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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Louder Than Words Is A Wonderful, Love Story, Medical/Mystery Drama. A Must Read
The 411 by Maria:

I am a big believer in the perfect cover but this one doesn't work for me. You get no sense of what the book is about and that can deter a lot of readers but in this case it shouldn't!

This is a wonderful little story (272 pages) about Sasha a 17 year old girl who is suffering with an interesting Post Traumatic Stress disorder...
Published on November 21, 2012 by M. G. Gagliano

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Call Me A Prude - But The Sex Is Rude & Violence Crude...
I cringe when I think this book is labeled as "Young Adult."
Young Adult that contains sexual references that get 2 thumbs way up is Judy Blume - whatever happened to authors' like Ms. Blume? She could write about bullies and sex and yet, you wouldn't put the book down midway and be depressed. Louder Than Words contains sex and violence that left me feeling worse...
Published 21 months ago by Quirky Girl


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Call Me A Prude - But The Sex Is Rude & Violence Crude..., March 12, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
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I cringe when I think this book is labeled as "Young Adult."
Young Adult that contains sexual references that get 2 thumbs way up is Judy Blume - whatever happened to authors' like Ms. Blume? She could write about bullies and sex and yet, you wouldn't put the book down midway and be depressed. Louder Than Words contains sex and violence that left me feeling worse about life, not better.
In a world where there is already so much stress and darkness, Louder Than Words only adds a layer of grayness. If you are a reader that loves to be depressed, this is for you. While the writing it smooth and the authors' obviously are wonderful at their craft, the story for me was just too rude and crude and perhaps just not what I was seeking...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Totally unique!, December 10, 2012
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
First, I found the premise to be totally unique and I loved reading everything from Sasha's perspective. She does have spunk, which comes through in her own mind, and occasionally though her voice box. The voice box basically works like this: she has a keyboard that she types what she wants to say and then a microphone thing speaks it. The only thing is, her's is set to the voice of a male renowned scientist. It's a bit off-putting.

Anyways, she doesn't remember anything of her life before the accident, and even though their is nothing wrong with her physically, she can't speak. She goes to a therapist to work on different issues but after four years, nothing has worked. When a handsome boy helps save her from being accosted, she is stunned when he can read her mind. She finally feels like someone can hear HER and not just her words. Although she and Ben fall head over heels together, he decides she needs to find herself and her voice, he breaks up with her, but he's always waiting and watching.

Determined to get Ben back, Sasha immediately gets to work, even as she nurtures a broken heart. With the help of her best friend Jules, they try to go back to that fateful winter day of the accident, only what they find out isn't what they expected at all. It wasn't an accident at all, but can Sasha remember what happened before she's next?

I loved this book but I did have a few concerns with it. It's geared toward young adults, but there is a lot of heaving petting and sex talk in this book. I would suggest a mature teen audience, like seventeen and up! Also, there is quite a bit of swearing and two scenes of bullies trying to have forced sexual favors. I definitely wouldn't want my teenager to read this, and she's sixteen. The other concern I had was the font. Silly, I know. But when Sasha is speaking through her voice box, all the words are capitalized, which is very off-putting. When she's writing, it's all bold and cursive and when she's talking to Ben in her head, it's italicized. It's really hard to get used to all of the fonts and figuring how what's going on with the who and the what. All in all, though, I enjoyed the premise and although I figured out who the killer was, I was surprised with the why.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate & Not Recommended, May 5, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
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This is a story of an underage high schooler who learns to speak again after a terrible tragedy through intense physical contact. Read: sexual acts.

The young lady loses her whole family in a car accident, loses her memory and loses the ability to speak. A young man who can actually read her thoughts comes along and wins her heart and in the end her ability to speak back for her. Along the way, she also learns about the truth of the accident.

This isn't your normal love story. This is smut with under age characters.

[SPOILERS]

This is not a book for teens. Not only does it have violence (Sasha is saved from imminent sexual assault), and massive quantities of cussing (including all the way up to many, many F words), but also includes explicit sexual activities up to and including oral sex. In the end, she learns to speak BECAUSE of the sex.

