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A Review: Whisper to Me by Nick Lake

**May contain spoilers**

Nick Lake’s Whisper to Me is not what I was expecting it to be. You know like the usual YA contemporary romance, well, I was right with the contemporary though but reading its synopsis as a basis of what this book is all about will surely make you thought of the same thing, which is totally wrong. Why? Please, refer to the sited synopsis of the novel.

“Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely.

Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love — love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself — can save you after all.”

See? It was pretty hideous for a synopsis. If you think that’s just it, I’m telling you now you’ve been deceived! I feel sorry for myself thinking it’ll be just like that. But come to think of it, that’s how most synopsis work, to capture the interest of a reader and most likely, one way to deceive them from thinking it is what it is. Evidently, Whisper to me is just plain remarkable. It’s a combination of thriller/mystery and love with participation of mental health awareness which for me is really a genuine and recommendable novel.

The entire story or the entirety of the letter Cass has made already answered what were meant to be questionable. You know like the part when Cass thought that the reason why the guy she’s crushing on keep on helping Paris is because he’s more drawn to it turns out it is just his way to get close to her

** “I know better now. I know you were helping Paris because you liked me, and I liked Paris, and so automatically you liked Paris.”**

And that part when she was hiding her feeling towards that guy (I honestly don’t know if the guy’s name was mentioned. Seriously, I can’t remember his name.), there were all answered right away not only because Cassandra immediately mention the words “You know that by now.” but because this entire book, this story is an apology letter. She wanted to be forgiven, she’s asking for second chance. This is one of the factors that made this book unusual to me and I like it for that.

Aside from those unpredictable twists and turns, this story enlightens its readers to a new realization — self-discovery. Cassandra hated herself because of the thought that she killed her mother the voice that she heard since the beginning that she has found that foot on the beach shore was none other than her voice alone. According to the psychiatrist that her friend Paris has recommended her to, she has developed anger, hatred, disgust and that all that the things that her voice whispers to her were all a product of her mind. This is a spoiler, I know but I’m not forgetting that I warned you in the first place. There is lot of passages that I really found uplifting most especially if you suffered the same illness like them. I advise you to just read the book for I want you to feel the intensity of realization Cassandra has finally found throughout the book. I assure you it will worth your while.

Regarding the mental health issue in this book, I admire how Lake creates a picture of what people with mental issues (voice hearers) experience, how they deal with it, what they usually feel and the likes… it is such a brave act to open up in this way. Throughout that scenario, I have this thinking that Nick Lake must have suffered the same illness as Cassandra and that what he states in this novel was all based on his own experience. Probably, I am not certain but who knows, right? Because not all stories that authors claim to be fictional are entirely fiction. Some are plain true. (After reading the author’s note which I never forget to read, Yes, Nick Lake has also suffered into mental illness. Cassandra’s story has been his way to spread awareness regarding mental health that people suffering through it will get better with proper help that they need. They will get better we just have to help them get better. ) and I’d like to commend the participation of Greek Mythology because of how it took part on the story. The way Lake connects it to the storyline is just relevant to how everything goes.

And lastly, the execution of the story. The book is divided into two parts: PART BEFORE and PART AFTER. I must admit that the way it was chosen to be as it is suit well because I was amused by how different the story shifts into one genre into another. The PART AFTER has suddenly turned into a good thriller novel, some kind of a mystery like Nancy Drew. It was so good. I had myself aching for answers on what’s going to happen without wanting the issue to be solved immediately. Do you get what I’m saying? I wanted it to end because of the answers bounded by curiosity that I wanted to get a hold but then I do not want it to be done because it’s just so good. This is so out of my expectation.

Amazing twists and turns, well-written and good choice of wordings.

Notable Passages:

“It’s so hard, when you fall for someone — the temptation is to look back on the past and rewrite things so they seem more significant. I mean, hearing a voice is extreme. But often, even when we’re supposedly sane, our own thoughts can be foreign to us.”

“It’s not for us to find people. Or to make them pay. You take revenge, all you do is throw away your soul. Sometimes things happen that you can’t control. Sometimes we lose things we can’t get back. And there are some things we just can’t ever know.”

“I have learned that some people come into our lives, and then are gone. And that part of the thing, part of life, is to accept that fact, to accept that they’re gone. But there’s something else too: and that’s realizing that a part of them will never be gone. We think of lives as stopping, suddenly. But they don’t. They are like waves, like ripples, like echoes that continue to resonate from their point of origin, out into the world.”

Ratings:

5 stars for entirety: structure, concept 2.5 stars on the cover. (It was somewhat misleading. The cover gives the reader an impression of plain contemporary novel which definitely is not just like that. I don’t know, I believe there has to be more suitable covers for this book. It’ll surely become more marketable if only they realized that. No offense.)