Silence by Michelle Sagara (With West at the end if you're looking on goodreads)
Hardcover, 256 pgs.
Published May 1st, 2012 by DAW
“It began in the graveyard. Ever since her boyfriend Nathan died in a tragic accident Emma had been coming to the graveyard at night. During the day she went through the motions at her prep school, in class, with her friends, but that’s all it was. But tonight was different. Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery. There were two others there—Eric, who had just started at her school, and an ancient woman who looked as though she were made of rags. And when they saw Emma there, the old woman reached out to her with a grip as chilling as death….”
This is one of those reviews that's difficult to do because I feel such intense conflicting feelings. When I started reading my first thought was that the writing was beautiful. It wasn't fluffy or full or big words or anything, but just the way she said things was beautiful. But at the same time I found myself feeling lost when there were more active scenes with lots going on. At times I felt so lost I kind of wanted to skim.
I really enjoyed the characters in the book. Emma has a bit of a no-nonsense attitude but not as much as her friend Amy. She did have a strong personality and strong convictions. When she made a decision no one was going to convince her otherwise. But she wasn't stupid and she'd do what she could to ensure her safety when doing some of these things she was so determined to do.
I really loved that one of Emma's friends was autistic. While this wasn't a focus in the story, it was there. And we saw how much she cared about him. We saw the things he struggled with but we also saw his strengths. I'm not sure I've ever seen an autistic character in YA and I think it's important to have little things like that so people understand them better. This, in my opinion, was one of the strongest things this book had going for it.
I loved the plot and setting and story line but it just didn't flow well for me and that definitely made me enjoy it a lot less. If that flow had been better this would have been an amazing book for me. I'm curious whether others have issues with the same thing or if it's just me.
Overall I think I would recommend the book if it sounds like something you'd enjoy. I don't feel like it's something we've seen a lot of before, it felt unique enough to me to be 'not just another paranormal read'.
Disclosure: I received a finished copy of the book from the publisher for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.