LOUDER THAN WORDS is a second book I have read from the pen and mind of Laura Jarratt. It's a contemporary YA novel which manages to surprise you in the most unexpected way.
The first ever novel I have read from Ms Jarratt was Skin Deep. This book was so unusual and I enjoyed it so much, that I have immediately purchased the whole collection of books from this author. And Louder Than Words was one of these books.
To be honest, at the start I was not that impressed with the synopsis, but as I read on I have realised that there is more to this book... So I kept on reading to see if I was wrong.. Turns out I wasn't.
Rafi hasn't spoken for eight years. It's up to her to tell her brother's story now that he can't speak either ...
Rafi idolises her seventeen-year-old brother, who is popular, generous and a borderline genius. Ever protective, Silas always includes her when he's with his friends, so Rafi gets to hear all sorts of things that younger sisters wouldn't normally be a part of. Like the time Silas hacks a gaming site to help out his friend Josie, who has been trashed by her ex.
With Josie, Rafi finds herself with a proper friend for the first time in her life. As they grow closer, she realises that she wants to find a way back into the world – she wants to learn to speak again. But Silas has found a new interest too – and it’s taking him away from everything that was once important to him. Can Rafi find the words to save her brother?
So let's talk about the edition first. Paperback. 403 pages long divided into 59 chapters. Each chapter begins with a quote either from Josie's Pinterest Wall or Rafi's Truth Wall. On the front cover is a picture of a girl with bright blue eyes who can see all of your secrets. I assume this is Rafi. A little bit of a boring design, but it serves the purpose.
The writing is easy to read. Modern. Sad at times. But funny at times too. It's quite relate able of many people of different generations.
Let me tell how intrigued I was with the idea of the book written from the point of view of someone who doesn't speak. I wasn't sure how it would work, but once I start reading and found out that the book actually written from various points of view I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it would the predictable story. Girl can't talk. She meets a boy or a new friend and through the friendship her confidence rises and she will start talking. But I was wrong. This tale is so much more.
Firstly I wasn't expecting the story take a turn to riots and anarchy. I am not sure if this story was inspired by events in UK and London couple years ago, but it definitely made the book stand out. It was interesting to have a glimpse into that world and how Silas got sucked into it. I wasn't a fan of Lara straight from the start, but as I read on I hated her even more. That girl was kind of brainwashed and ruthless. I think she thought she means well, but didn't take the right approach. And Silas was a like puppy dog in love. Now Rafi and Josie's friendship was so sweet. I love how easy going and tender it was at times. They have complimented each other. Rafi, the girl with progressing muteism.. And Josie, who has the gift of the gap. She cannot stop talking. But the best part of the story was the beautiful and sweet relationship between Rafi and Silas. The level of how much they care for each other was touchily heartbreaking. We all should have the same relationship with our siblings.
So thank you Ms Jarratt. At the beginning I was not sure about your story if I am being frank. The blur on the back of the book doesn't give it justice. But as I kept on reading, I have grown to fall in love with the originality of this story. And I loved that this wasn't a love story. It wasn't a story where boy meets a girl, they go through a roller coaster ride of life and everything will work out.. everything would all lovey dovey. This is a different story of love. It's a story of right and wrong. It's a story of friendship. And this is why I did enjoy the novel at the end.
So well done. You have wrote a unique story for the YA genre I think every one should read at least once.