Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Release Date: April 27, 2010
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HC imprint)
Joy can hear Whispers, people's deepest and darkest desires. She uses this for good, to make people happy. For her older sister, Jessica, the gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people's lives miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a mysterious Whisper from Jessica's own mind, when she thinks she's starting to lose her mind, she knows she has to save her sister.
This book kept me interested page after page. I kept coming back to it, reading it in rare snatches of free time. It has a unique premise, not calling it telepathy but Hearing and Whispers, including a semi-compulsion to help others.
Joy is stuck between her sister and her mother. Caught, she has to learn to think for herself or follow blindly and listen to what's told her to her. Should she question that there's more she isn't being told? What if she just wants to be a good girl? What's so wrong with that? But Jessica is right, Joy can't just take what her mother tells her and follow without thinking at least once that it might not be the best idea.
Jessica as an interesting antagonist, like the outspoken side of Joy that's hidden away. It felt more like the book was about Joy at war with herself, her learning how to think for herself, like Jessica is the dark side of Joy, buried away in the back of her mind.
Joy's trapped by her Hearing. She can't have a normal teenage life and has to learn to pick and choose or block it out. Her friends get suspicious like any normal group of friends would be, but it would also be awkward, knowing all the secrets of your friends and not being able to help them out or tell them because they'd get embarrassed. It's a sticky situation Joy is in, trying to be loyal but wanting to help them with their problems.
A dark but sweet debut, Phoebe Kitanidis introduces us to a girl with a smile on her face hiding her issues and her fears, a girl who has to grow up and discover that everyone has their problems, that not everyone is perfect or wants to be, that sometimes the people closest to you need to be saved even when they don't want to. An enjoyable and underrated novel.
(I received this book from the author, not to review but because I couldn't find a copy of it up here. Phoebe actually said I didn't have to review it, but I did anyways.)