(I was sent a proof copy of this book by Macmillan. My opinions haven’t been affected as a result though.)
I remember when Sara first announced that she was releasing this book on Twitter, and the same three lines that sit on the back of my proof copy were on the internet. You know, the one about Steffi can’t talk. Rhys can’t hear. They understand each other perfectly. I’ll be honest, I was interested but I had no idea what the book was even about. Then the opportunity came up for me to read this book from Macmillan (thanks Bea!) and I jumped at the chance.
Steffi has selective mutism, and Rhys is deaf. Both have the ability to use BSL (British Sign Language) and largely, their communication occurs through this medium. Steffi’s selective mutism has been the thing that has been stopping her parents from believing that she would survive at university, but then Rhys comes along.
This is the first book due to be released in 2017 I’ve read so far, but easily it’s one of the stand out books for next year.
This is perhaps the first book that features BSL prominently as part of it’s plotline, and if it’s not the first (please do let me know if that’s the case!) then it’s definitely the first I’ve read. And I think the way it was incorporated into the plot is so great too.
I would call this book a romance, but it’s definitely an unconventional one. I don’t think this is a stereotypical instalove story, but it’s more of a story where the characters are real. The emotions, dialogue and thoughts are real. Steffi and Rhys might be one of my favourite relationships in a book, simply because of their chemistry.
The way the book is written is something I think is fantastic too. Any dialogue that occurs between Rhys and Steffi (at least in my copy anyway) in BSL is written in bold instead. It’s a question I asked before starting this book; how is Sara going to incorporate BSL into dialogue in the book? If this is indeed how it’s going to be incorporated into the finished copy (which has a brilliant cover by the way, kudos to whoever designed it!), then I think it’s brilliant that it’s being used in the book, not just as a side detail.
There’s a lot of good competition going up against this book in 2017 for new releases. But I think no matter what books come out next year, this needs to be on your TBR. I absolutely loved this book, and whilst I’m sure many readers will tell her the same thing, thank you so much for writing it Sara. I’m sure many more readers in the near future will love this too.