[END SPOILERS]

This is an awkward chapter in the current sex-solves-everything book fad, along with the 50 Shades series and Twilight's non-stop lust-a-thon in books 3 and 4 and many more. Sex is so degraded by the way it is inappropriately lifted up that readers can't possibly be satisfied with real love. When you find that sex is abusive, like in 50 shades, or doesn't heal all wounds, like in this book, you are left more empty than before.

This book is smut. Teens should not read it because the violence, language and sexuality is inappropriate for their age and adults should not read it because reading about two under age lovers is also inappropriate.

This is the second book I've read from Merit Press and it's clear to me that they are interested in pushing the boundaries of books about children and teens. The language, sexuality, and violence in the books they publish are simply unexplainable. I recommend you keep your teens (and yourself) far away from this publisher.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not young adult for 18+ adult. * cursing, sex talk and attemp rape, April 12, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
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While the idea is a really great one and the idea of someone who can read your mind is cool, this book was very dark and depressing and fell short of a good young adult novel. It started out with Sasha scrusing the f word a lot and having no respect for her teacher, principle etc. With her crusing the f word a lot and saying she is horny from a teen, who has never dated or anything was just vulgar. The bad language ruined the story and the sex talk between the girls and the rape scene was just nasty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Louder Than Words Is A Wonderful, Love Story, Medical/Mystery Drama. A Must Read, November 21, 2012
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
The 411 by Maria:

I am a big believer in the perfect cover but this one doesn't work for me. You get no sense of what the book is about and that can deter a lot of readers but in this case it shouldn't!

This is a wonderful little story (272 pages) about Sasha a 17 year old girl who is suffering with an interesting Post Traumatic Stress disorder called Selective Mutism. As if high school isn't challenging enough with social and study issues, Sasha uses a voice box to speak except with Ben, a boy she runs into at the library. Ben has an interesting gift of his own and he and Sasha were destined to meet.

Part medical drama, part mystery, part love story, Plissner takes us on a journey of young love and putting the pieces back together to reclaim your life.

You will find yourself wondering about everyone in Sasha's life and their part in her family's accident. BTW, nice twist Laurie! I had no idea.

This is a quick read with an interesting premise and great characters. While it is listed as Young Adult, I wouldn't recommend to my daughter until she is at least 18 as the girls in the book talk about oral sex and more and Sasha finds herself in a violent situation.

All in all, great book which I completely recommend as a must read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better..., April 1, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
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I liked "Louder Than Words" when it first started out. I thought the concept was interesting (after all, that's why I ordered it). But the plot, or I should say multiple plot lines, of the story soon became convoluted and muddy. There was just too much going on.

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead-
Selective mutism, reading of minds, hypnotists, car accident or was it really an accident plus an on again-off again love affair - just too much or maybe it was the way the author tried to tie the pieces together. For me, it didn't work.

A quibble - when the protagonist used her speaking machine throughout the book, the dialogue showed up in all capital letters so it was like she was shouting all the time. Very distracting since she uses the machine a lot.

NOTE: I guess my major complaint with the book is that it is written for Young Adults. Merit Books prints only Young Adult books for ages 13 and up, per the F&W Media website.

And this book is full of fairly graphic sexual references including not one but two attempted gang rapes with no consequences to the attempted rapists; graphic language; drugs given by an adult; more sexual situations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In this book YA means Young ADULT - not young teen, March 29, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
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I got this book for my 14 year old daughter. Luckily I flipped through it before I gave it to her. The book is well written, and the plot was good...it would have been a pretty decent read but it is fraught with adult themes from gang rape to consensual sex. It is definitely not something I would give to a younger teenager to read, and it was too "teen-agery" for an adult to connect with. I think the author wrote this book for a very narrow audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an okay story, May 21, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
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An okay story. The premise is very intriguing, but the execution wasn't my favorite. I was pulled out of the story many times due to inconsistencies and things I just didn't believe.

I wasn't all that fond of Sasha, and I couldn't connect to her because I thought her characterization was inconsistent. She starts off telling us what happened to her family and what she remembers when she woke up in the hospital, and then all of a sudden she's telling one of her classmates `f-you' in the middle of class. Apparently, this is a common occurrence because the detention teacher knows her well, as do the other students who are regulars. This threw me. I get that people can change drastically when they've lost their entire family to tragedy and then been teased for four years. But we need to see that change, or else it's too jolting.

