Book Reviews

The Sound of Silence (Unspoken Heart 1) by N. Wood

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Young Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 08-June-2013

Book Blurb

Following an accident that rendered him mute when he was fourteen, Alex Carter relocates to the small town of Blackwood with his dad for a fresh start. Having endured ridicule and bullying for the past five years, he isn't looking forward to starting at a new college. Enter Wesley Hunter, a fellow nineteen year old who has been assigned as his guide around campus and his personal translator. Affection can be just as sweet from an unspoken heart.


Book Review

Fans of Young Adult author Mark A. Roeder should enjoy this carefully penned coming of age tale about a boy in the aftermath of a tragic accident that has left him mute. When Alex Carter and his father arrive at the small town of Blackwood, where he is to attend college, he expects to be bullied. Due to a savage dog attack, not only is Alex mute, but he has some major scarring around his throat. In addition, he and his father aren’t communicating that well; Alex is sure that his mother left his father because of the stress his accident brought to the family. His father refuses to accept that despite his son’s impairment, Alex is simply a young man facing the problems all young men at his age face.

Despite some misgivings, Alex enters the college and finds a companion in Wesley Hunter, the student who has been asked to guide him to his classes. Immediately attracted to his guide, Alex is certain he doesn’t stand a chance with the handsome student. Even if he was were not a mute, it’s highly unlikely that Wesley is gay, and Alex is. What follows is the story of Alex learning to trust himself and the friendly students who offer him support. It is also a story of a father learning that being handicapped or mute does not mean that you are mentally diminished.

What I liked most about this story is that Alex and Wesley are incidentally gay. The prejudice and bullying that Alex undergoes is because he is physically impaired, not because he is a homosexual. For me, the message of the story was quite clear: Stick out from the herd and prejudice is likely to follow, but sometimes sticking out from the herd allows those who like a stand-out to find you, and sometimes you find yourself.

While I found the story engaging, I have to say I am not a fan of the day-in-the-life-of style in which it is written. That said, I am also not of the age group for whom I feel this book was meant. Personally, I think the story would be a good choice for boys and girls who are between fourteen to seventeen years old. Minus a few strange inconsistencies, it is carefully written and I can tell a lot of love went into its writing. But I also feel that the highs and lows of the story were a little too close in temperature, leaving me in a place of ambiguity. However, the fact that I wrestled with that ambiguity for almost a week before writing this review, means that the book has impact and that is a big plus, in my opinion.

Thank you, N. Wood, for sharing this unique look into the life of Alex Carter; I noticed that his story continues in the sequel Can You Hear Me? and I believe I’m going to have to read it. This one was “Heartwarming”.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 161 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 26-February-2013
Buy Link