Source: Audavoxx/Author- I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Narrator: Ashley Klanac
Edition: Audiobook, 6 Hours 5 Minutes
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Sophomore Jolia does the one thing no one expects from the girl who has perfected the art of keeping quiet.
She joins the speech team.
Jolia can’t confess the real reason-not to her best friend, her new teammates, or even to crush-worthy rival Sam who offers to coach her in secret.
Keeping quiet might be the easy way out, but when what Jolia doesn’t say starts to hurt those around her, it might just cost her a best friend, her spot on the team, and even Sam.
But she isn’t the only one with a secret. It’s going to take words-her words-to make things right.
If only Jolia can find them.
The Art of Keeping Quiet is a young adult contemporary novel with a ton of heart! Confession time, I have both generalized and social anxiety and I had to take a speech class in college. Every week I’d basically want to curl up and die, it even felt like I was pretty close to a heart attack a few times. The only thing that saved me from freezing up was the overwhelming need to get back to my seat and away from the video camera. So while the situation is a bit different from mine, the entire premise (forgive my pun) spoke to me. I hadn’t even started yet, and I already felt like I simple ‘got’ Jolia.
We are treated to a story that is not only well written, but very relatable and full of characters worth rooting for. Jolia is a girl with many passions like writing and playing the violin, but speaking is not one of them. On the outside she’s become soft spoken, ruled by fear, and a bit of doormat…but on the inside she’s full of fire. She has comebacks she never has the courage to say, she wants to speak up when her friend takes advantage, and she wants desperately to pass speech class…but her voice and her confidence seems to desert her. Her story isn’t just about learning to speak up and move forward with confidence it’s also about bullying, friendships, and honesty. It’s nice to see a YA contemporary that just speaks to you on a normal level; where it’s easy to see the past you dealing with the same obstacles. And then there is Sam! He’s such a sweet and awesome guy, he has his own issues of course but he’s genuinely there for Jolia even when he doesn’t need to be. It goes without saying that everyone needs that one person who pushes them to become better and achieve their goals, and Sam is that person for Jolia.
It’s not really a secret that I’m a tad picky with my narrators, I tend to listen to a sample three or so times before committing to a review or purchasing. I mean I have to listen to it for hours. I didn’t even listen to the full sample before I knew I had to listen to this one. While she may not be the best narrator out there, Ashley Klanac’s reading of The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet is excellent. She has a voice that’s easy to listen to and easy to enjoy, and to top it off she adds some real individuality to each voice she does.
In short The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet was an excellent read. In between all the fantasy and science fiction it’s nice to unwind with a light YA contemporary, and just let yourself get swept up in a good story.