BTW, even though the opening to this story breaks some rules, it totally works in this case. I hear editors say all the time not to start a story with a character waking up or with a flashback, but we get a flashback of Sasha `waking up' in the hospital. And it works. We get her backstory in an interesting way, and I developed something of a relationship with her. But then she turned into someone else entirely when we see her in school, so I was really bummed about that.

I'm glad that Sasha has a good, loyal friend (Jules), and that there aren't any mean, catty girls in the story. Jules is even head cheerleader, so it was a refreshing change of pace. I wish her character had been more consistent, though. She starts off as an upbeat supporter, but then sort of morphs into something else. And then she shocks Sasha by saying swear words, even though Sasha will say the f-word in class. So I didn't really get their relationship.

Ben was okay, though too good to be true. He's a bit over the top with opening doors, coming to Sasha's rescue all the time, likes old music stuff, plus he's a sexual genius. He's also a fourth degree black belt--BTW, I didn't buy that part at all. It's not that it's impossible to become a fourth degree black belt at such a young age, but it's *highly* unlikely. If one has gotten so far so young, then there's no way he would be so easily disarmed by an untrained jock. And he certainly wouldn't be rendered helpless by the loss of his nunchucks. A first degree black belt can see a punch coming long before it gets there and will get out of the way, let alone a fourth degree black belt.

The sex and lust between Sasha and Ben was over the top. I don't mind love scenes, but Sasha was a walking porn site (another thing Ben comments on). I also didn't buy all the profanity. It felt gratuitous to me. If I understood the characters better, then this might have felt more natural.

The whole thing with Dr. O was a bit much. Ben called the situation a bad TV movie of the week, and I have to agree. Sometimes it works when a character acknowledges something fishy, but most times it doesn't. It didn't in this case. And I was really disappointed with the enormous bow at the end, tying things up too neatly. Not my cup of tea.

Age appropriateness: there's lots of sex and profanity, so this isn't the most appropriate story for younger teens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rated R, May 15, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
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This one is not for young adults. Or even some older adults! I wouldn't want my daughter reading it. It is graphic, violent, depressing and sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Teen Fiction, March 31, 2013
This review is from: Louder Than Words (Hardcover)
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This book was just okay for me. I'm a speech-language pathologist and I enjoy young adult fiction, so I thought a book about a girl who cannot speak but instead uses a computerized voice box might appeal to me.

This book felt like it had too many stories going on. It felt like part teen love story, part mystery, part psych session and that none of those stories were fleshed out as well as they could have been. Sasha is not a very likable character at first. She is hurt and sarcastic and a "bad girl". She has a wonderful best friend, Jules, who has stuck with her through the tragedy of her family's death and for the past 4 years since then of Sasha's mutism. Then Sasha meets Ben and the story plays out like Twilight for a little while. He's perfect, beautiful, gentlemanly, and has a supernatural power; he can read minds. Then after a little while of lovely perfectness, he pulls away from her and she spends the rest of the book trying to heal herself to win him back.

It's typical teenage story/behavior where the teens find a problem and decide that they have to solve the mystery themselves rather than telling any adults about it. So, it's full of situations that aren't entirely believable (aside from the mind reading) of things teens would be able to get away with on their own.

The ending wasn't anything spectacular to me. I didn't find it to be any big twist and wasn't surprised by anything. I didn't predict all of the details per se, but I didn't find any of them very surprising or intriguing either.

When it ended, I felt like I was missing some details still, like there were some unanswered questions. Ben's mom, for example, was never fleshed out more. We know that Ben comes from a "unique family" and that she also has some kind of "special power" but we never learn what it is. Also, the scene where Ben was home with his parents and acting like a jerk to them and also said later that he didn't want to talk about his mom, we never find out why. Why would the author even bring those things up if they weren't going to add to the mystery/story at all? It didn't make him seem like a "normal teenager" at all. I don't know, I just feel like I want to know more about his family and his sixth sense.

Overall, it was a light, fluff teen fiction. This book was a quick read - I read it in 2 days, but I'm sure someone else could read it in one day. Interesting premise, but not fleshed out enough for me.
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Louder Than Words
Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner (Hardcover - December 18, 2012)
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