Author: Hannah Harrington
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: August 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret…
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast — and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence — to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting everyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there’s strength in silence, and in new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way. People she never noticed before. A boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself…
Sixteen year old Chelsea Knot has a secret. And despite the fact that it’s not her secret to tell doesn’t stop her from drunkenly spilling it during her best friend Kristen’s New Years Party.
The fall out was something Chelsea never could have expected. One classmate in hospital and two more responsible – Chelsea has a choice. Keep quiet or turn two of her friends in to the police… one of which happens to be her best friend’s boyfriend.
Choosing to do the right thing gets herself in trouble when Chelsea has to deal with fall out – social isolation and bullying – and ends up choosing a vow of silence as “running [her] mouth has hurt enough people already – the lease [she] could do is shut up.” After being removed from everything she once thought she was, the silence – both self-imposed and from those she once thought of as friends – makes Chelsea completely re-evaluate who she is and what she wants from life.
I enjoyed reading this book mostly for the strength of the main character, Chelsea. At first she comes across as a puppet for the queen bee, Kristen, but as the novel goes on she’s not as self-centred or vapid as she seems. She has internal fortitude and shows internal strength and a maturity she didn’t have at the start. I was impressed with her choices – not necessarily the drunken sharing from the start of the novel but even that was done with no intended malice – and the caring attitude she starts to show.
This novel shows the cruelty of high school and just how quickly the tables can turn. But it also shows how kind and forgiving people can be. Asha and Sam are fantastic characters that I very quickly grew to love. Despite how Chelsea’s actions effected their friend, Noah, they embrace Chelsea – vow of silence and all – forgive her and accept her as their friend.
This is a great story about the power of gossip and how something as seemingly harmless as spreading rumours can result in life changing circumstances.
Thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for the review copy.
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