Author: Faye Bird
Publisher: Usborne Publishing (1st May 2016)
When love turns to jealousy, when jealousy turns to rage, when rage turns to destruction...
Laura was head over heels in love with Joe. But now Laura lies in a coma and Joe has gone missing. Was he the one who attacked her? Laura's sister Tessie is selectively mute. She can't talk but she can listen. And as people tell her their secrets, she thinks she's getting close to understanding what happened on that fateful night. (Publishers' Blurb)
I seem to have read a lot of dark YA contemporary in the last few months and I enjoyed this one the most!
The best part of this for me was Tessie's first person viewpoint. It was fascinating to learn more about what it means to be selectively mute and the condition was dealt with in a believable, sensitive manner. This was a great device for a mystery because it meant that Tessie noticed things and was told secrets that she might otherwise be unaware of.
This leads on to my next favourite aspect: the writing style. Faye Bird is very skilled at balancing beautiful descriptions with immediacy and action.
The pacing in this book is also excellent, with tension piling up and a mystery that was well-plotted and unpredictable.
Another great thing was that the characters' actually talked to their parents and they had an impact on the plot! I'd love to see more parents in YA fiction as a realistic reflection of teens' lives.
I strongly recommend this book and I'd love to read more by Faye Bird in future.
If you liked the sound of this, try 'The Deviants' by CJ Skuse.