Review: Whisper to Me by Nick Lake

Whisper to MeWhisper to Me by Nick Lake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Bloomsbury Publishing Australia in exchange for an honest review.


‘Whisper to Me’ is my first novel by the much acclaimed author of ‘In Darkness’, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; ‘Hostage Three’, which received three starred reviews and was named a Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year; and ‘There Will Be Lies’. Geez, just listing all these has made me feel so honoured to have read this novel!
First of all: The cover, peeps. The. Cover. It’s like the best EVER. I love the colours. I love the design. I love the little symbols. It just my type of cover. And, yes, I probably did judge the book by its cover.
At first I was unsure of what to expect. I knew there was going to be a deep element of sadness to this story and – me being the optimist – I still picked it up. I usually refrain from picking up novels which I believe would make me cry or become depressed, but something about the blurb made me want to have a go at it. And boy did I have a go…
Within the first few sentences I was grabbed, strung and hung at the mercy of this novel. It was just SOOO. GOOOD! The writing was literally unlike anything I have ever read. Gorgeous and poetic, it flowed like a river. And I was the helpless, drowning person caught up in its torrent as the water rushed out the sea, and finally the conclusion of the story. This was literally the definition of UNPUTDOWNABLE.
The characters were absolutely marvellous. There was such depth to them that it was impossible to remain detached from their thoughts, feelings, emotions or actions. They weren’t just words on a page, they were paintings come to life to haunt your thoughts as real-life people.
Cassie was a great protagonist. Her view of the world was so bleak, yet so very clear and sharp. She was a character you wouldn’t forget all too soon. Cassie was flawed and dangerous. She made you want to shout and then weep in sadness. She made you hope and long and laugh and sob along with her.
‘Whisper to Me’ was written in first person and when the blurb said, “Consider this the most screwed-up love letter ever.” Do. Because it is. The book itself was a hefty five-hundred and thirty pages long. So I guess this makes the novel the LONGEST, most screwed-up love letter ever. Oh and did I mention that there were no chapters? Yep. There were no chapters. I wasn’t sure whether to be extremely frustrated or angry, because this made the novel seem like one gigantic piece of text. And I had no idea how to separate some of what I learned. What can I say? I’m a “contents page” kind of girl.
The novel doesn’t launch into the story straight away. It spends at least a fifth of the novel giving you an introduction into Cassie’s world. This means that we don’t get to meet the boy whose heart she broke until later on. And we never learn his name. This was one of those peculiarities that I was extremely impressed by. The mystery continued until the very last page.
I loved the themes the author explored. And they were certainly dark. If you’re not into reading about people with mental illnesses then let me convince you to try it. First of all, the novel does explore inner demons but it doesn’t focus on that completely. It also explores the rush and impetuousness of first love, as well as all the mistakes we make along with it. It talks and teaches of forgiveness and being able to say, “I’m sorry”.
And that ending. Boy did I want to hunt down the author and shake the BEJEEBIES out of him. Gosh. No. Words.
‘Whisper to Me’ was just too good. As I was writing this review I was crying. This novel touched not just my heart, but my soul; the very essence of my being. I have no words which can accurately describe everything that I was feeling. If there is one thing that you can do for yourself, it is picking up this novel. You may struggle to get through it, but along the way you will learn something. And it will amaze you.
Congratulations to Nick Lake on publishing yet another, Printz-award-worthy novel!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

View all my reviews


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