Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Spencer Imaginarium
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ellen is dealing with a lot. Her father died, her mother is a drug addict and so she’s forced to live with her brother. Worst of all on the second last day of the school year a teacher kisses her. While working at a day camp during the summer she meets a boy she can begin to share her troubles with, unfortunately, he starts dating another girl. Ellen will have to find the courage to navigate her family life, tell Rex how she really feels and, worst of all, deal with a teacher who’s become a predator.
Louder than Words has a lot going on, and for that reason the pacing is a bit rushed. That said, there is never a dull moment. The book darts from plot thread to plot thread and never slows down. Things to tie up a little too quickly and nicely at the end considering the severity of the conflict – but the novel despite the heavy issues is light in tone. It’s meant to have a happy ending.
The romance starts off a bit rocky, but it quickly makes you fall in love. Ellen is a little bland – classic awkward not-like-other-girls protagonist, but her relationship with rex is cute. Rex himself manages to have bad-boy allure without ever actually being a bad guy, he’s an extremely lovable character. There is so much build up that it’s impossible not to be satisfied at the resulting relationship.
The focus on Ellen’s interactions with her family and friends is also wonderful. Romance novels that focus too narrowly on the leading couple tend to feel flat. The dynamic between Ellen and her brother is heartwarming while her struggle with her best friend will tear readers in two. It’s thrilling to watch Ellen try to make the right choice while acknowledging that sometimes the right choice isn’t what the people we love want.
Despite being quite a busy novel (which may have benefitted by dropping a plotline or two) it’s easy to read in one sitting. Louder than Words deals with heavy and thrilling subject matter without being dark and gritty. It’s a triumphant and light read that will remind readers that sometimes we all really want a happy ending.