Your Voice Is All I Hear
by Leah Scheier

published on September 1st 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
young adult | contemporary | mental health | romance

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Everything about Jonah is unexpected. On the first day of school, he sits next to April, when he could have chosen to sit with the popular girl. He turns down an invitation to join the school team and declares he’d rather paint. He encourages April to develop her musical talent and shrugs off the bullies that torment them.

April isn’t surprised to find herself falling for Jonah. The unexpected part is when he falls for her too.

But the giddy happiness of their first romance begins to fade when Jonah’s unpredictability begins to take a darker turn. April understands that her boyfriend is haunted by a painful memory, but his sudden mood swings worry her. She can’t explain his growing fear of cellphones, electric keyboards, and of sounds that no one else can hear. Still, no matter what happens, April is sure that she’ll always stand by him.

Until Jonah finally breaks and is committed to a psychiatric ward.

Until schizophrenia changes everything.

Though everyone urges her to let him go, April stays true to Jonah. But as the boy she adores begins to disappear in front of her, she has to face her worst fear: that her love may not be enough to save him.

[PLOT] typical | not quite there yet | cute | unique | kicks serious ass
[PACING] snail’s pace | slow | just right | fast | holy crap just stop
[DIVERSITY] none :sadface: | some (minor characters) | LGBTQ | mental health | racial | religion
[ROMANCE] insta-love | realistically paced | slow-burn | love triangle | love square
[FEELS] swoons | tears | laughs | cries of frustration | eye rolls | pukes | snores
[WRITING] flowery prose | conversational | choppy or cluttered | telling, no showing | info dump-y
[ENDING] cliffhanger | open ending | satisfactory | was that an ending?
[RECOMMENDED?] heck no | to select people | mostly | YAS

Book Review

I received a free digital copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire for review. This did not affect my review in any way. Quotes are taken from the uncorrected proof and might be changed in the final version.

 

Your Voice Is All I Hear is a book that beautifully and realistically portrays Schizophrenia. If you’re big on mental illness in YA, definitely give this book a shot.

I’m not saying this book is perfect, though. Normally when I post rage-y Goodreads updates, that means I’m just about ready to DNF a book. And I was about to about 20% in with this one. But boy, am I happy I stuck with this one, because it definitely redeemed itself!

But because I’m unsure of how to review this book a whole, I’m going to break down my review into parts.

PART 1: The One Where Everyone Was an Asshole (the first 30%)

Ah, this part of the book and I had a BRILLIANT time together. Not. Gosh, it had everything I hate in a book: heavy stereotyping (you know… hot jocks, gorgeous queen bees, the queen bee’s cronies and all that jazz), judgmental characters (which is typically okay since I can be pretty judge-y sometimes too, but this one took judgmental to a whole new level) and a horrible case of insta-love. It hurt my brain cells. And my eyeballs.

Let me indulge you all with these quotes:

“He had put up a picture of a dog, which meant that he probably looked like one.

… Really? I just can’t with this one. What the fuck.

“Miles, the hottest guy in school, took one look at her and panted himself in a nearby seat, as if staking out his territory.”

Okay, YOU CAN’T OWN PEOPLE. We’re not pieces of real estate you can rent, live in and call your territory.

“So basically he’s kind of a sparkly mimbo?”

For those of you who don’t know (yeah, I looked it up), mimbo = male bimbo. Yeah, not okay with that.

“The new boy seems pretty decent. For a guy.”

Okay, I’m a feminist. And to this quote I say, WHAT? So normally, guys aren’t decent??

“So what are you–some kind of fag?”

This was said to an artistic guy… Which I totally don’t understand. I don’t know about people from other countries, but in ours, artistic males are highly respected. Highly.

PART 2: The One Where I Wasn’t Raging (around until 60%)

Things started getting better after that, fortunately. When the two main characters got together, it seemed like everything was just going uphill. (The romantic pacing still sucked, though.)

For one, the heroine stopped being a bitch to other people. Okay, maybe she was still really selfish and INCREDIBLY naive, but at least she didn’t bring other people into it. I never really liked her, but she was better than when she first started.

I really loved how things started to get intense around here. We’re shown the tougher, grittier side of Schizophrenia–the one where things could turn to complete shit in just the blink of an eye. And even if you’ve never experienced it, or know anyone who has, this book is definitely going to make you more aware of this illness, and how much it can affect lives.

Family and friends became more prominent around these woods, too. Parents were, realistically, in denial of Jonah’s situation, and while they might not have been 100% on board with April’s decisions, they let her make them and didn’t try to dictate her life.

PART 3: The One Where My Emotions Exploded (70% onward)

Now this is where all the clouds part to let out all the sunshine! No, I don’t mean the story gets happier. I mean the book stops being horrible and starts shining some intense feels on readers.

I was basically just crying my eyeballs out through this part. This is when the desperation and despair comes in–and will take you down with them. I sympathized so much with the characters and just wished the best for them.

Also I won’t spoil the ending because I’m nice, but it was a lovely one.

Skulls 3

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About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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16 thoughts on “Review: Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

  1. I didn’t make it very far in this book. I couldn’t get by the insta love and all of the stereotypes. I’m glad you were able to finish it and that you liked the second half better! I may go back and give it another try, but I really don’t think I’ll be able to make it to the good parts.

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  2. Haha. XD I don’t think I’ll read this book any time soon since I have so much to read already, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. Somewhat. xD

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  3. I want to read this book. Tbh, I actually miss those contemporary and urban fantasy books with high school drama and loads of flaws! Plus I really love the sound of the way mental illness is portrayed in the book, so looks like I should give this one a chance.

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  4. I agree with you! I was sure I was going to hate this in the beginning, but I think it ended up being VERY well done. I think it is a really great portrayal of mental health, and perfect for a younger crowd for sure! I LOVED the end- I mean, yes, my heart ripped, but it was perfect for the book in so many ways- especially in the message it sent! And April is absolutely selfish and immature, and I hated her at first until I remembered that I was probably a LOT like April, and I had to at least tolerate her ;) Fabulous review!!

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  5. I’ve come to notice that it can be SO HARD to review a book that isn’t solid/consistent throughout and instead has distinct portions of the book that are so different (read: parts that suck and parts that are ah-MAY-zing). Then trying to settle on a starred rating for it? Near impossible. I might actually try to adopt a reviewing style like this for those kinds of books, because doing anything else is so hard!

    Also, props for actually finishing the book! So many little things sounds like they were annoying. I’m curious about if you think that the book could’ve been stronger in the first parts, or if you think that it had to be that way to get to the really great end part. When I think back on books that are like this, I tend to think that some definitely could’ve been better in the beginning, but some had to be (slow, ____, etc.) in the beginning for the rest to work out.

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  6. I would be intersted in reading a book dealing with Schizophrenia but I don’t think I could enjoy this one. Usually, when a book starts out terrible, I have a hard time changing my thoughts and accepting the fact that it might get better. And those quotes you put in from the beginning sound really aweful. So I’m going to avoid this one, but great review!

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  7. Wow, a book like this would surely be AN EXPERIENCE for me. Lol, seriously, that transition from HATEHATEHATE to FEELS is CALLING ME. Anyway, great review. I will *check* it out, though I’m not sure yet if I will in fact read it.

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  8. Fabulous review! I have a huge interest in mental health and books that center around them. I’ve never read a book about schizophrenia, but my gosh despite the negatives of this novel, it’s sounds like a great one. Should I start at 60%? 😉

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  9. I am still so on the fence about this. I was actually not very impressed with Made You Up, because I want a book about schizophrenia, not a weird-ass story about a weird-ass school. I might end up getting my hands on this one, because I was to see more books about this particular mental issue. HOWEVER, I really hate bitchy characters.

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