Published by Swoon Romance on September 16th 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
eBook provided by YA Bound Book Tours
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.
Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.
Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can't let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm's length.
But by the time Rex's charm wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the "just friends" shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.
With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it's the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.
Awwe! This book was so endearing. I loved the innocence of the romance in this book. It is not all sunshine though. This story covers some really tough issues. Just like real life, this book gets down and dirty with what being a teenager can look like. It is not always pretty. This book takes the reader into the mind of a girl called Ellen. A girl with a lack of self-esteem and self-worth. She can’t seem to say what she means, and her silence hides a terrible secret.
Ellen, is a 16 year old with whole lot of issues. Her Mom is out of the picture due to a drug habit ever since her father died. She lives with her brother and he gave up his life to make sure she gets a good start. While volunteering at a youth camp over the summer she meets Rex, a boy from out of town. Their friendship may be the only thing holding Ellen together as she deals with inappropriate adults and bullies that think they know the whole truth. Ellen has to do some growing up in order to face her demons and learn to find her voice.
I wasn’t sure about this book at first. I mean there are a lot of details about the daily life of this girl. We follow her on her walk to camp and through all the stresses of volunteering with kids. It is a bit slow to start, but the author is laying the foundations for a girl that is selfless. The author is setting up the framework and exposing her silence in things she should be communicating but doesn’t. By the time school starts, we understand that Ellen can’t just say what she wants to say. When the secret of an adult preying on children is exposed for the reader, I felt just as stuck as Ellen. I guess the lesson in this book is that it is never too late to do the right thing.
I didn’t know what to expect from this book. My radar is way off when it comes to YA. I have to admit that I enlisted my teenage daughter to help me pick something out. I didn’t read the synopsis, I didn’t look at the reviews. She said this book looked really great. As it turns out, the heroine reminds me of her. I am so pleased with this book, my girl gets gold stars for making a good choice. I can’t wait for her to read it too so we can talk about it. I have to give the author major props for writing a book that girls like her can relate to.
About the Author
IRIS ST. CLAIR is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that’s another bio.)
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.
Iris believes in the two-year “fish or cut bait” dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.
$10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Louder Than Words (INT)