Author: Laura Lee Anderson
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 250 Pages
Release: July 2015
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I received an ARC of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have been fascinated by deaf culture and American Sign Language (ASL) for some time now and when I found this book I knew I had to read it. The conflicting backgrounds of the two main characters was intriguing and it sounded like a lot of fun. It was.
Robin and Carter are from two different worlds. She's a country girl. He's a city boy. She's a musician. He's an artist. She's hearing. He's deaf. But when they meet and she tries to communicate with him and recognizes some of his signs, the two begin an unlikely relationship that has everyone around them questioning what, exactly, is happening.
The story is told in first person alternating perspectives between Robin and Carter. This is a great narrative style and for this story it works superbly. We get to see inside the head of Robin and Carter which allows the reader a glimpse at what each is thinking not only of the other, but of the differences in the way they view the world. The portions with Carter were beautiful and I think (not being deaf, although I have deaf friends) that the way a deaf individual reacts to things was depicted really well. You get to see that he's just a normal guy who lacks hearing. It's not a disease and there is nothing wrong with him, some people just don't have functioning hearing.
The relationship in this was really cute. Robin and Carter were adorable together, even though they definitely had their differences. Their love might have been a bit too insta-love, but I didn't find it overly annoying like I generally would. The presentation has something to do with that.
The world of the deaf and the world of the hearing definitely clashed in this story. You get to see both sides of the issue, with Carter among hearing people and feeling lost and then with Robin among the deaf and feeling lost. At least Robin could catch glimpses of meaning, based on her understanding of sign, whereas Carter could not unless he was able to read lips. Their communication through writing was really sweet.
Robin was really my only issue with this novel. While I did enjoy her character, she had some issues that really bothered me. She was too immature in many instances. Maybe it wasn't totally unrealistic, but the things she would blow up over were a bit extreme. I felt like she took issues she was having with Carter and his inability to hear (particularly her music) was too far and I just found her overly frustrating. Still, I feel like she learned some valuable lessons by the end.
The supporting characters were a lot of fun and a great touch to the story. The women that Robin worked with in the diner were hilarious. I loved their working relationship. Jenni, Robin's best friends, was fun and supportive. Barry, a childhood friend of Carter's, developed really well throughout the story and I found myself really connecting to him as the novel progressed. Carter's family was great and I really enjoyed Robin's parents as well. There were a few characters that were particularly annoying, but in most cases quite realistic.
This novel was just a lot of fun and if you enjoy this genre then go read this. You won't be sorry that you did.