if it would be similar to that popular book The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.  I decided to just read it and see how it went and it was pretty much the opposite of alice Sebold’s novel.

Part of me wants to say it was awful, it was, for the first 10 chapters we were hearing from Oakley, the girl who wouldn’t talk, although we had no idea why not, we did get some clues, though they were a bit vague.  The problem was by chapter 11 we suddenly went to Cole’s view point, which was rather jarring to say the least.  We went from the mind of a girl who wouldn’t talk, to someone who would.  It was unsettling and ten after that the author decided that the POV would change every chapter, which I could understand but I felt like it would have been better had the novel started out that way instead of making the sudden jump half way through the book.

The novel was focused on Oakley’s relationship with Cole, which was very cute, if a bit odd, like Cole could pretty much read her mind whereas her family couldn’t.  Part of me understood why her parent’s couldn’t, but her brother was close to her, so why couldn’t he be able to read her too?

It was slow going, with the fall out happening in the last few chapters of the book, Oakley facing a stranger from her past sounds like something that should happen in the middle of the book, not at the end.  It just felt the main focus of the book should have been the romance between Oakley and Cole and the second part about her being silent.

The other problem with this book is the grammar and at times spelling, it felt like no one had proof-read it enough, there was just a lot of times when certain grammar errors appeared that you would be taken out of the moment.

I felt sorry for Oakley, because you had some idea of what happened to her, yet you never knew who did it to her; but at the same time, she just seemed bland – part of the gymnastics team and yet she only went once a week? She didn’t appear to have any hobbies or interests, she was a blank canvas, we got that she loves hot chocolate and ice cream but that was it. She was just lifeless.
Cole is just 2 dimensional, he was just flat, nothing felt real about him at all.  The author didn’t seem to know how a young man would think, it just felt really awkward reading his POV chapters, as in it did feel like someone was writing him and didn’t really know his character that well, or more to the point hadn’t developed him into a fully rounded character.

It’s a decent book though, an all right read, but there are better books out there to read if you want something intense rather than a teenage romance.

2 out of 5 stars – could have been so much more than what it was.





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