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Your Voice Is All I Hear
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Your Voice Is All I Hear
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"I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key. And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled...
"I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key. And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled...
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  • "I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key. And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled hallway, knock on his doctor's office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen."

    April won't let Jonah go without a fight. He's her boyfriend—her best friend. She'll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Prologue

    I know my way around the mental hospital.

    I doubt most of the girls in my neighborhood could claim that, even though many of us lived just a few minutes from its leafy, sterile grounds, and some of us picnicked on the lawn outside its gate during summer break.

    By the end of tenth grade, I knew Shady Grove Hospital better than I knew my school. I knew that the security guard's name was Carla and that she'd worked at her depressing post since the place was built. I knew the quiet path behind the topiary garden where I could wait until visiting hours began and she let me in. I'd memorized the shape and color of his shadow behind the dark-red curtains, and I knew where I had to stand so he could see me from his eleventh-story window. From that distant spot, I could even guess how well the medicine was working for him that day; I could tell what kind of visit it would be by counting the paces of his shadow.

    I had the place mapped out, his daily routine memorized, the doctors' names and call schedule, every pointless detail carefully recorded in his special little book. He'd given me those notes as if they were classified secrets, the papers wrapped in strips of hospital linen sealed together with bubble gum, long wads of partially chewed Wrigley's tied into a crisscrossed mesh. That tattered spiral notebook was crammed with data he'd gathered over months: patients' names and histories, nurses' phone numbers, the cleaning crew's shift hours. I would never know how these bits of information came together for him or how he even found them out. But somewhere in these random nothings, he'd put together a story for me, a clue of how to get to him, a coded message that, for some reason, he believed only I could read. I was the one he trusted, the only one who had not betrayed him. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key.

    And now, nearly three months after they'd taken him away, I was finally ready. I was going to march up to the security window, look into the tired guard's blurry eyes, state my name and the name of the patient I was visiting, and hear the buzz and click of the locked gate sliding open. I was going to walk down the white-tiled hallway, knock on his doctor's office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk, and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen.

    I was finally going to do it.

    I was going to betray him.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 15, 2015
    Scheier follows her 2012 historical mystery, Secret Letters, with a stark look at the challenges of life with schizophrenia. Socially anxious April is dreading sophomore year now that her best (and only) friend, Kristin, has transferred to private school. Then new student Jonah swoops into town, rescuing April from solitude. Their fast, intense friendship becomes a whirlwind romance, but Jonah’s “little mood swings” escalate: he has screaming matches with imaginary voices, destroys his paintings, and exhibits paranoid behavior. Ignoring cautionary advice from her mother and Kristin, April takes Jonah’s side, planning for their future together at a local art school and telling herself that the real Jonah “was just hiding, temporarily out of sight.” The cycle of Jonah’s outbursts and April’s reactions to them grows repetitive, and the dialogue can be overly lecturelike (“Many people with schizophrenia find ways to cope and disguise their symptoms in the beginning,” April explains to her classmates). But the book remains an intense portrait of the unpredictability of schizophrenia and the toll it takes on those close to those who have it. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Agency.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2015
    A high school sophomore discovers that her dreamy new artist boyfriend is suffering from mental illness. Shy April is devastated when her outgoing and popular best friend abandons her for private school. Enter Jonah, an attractive and charismatic new student. He wins April's heart by throwing over the resident queen bee in favor of her and inviting her to view his gallery of intense oil paintings. Soon they are inseparable, and April feels even closer to Jonah after he confesses his grief over the recent death of his best friend and his troubled relationship with his distant father. But then April starts noticing that Jonah sometimes seems to see and hear things that aren't there, which culminates in a terrifying episode where Jonah destroys his own paintings in an attempt to silence the negative voices in his head. When Jonah is given a diagnosis, April is determined to see him through his illness, even at the expense of her own happiness. But for how long? This paint-by-numbers problem novel follows a predictable path that may initially intrigue readers curious about mental illness but will ultimately disappoint with its bromidic dialogue and sluggish pace. Better choices are Inside Out, by Terry Truman (2003), Challenger Deep, by Neal and Brendan Shusterman (2015), or the classic I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, by Joanne Greenburg (1964). Well-meaning but ultimately unsuccessful. (author's note) (Fiction. 12-15)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2015

    Gr 9 Up-Shy and insecure April is distraught when her best friend transfers to a new school; although she practices ways to start conversations with her peers, she finds it challenging to make lasting friendships. April is stunned when handsome new student Jonah flirts with her and rejects the advances of a more popular student. Jonah seems to hear noises audible only to him, yet April and his family accept his explanations until he becomes increasingly more paranoid and prone to violent outbursts, which results in inpatient psychiatric treatment. Reluctance shown by April and his family to admit that his behavior is psychotic is realistic and genuinely felt. Although there is no "happily ever after" ending for the two teens, there is hope that Jonah can learn to cope with schizophrenia. Jonah's paranoia, symptoms of schizophrenia, and thwarted attempts at treatment are raw yet sensitively depicted. Contemporary references to pop culture heighten the novel's immediacy, although a reference to "a list of phone numbers" culled by a new student is a miss. Markers of Jewish identity are sprinkled throughout the story; references to shopping for Hanukkah presents and lighting Sabbath candles, as well as mentions of Passover, will appeal to communities in need of books that feature religious diversity. Some teens may find the beginning sluggish, but patient readers will be drawn into the crisis between April and Jonah. A brief author's note mentions online resources for more information about schizophrenia. VERDICT Recommended for larger collections in which books about mental illness are in demand.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publishers Weekly "[A]n intense portrait of the unpredictability of schizophrenia and the toll it takes on those close to those who have it."
  • Tabitha Suzuma, author of Forbidden "A story of the human heart and the tortured mind. Jonah's plight will touch your soul."
  • The Young Folks "Your Voice is All I Hear gives a jarring look at what it means to lose everything while trying to fight off your demons."
  • Let's Say It's a Blog " With engaging writing style, this book is recommended to those who want to read a book that could entertain and educate at the same time."
  • Teen Reads "With twists and turns galore, I can say that YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR highly impressed me. Scheier writes the characters flawlessly and executes the plot well, including foreshadowing in the beginning and flashbacks throughout that make it all the more suspenseful....Overall, this is a book that can certainly be enjoyed by all young adults and adults, and it will spark very interesting conversation and thoughts, afterwards.

    "
  • Dark Readers "Your Voice Is All I Hear is a startling story about, first love, mental illness and discovering who you are.... Fans of Rainbow Rowell and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, will fall head over heals in love with this story. "
  • Liz Loves Books "Incredibly resonant, obviously well researched and very cleverly constructed for maximum effect, Your Voice Is All I Hear is both an important and very readable tale, a Young Adult novel tackling some topical and very important issues, the ending had me in pieces. This is one that will definitely stay with me for a very long time and as such is highly recommended."
  • A Leisure Moment "I highly suggest this novel to anyone that loves deep, captivating reads. A beautifully written story, Your Voice Is All I Hear should be falling off shelves and into eagerly awaiting hands."

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