For a story proclaiming to be a “Most screwed up love letter” this book is actually not a bad read. It’s not excellent but it does a solid job, especially when you consider the fact it tackles some rather difficult subjects. And that it does this in a rather unique and original way.
This book is the latest one from YA writer, Nick Lake. Whisper To Me is basically one long love letter from its protagonist to a sweet young man. The main character is a teenager named Cassie who has schizophrenia insofar as she hears voices. This is a first-person account by Cassie and it’s addressed to a boy she loved but also pushed away one summer.
This story has a number of different threads including showing Cassie’s widowed father who is an ex-army Seal and a man that is refusing to deal with unresolved PTSD. There is also a serial killer on the loose and this individual is targeting sex workers. To say this is a difficult world for the characters to inhabit is an understatement. Cassie has already lost her mother some years ago to a robbery that escalated to manslaughter and she’s concerned about some of her newfound friends who work as strippers due to a killer being on the loose.
There are some aspects of this book that feel quite real and believable like Cassie’s struggles with her inner demons and mental illness in general. But some things seem rather far-fetched like her romance (when there are only a limited number of interactions with her crush and most of them see her acting highly awkward towards him.) Others still seem quite implausible like two young people bonding over ancient mythology and a teenager that doesn’t know a thing about social media and the internet. Cassie also has a tendency to ramble and go off on different tangents and this means the book could have been tightened up in order to make a much stronger impact.
Whisper To Me is full of drama, longing, a desire to be understood and a need to right the wrongs of the past. It’s an intense and ambitious tale that is told in a unique and creative way. There are some minor flaws with the execution and the ending does leave open a number of questions and this may not sit well with some readers. But in spite of this, Lake should be commended for being prepared to tackle such difficult subjects and for turning it into an enjoyable and relatable read.
***Please note: a free copy of this book was won by the writer through a The Reading Room giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: https://www.thereadingroom.com/book/whisper-to-me/9689508/