Review: Silence by Michelle Sagara

Silence by Michelle Sagara (With West at the end if you’re looking on goodreads)
Hardcover, 256 pgs.
Published May 1st, 2012 by DAW
Source: Publisher
“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’.

3.5 stars

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.

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  1. Shoot. I was hoping for a higher rating on this one, I have it waiting in my TBR pile. I’m glad the characters worked well for you, but it’s disappointing that the book doesn’t flow well. That always detracts from my enjoyment. Thanks for the review Candace, glad to know these things going in!

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever come across an autistic character in YA either. Sounds like a bold move on the author’s part.

    But yeah, I’m not sure that this one would work for me. Like you mentioned, the flow seems off, and I think I’d have a hard time getting into the story because of it.

  3. I’m sad to see you didn’t enjoy it that much, I loved this book! I think it’s the start to a very promising series. I like the inclusion of an autistic character, I thought it made the story more realistic and I really liked the compassion the other characters had toward him. Check out my review of Silence

    And if you’re looking for more books with autistic characters, try Marcelo in the Real World, it’s a classic!

  4. I think the overload of info, which can make a scene feel jerky, is just the author’s style. I’ve read a couple of her other books and, while I had that problem at first, I guess I’m used to the way she attacks a scene. Enjoyed Michael! He was a great character.

  5. I was hoping this would be a bit better. Love the cover and the synopsis. I like the idea of an autistic character, definitely not something you run across everyday. I will keep this on my radar :)

  6. I’m sorry you didn’t like this one. It doesn’t quite sound like my cup of tea either. But there’s a book for everyone out there! I know what you mean about beautifully written books. I’ve read quite a few that were beautifully written but for whatever reason didn’t appeal to me. Hoping the next book you read is better suited for you! :)

  7. This sounds a bit like how I felt while reading Divergent. Everyone really loved it for the beautiful writing that Oliver includes in her stories but sometimes it was just too much and it slowed down the story by trying to be so darn epic.

    I’ll probably be passing this one up but thanks for the great review! :)

  8. I just started this one a few days ago, but since I’m only thirty or forty pages in, I don’t want to make any judgments yet. Still, I have to agree with your point on the writing be beautiful. I really like it so far, though I wonder if I’ll end up having a similar problem with it later on…

  9. I’m absolutely in love with the cover for this one — GOR-GEOUS! <3 But I always cringe at writing books that I had conflicting feelings about! Even writing a negative review is easier than writing one of those middle-of-the-road books haha x) I love that Emma’s no-nonsense and head-strong and that one of her friends is autistic. It really adds an extra originality and sweetness factor! 😉

    Thanks so much for the awesome honest review, Candace! Even if the flow didn’t impress you, this still sounds like a fun read and I’m glad you enjoyed it overall! :) <3

  10. I love the premise behind the book, but the issue with the writing flow might be troublesome for me too. I think I’ll wait and see if I can find it at a library.

  11. I just read another review for this and they pretty much agreed with you. It sounds like a unique and interesting story, though!

  12. This sounds super good and original even though the plot itself could have been better. I love the autistic aspect even if it’s just in the back.

    Great review Candace! <3

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