Monday, June 9, 2014

Saving silence by Gina Blaxill

It starts with an act of violence and a secret that Sam needs to tell Imogen, a secret he has to work up the courage to tell her - but on the night he finally has the courage he is just about run down by a car and only Imogen's quick thinking saves them both from being hit.  That simple act draws Imogen and Sam together, making them both targets.  Desperate to save his family and Imogen from danger Sam leaves home and tries to deal with the danger on his own, but with Sam out of reach the bad guys turn on Imogen instead threatening everything she holds dear.  Imogen desperately wants to get to the bottom of the mystery to keep herself and her little brother safe - but to do that she has to find Sam and discover the secret he has kept hidden.

Saving silence is a deftly written thriller that keeps you hooked as you flick rapidly between Sam and Imogen's viewpoints.  Sam is the quiet newcomer to the school who seems to be apart from everyone else because of the way he dresses and speaks, and because he is keeping a secret.  Imogen is the popular girl who works hard to get the grades she needs to get to university and away from her current life - her family is also splintered by a secret that her parents never talk about.  Told in spare prose with a fast pace, Saving silence was something of a surprise because I didn't have high expectations for the story.  The rapidly changing viewpoints could have been annoying, but it works extremely well for this story, driving the pace and the action forward, but not moving so quickly that you feel like you have missed anything.

While parts of this story are very British and it is obvious that the story is written in the UK, it is a story that translates well for other readers and doesn't feel like it is exclusive to the UK market.  Sometimes when you read a book written for the UK or USA markets the slang and jargon are too much, too obviously something only a person from those countries would understand, but Blaxill seems to have neatly sidestepped that trap.  Saving silence is an excellent introduction to the crime/thriller genre for teens and is written in a very accessible way that makes it appeal to well read teens who will devour this in a matter of hours, but should also not be too challenging for teens who are after an interesting read but who don't necessary have an advanced vocabulary.  This was an interesting read and I look forward to reading more books from Blaxill to see if she is able to keep up the quality of Saving silence in other books.

If you like this book then try:
  • Pretty twisted by Gina Blaxill
  • Forget me never by Gina Blaxill
  • The half life of Ryan Davis by Melinda Szymanik
  • Beast by Ally Kennen
  • I swear by Lane Davis
  • Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
  • Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe
  • After by Francine Prose

Reviewed by Brilla

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