Monday, January 10, 2011

Review of Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin… 

Joy's been hearing Whispers - peoples thoughts, wishes, desires - all her life. Her world revolves around fulfilling those wishes and using her power to make the world a happier place.

Joy's sister, Jessica, isn't so altruistic with her power, however. She sees the gift as more of a curse and wants it gone.

When Joy's power increases, she sees Jessica's point. And when she starts hearing scared Whispers from Jessica, she puts their differences aside and knows she'd do whatever it takes to save her.

Whisper is Phoebe Kitanidis's debut novel. It combines contemporary and paranormal themes, and tells a story of family, friends, and fitting in, as well as one of the exploits of a girl who can read minds.

Joy was a likable character for the most part, though her thinking she was being selfish all the times got irritating when she wasn't. I wasn't sure about what to think of her sister. Sure, she's a bitch in the present, but that completely juxtaposed how she was when the two of them were younger and best friends: sweet, caring. Her transformation between the two was well-written and her motive was believable and understandable.

The family and friend dynamics set up in the book complimented the supernatural ones. Joy's mother and sister also have Hearing, and they live with Joy's father who has to deal with having his thoughts constantly heard. Joy has to hear her friends Whisper about what they really think of her. She has a crush on her best friend's almost-boyfriend.

The romance acts as more of a sub-plot, taking a backseat to the other events. Joy's crush is more central to the beginning of the book, but the real love interest isn't who you'd expect. I like books where the first guy you're introduced to doesn't end up with the main character.

The ending ties up the main plot in Whisper but leaves enough questions for a sequel to be appropriate. All I know is that there *will* be a sequel, but nothing else about it.

Whisper is a light read, and short, with downwards of 300 pages. It's a fast, engaging read. I give it a 4 out of 5.