Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book on Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
A brilliant work. Moving, relatable, entertaining, thought-provoking. Beautiful. Charity Tahmaseb: I wish your book had existed when I was fifteen.
With that said, I think The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet can (and should) appeal to a wide audience, even to people like this particular reader who, for the most part, stopped being a young adult fiction reader after her young adult years ended, if not before. Granted, I do still write about young people, and there are plenty of high schooler moments in Keeping Quiet to remind me that Jolia and her peers are indeed high schoolers, but the essential question raised in the novel is so universal: what happened to your voice, dear human, and how are you going to bring it back?
I appreciated the dry humor in much of Jolia’s narration, which is also full of many other nuggets that gave me pause. Honestly, what does humiliation sound like? Jolia shows us how we focus so much on our defects, real or imagined, past or present, until we’ve turned them into something they’re not. I also found the progression of the friendship and romance dynamics in the story engaging, and Tahmaseb unfolds the storyline with a deft hand.
In the face of failure, embarrassment, insecurity, or what have you, there’s hope. This novel, for its brilliance, has earned a spot on my list of all-time favorites.
Note to my blog readers: this book contains a minimal amount of language I wouldn’t condone for use by my children–if, of course, I had children. 🙂