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Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: Whisper by Chrissie Keighery (Perry)

Demi's world came crashing down abruptly, in a very agonizing way.

She was a normal person, with normal friends, with a normal life. But suddenly the world is on mute. After her bout with meningitis, Demi became deaf, and her world was never the same.

Title: Whisper by Chrissie Keighery (Perry)
Pages: 256
Release Date: August 2011
Published by: Hardie Grant Egmont
Source: Publisher (Thank you, Jen!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

I'm always trying to figure out what's really going on. Always having to fill in the gaps, but never getting all the details. It's like trying to do a jigsaw when I don't even know what the picture is, and I'm missing one of the vital middle pieces.

How do you know if your friends are talking about you behind your back or if a boy likes you? They could act innocent, but you'd know from the rumours. You'd hear the whispers. But what if you couldn't hear those whispers anymore? What if everything you took for granted was gone? Being a teenager is hard enough.

But being a deaf teenager?

Demi's world was full of sounds, until one day it just stopped. Now deaf, she's struggling to make sense of her new world, a world filled with words, but not hearing. Learning sign was a given, but can someone who use to hear get used to being deaf? Demi's also a wreck emotionally, falling for her sign language instructor and trying to reach out to her friends who hears and speaks when she can't do that anymore. On top of it, her mother wants her to go back to the way she was before she went deaf. But some things are irreversible, and not all wishes come true, Demi knew that.

Whisper is a quick read that takes you alongside Demi's journey to a new world. At first there was fear, then anger, and all the while Demi tries to question why it was her who became like that. Deaf. And why she appreciates and misses all the things she had, ordinary things, when she was hearing, now that she's deaf. Readers get to see how it is to live from both sides, making us aware of the difficulties as seen through Demi's experiences. But it wasn't always difficult, and Demi was slowly but surely starting to live life anew.

Whisper will open your eyes to a world not much different than ours, but tells us that sometimes, it was us, the hearing, who make the hearing impaired feel different. Demi tries to break the mold by navigating through two worlds, one where she used to belong, and one where she now belongs to, which she was slowly understanding and loving. One thing I learned about this story is that you do not let the things that you lack define you and the way you want to live your life. Demi had "hearing" friends, and she also had friends from College of the Deaf, and all of them, hearing or not, had something to share, experiences to learn from and problems they confide to Demi and their other friends, and in that aspect they weren't much different.

It was interesting, however, to view Demi's situation through what Stella was doing. Stella, who has never heard any sound ever since she was born. She was constantly challenging what Demi thought of being deaf and being able to hear. The prejudice, the weird stares, the discrimination. There were truths in what she was fighting for, and she's a fierce and strong person who stands by what she believes in, but I'm glad that even though Demi's life is changing, she was also changing other's, like Stella's, making her understand that hearing people are not "enemies". Also, the romance in this book made me feel warm and giddy inside. Ethan was one of a kind, not quick to judge people, accepting, and most of all, he cares for Demi genuinely.

Whisper is a book perfect for everyone who likes to read a simple, but endearing novel. Hearing impaired or not, you will be able to appreciate what Chrissie Keighery has written. Whisper is a novel that teaches you to appreciate what you got, and whatever tragedy you may encounter, use it to make you stronger and do not let it stop you from living your life to the fullest. It is about growing up, family, relationships, and the love you share with those important to you, that you can still feel complete even if you think you are not. Demi might have lost her hearing, but she knew that even if it's like that, she had a family to support her, friends who are there for her, and Ethan, who likes her for what she is.

This is the first Chrissie Keighery novel I've read, and she quickly became one of my new favorite authors. Simple, sweet, and full of truths, Whisper is a book you should all read!

Content (plot, story flow, character):
Great characters, smooth flowing plot and strong protagonist!

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
Simple, yet stunning~

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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