Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on September 1st 2015
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Social Issues, Young Adult
April doesn’t fit in. When her best friend moves away to attend private school, she hastily looks for a friend among the new kids—and she catches Jonah’s eye before he catches hers. Their friendship quickly turns into something more, and they are spending all their time together. At first, April tries to brush it off, but after a few weeks there’s no denying something is wrong with Jonah. He’s uneasy and just a little off. When they finally understand what’s wrong, she refuses to leave his side. No matter how loud she speaks, she can’t get Jonah to hear her past the voices in his head, drowning out everything else. To leave Jonah would break her heart; to stay would mean possibly giving up her chance at a prestigious music school. Is Jonah worth sacrificing everything?
This book—oh wow. Mental illness is something that is making a presence in young adult literature, and I love it. When someone is physically ill, it’s out in the open—exposed. People with mental illness suffer inwardly; those around them suffer, too, but differently. Jonah couldn’t control the voices that plagued him day and night, whispering malicious thoughts in his ear about the people he loved most. What made his story interesting was that it was told through April’s eyes. So many thought the obvious choice would have been for her to give up on Jonah, who happened to be her first serious relationship, but she went so much farther than that. Love—in its simplest and rawest form—is tough, and April didn’t let the jagged edges ruin the positive memories she had stored about Jonah. Guilt plagued her more than anything, and sometimes she thought it would have been easier to not be part of his life—his suffering would never end, only become bearable. At the beginning of the story, April’s character appeared weak and timid, but she ended up the strongest of them all.
As a result of the nature of the book, Your Voice Is All I Hear did not include a lot of romance. Jonah and April had a heartbreaking tale, one not for the faint at heart. If you don’t get teary eyed at the end of the book, I’ve determined that you either have no soul or a heart as cold as Antarctica. So much emotion was thrown onto these pages, and it will follow you every turn.
I highly suggest this novel to anyone that loves deep, captivating reads. A beautifully written story, Your Voice Is All I Hear should be falling off shelves and into eagerly awaiting hands.