Published: July 2012
From Goodreads: Fifteen-year-old Demi's world is shattered when she is left profoundly deaf by a sudden illness. Everything is different now, and Demi must learn to adapt to a new school, new friends and even learn a whole new language.
Whisper is a coming-of-age tale, about discovering who you are and where you fit in life. About friendships and first love and, most of all, learning to love the person you are.
I had a feeling I would enjoy reading this story, but it was also a complete eye-opener for me. It really made me think about how much I take for granted.
The story follows Demi and her life after starting a new school. It looks at her friendships - both new and old - and has a really sweet romantic aspect to it too (I really liked Ethan). I also really enjoyed the focus on her home life - how her parents have reacted to her being deaf, as well as the storyline involving Demi's sister. And I LOVED her nephew! His line at the end is the absolute best!
The story really shows a journey for Demi. Her decision to attend an all deaf school proves to be the right thing for her as she really grows and becomes more confident in herself - it's great to see!
As I said earlier this story was a complete eye-opener for me. In my mind I had a picture of what I imagined being deaf to be like, but this completely shattered that image. There were just so many things I hadn't considered. The simple act of the lights going out - and how much we rely on our hearing when that happens. Or being in the house alone with no way of using the telephone to call the emergency services if need be? How you have to learn to read someones body language because you can't hear their tone of voice to determine the true meaning of what they are saying? It all added up to so much more than just not being able to hear.
The other aspect to the story that surprised me was Stella's character. As someone coming from an all deaf family she has a problem with the hearing community in general. She's a hard character to like at times but at the same time I could see where she was coming from. I think what Demi says to her in the end though is spot on and I really admired her for saying it.
A really moving and involving story. I loved how it was written and how I was instantly drawn into the story. Highly recommended.