Book: Sound of Silence
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Length: 214 pages
Reviewed by Morningstar
High school senior Renzy Callen hasn’t uttered a word in years. He likes being invisible to all around him; it keeps life safe and predictable. In his attic bedroom, he experiences a world far from the drama of his family. He doodles, listens to music, and contemplates the troubled souls he observes when attending self-help meetings designed for people with problems he doesn’t have. Renzy lives his life like a spectator, always on the outside of life’s games, looking in at others.
Everything changes when Seven and Morning Moreau-Maddox relocate from their glitzy lives in Paris to boring, picturesque Redcliff Hills, Missouri. Tall, platinum blond, and as put-together as a pair of European high-fashion models, the sophisticated siblings befriend Renzy, drawing him in and then pushing him away. What starts as nothing more than a means to an end for Seven, however, quickly becomes something more. Could icy-hearted Seven be thawing for the silent, quirky charm of Renzy Callen?
Determined to find the cause of Renzy’s selective mutism, the three teens set off on a road trip, during which they discover that flawless physical facades can conceal the most scarred souls, and that sometimes silence is better than golden.
This is one of those stories that I feel my own words are not enough to convey how beautiful, touching, and epic this story and its characters are. These two authors are a pair made in storytelling heaven with the seamless way they wrote together, to the depths they delved for each character, to the beautiful way they write. I could not have been more captivated by Renzy, Seven, and Morning then I was.
Renzy hadn’t spoken in years, but every day he went to self-help groups sitting in the corner listening, watching, and drawing staying as invisible there as he was almost everywhere. People see him, but his life is so different because of how he communicates without words, the way he sees the world through the eyes of someone who doesn’t talk and chatter yet sees things in a unique way, making him just as unique.
The day he met Morning and Seven was a day that changed the path he had been taking, one full of discovery, pain, and love. For most of the book, I warred with myself between wanting Renzy to break free of his mutism and speak and be happy. Or my wanting him to stay as he was because the pain he had to go through to speak may not be worth it, and he was unique in the way he communicated to those around him, those who bothered to listen. This part of the story is one that I was extremely satisfied with how they handled it. They showed us Renzy and didn’t turn him into someone he wasn’t, even with all the significant changes that he went through in every aspect including his speech.
Morning was the perfect counterpoint to Renzy. She was broken in the beginning, and her journey is one that was important to tell but heartbreaking to read. She was guarded and shallow but as the friendship between Renzy and herself builds we start to see her grow and change. She truly heard Renzy and never once wanted more from him then who he was. As shallow and entitled as she was, those were just surface things, the product of her upbringing in a wealthy but lonely family.
Seven, Morning’s brother and protector, was a young man who felt extreme guilt over not preventing his sister from being assaulted like she was, that he could’ve stopped it hence avoiding the change to who she was. This was a burden he carried every day. Watching him learn and soften toward Renzy was hard but such a joy. All he ever wanted was to fix Renzy, just like he’d been trying to do with his sister. But can you fix something that may not be broken?
I rambled a bit on this one, sorry, but there are so many things I wish I could discuss and shine a light on because every detail of this book was one that I fell in love with and that were essential to bringing us readers this truly must read book.
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