Review: Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner

Summary/Cover Image from Goodreads:
The debut novel of an American original, Laurie Plissner's is both medical thriller and lyric love story in the tradition of magical realism

Since the snowy night when her family's car slammed into a tree, killing her parents and little sister, Sasha has been unable to speak except through a computer with a robotic voice. Nothing is wrong with her body; that's healed. But, after four years, Sasha's memory, and her spirit, are still broken. Then one day, she's silently cussing out the heavy book she dropped at the library when a gorgeous, dark-haired boy, the kind of boy who considers Sasha a freak or at least invisible, "answers" Sasha's hidden thoughts -- out loud. Yes, Ben can read minds; it's no big deal. He's part of a family with a host of unusual, almost-but-not-quite-supernatural talents. Through Ben's love, Sasha makes greater progress than she has with a host of therapists and a prominent psychiatrist. With him to defend her, bullies keep the world from ever understanding Sasha, he pulls away. Determined to win him and prove her courage by facing her past, Sasha confronts her past -- only to learn that her family's death was no accident and that a similar fate may wait for her, in the unlikeliest of disguises.

I didn't really know what to expect going into Louder Than Words. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll probably know I'm a HUGE fan of contemporary books (YA, Adult, New Adult). However, this one seemed a little different from my typical read, and from the summary, I knew it would probably go two ways: I would love it or I would hate. However, as it turns out, I shouldn't have been worried at all, because Louder Than Words turned out to be one of the best books I've read so far this year. It was emotional. It was blunt and honest. And best of all, it showed that even when you're in the worst of places, you can still manage to pull it all together.

Louder Than Words starts the story of Sasha, a girl who has been in a truly horrible place since a terrible accident took the lives of her parents and sister. Sasha somehow managed to come out from the accident unharmed physically but emotionally it's a different story. Basically, Sasha can't speak or recall anything about the accident, because for some reason her body's taken back those abilities from her, and while everyone promised her she would get better eventually, it's been four years and she still can't remember or talk for beans. Because of this all, she's forever the odd one out at school. However, everything changes when a new student arrives on the scene. He tells Sasha he can read her memory, and that he can help her overcome her problems. But will he be able to? Or will Sasha have to step up and fix it all on her own?

I have to admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of Sasha at first. She was crass and just a bit peculiar. However, as the novel progressed, and I began to get used to her and her voice, I started to like her quite a bit. Sure, she wasn't the nicest of girls, but considering the situation, I could understand it. Plus, as the story went on, I began to see just how wise Laurie was to make her that way, because when I really thought about it, Sasha wasn't the normal teenager. She lost a lot of development years of her life, so really it was making it true to the story to make her just a little bit odd. As it turns out, watching her develop from this point to another truly  was one of my favorite parts of the book. I also really enjoyed the various people Sasha encountered in this. Her best friend Jules add comical relief to the book, and Ben managed to do a lot for the story as well as Sasha. Ben was a different kind of guy, and sometimes I hovered between liking him and not too, but by the end, he manged to win me over.

The plot in this was really interesting. I thought it was unique how Laurie gave Sasha this physiological disorder quite simply because I had never heard about it before. Therefore, it was interesting to see not only how a person lives with this problem but how they learn to overcome it. It added a lot of emotion and drama. I also enjoyed how Laurie included a little twist about the accident at the end as well. It was fun to see Jules and Sasha play detectives as well as to think right along with them of possibly answers to the rising questions.  Lastly, the relationship between Sasha and Ben. I thought it was developed quite well, and I especially liked seeing how it helped Sasha overcome her problems as everything progressed.

Plissner's writing was excellent. She did a great job of creating the plot and characters. I also give her props for giving Sasha such a raw voice as well as for how she always managed to make everything realistic and honest.

In all, Louder Than Words is a fabulous debut, one that I highly suggest you all give a chance to. It's a little hard to like in the beginning, but by the end, it is easy to see how worth the read it is.

Grade: A

Louder Than Words (Amazon, BNGoodreads) is now out!

Source: Publicist 


  1. I enjoyed reading this book as well-it was quite different from a lot of other YA and I'm a huge contemp fan so I enjoyed that angle too.

  2. I hadn't heard of this before, but it sounds very unique! Nice review!


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