POVone: The First Person Perspective

Rants and Reviews on Novels Written in the First Person Point of View

Tag Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: Silence by Deborah Lytton

Author: Deborah Lytton
Title: Silence
Genre: Romance; Young Adult
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (Deseret Book)
Number of Pages: 320
Narrators: Stella Layne and Hayden Rivers
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: B, Very Good; of the first 29 reviews, the average reader rating was 83.45%.

Silence by Deborah Lytton

What’s It About?

Stella is a shy, fifteen year old girl who is having trouble adjusting to her new school–following the divorce of her parents and the relocation of her, her mother, and her sister to a new town. She feels out of place, even as her only friend tries to pull her into the popular crowd. The only thing she has going for her, she believes, is her voice. When she sings, she doesn’t feel invisible. And, when her voice lands her the lead in the high school musical, she feels like she actually has a shot at being normal.

Hayden is an awkward and quiet boy with a speech impediment who is new to the same school as Stella. While he tries to keep his distance, he can’t help but be drawn to Stella–there’s just something about her that makes him want to reach out. But he is emotionally scarred by an abusive past and prefers to keep everyone at an arm’s length. Besides, he is embarrassed by his slow speech and prefers to stay quiet. How could he start a relationship with Stella if he can’t even speak to her?

When Stella is accidentally knocked unconscious and falls into a swimming pool at a party, fate intervenes and Hayden is there to save her from drowning. But when she wakes up, she has lost her hearing–and the only dream she ever cared about. Temporarily deaf, she loses her spot in the musical and falls into a depression. While waiting for an operation that can restore her hearing, Hayden begins to show her all that she can do without it. As the two spend more and more time together, they begin to fall in love. But, can Hayden really give his heart away when his past has already broken it? Is he good enough for Stella? And, is Stella willing to abandon her former dream when she discovers things about herself she never realized until Hayden showed up?

Should You Read It?

If you enjoy young adult love stories, like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, you will love this book. The alternating first person narration between Stella and Hayden gives insight into how each character feels about the blossoming relationship. The tone, despite the characters’ damaged childhoods, is light and laced with hope. With an uplifting conclusion, this tale is a love story–not a tragedy. The chapters are short and language easily digestible. There are also many references to various arts–music, poetry, painting, etc. So, if you’re nostalgic about the role that the arts played in your high school years, you may also enjoy this story for that reason.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Reviews: Reading Bifrost, Mel’s Shelves, Bookworm Lisa

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Deborah Lytton: Jane in Bloom (2009)

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Title: Red Queen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Number of Pages: 400
Narrator: Mare Barrow
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: B+, Very Good; of the first 464 reviews, the average reader rating was 88.53%.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

What’s It About?

Protagonist Mare Barrow is a seemingly insignificant teenage girl living in a future world divided into two races. Mare and her family are “Reds,” the commoners of society characterized by their red blood. Ruling over her class are the “Silvers,” characterized by their silver blood. In addition to the color of their blood, the Silvers are distinguished from the Reds in that they possess supernatural abilities such as superior strength and power over the elements.

The Reds who are fortunate enough to learn a trade use their skills to enter into a career of service. Those who possess no craft, however, must enter the military and be sent to the front lines to die in the Silvers’ war.

Mare possesses no skill and believes she is destined to become another casualty of the Silvers’ war. Fate intervenes, however, and a prince from the Silver royal family takes pity on her. The prince, who becomes a mild love interest, hires her as a servant in the kingdom. As she enters into the world of the Silvers, however, she discovers that–even though her blood is red–she possesses a superhuman gift of her own.

To keep the peace between the races, Mare is forced to pretend she is a lost princess returned to the kingdom. Walking the line between becoming a Silver and remaining a Red, Mare struggles with her identity. As rumors of rebellion begin to circulate, she must decide who’s side she is on–and who she can trust to be on that side with her.

Should You Read It?

If you’re a fan of the young adult dystopian stories like Hunger Games and Divergent, you’ll love this book. The themes of class distinction and rebellion are strong undercurrents. If you’re into paranormal romance stories like Twilight, you may also enjoy Red Queen–although the romance is very light and the story has more to do with Mare’s struggle with her identify than it does with her love life. The writing style is fast-paced and to-the-point, with plenty of plot twists and teasers closing nearly every chapter. If all this sounds up your alley, I would give it a shot.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Epic Reads (Publisher)

Book Reviews: USA Today, Kirkus Reviews

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books by Victoria Aveyard: Red Queen is Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel.