Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: 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 anyone 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 the 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.
This is Hannah Harrington’s second YA novel. Her first, Saving June, was one of my favorites last year. But this one – this one far exceeded my expectations.
Chelsea Knot is the kind of girl I am. She has a need to be wanted and liked. And when she’s taken under the popular girl’s wing – she does whatever she has to fit right in. When she knows a secret, she tells it. It’s not meant to be malicious; it’s for the sheer entertainment value of it. And when one secret revealed changes the lives of everyone she knew – Chelsea realizes that she’s not the person she wants to be. In an effort to figure herself out, she decides to take a vow of silence. Through this vow, she discovers that words have power and should be used wisely.
I read this one in a single sitting. I was so completely drawn into Chelsea’s world – into her head – that I didn’t want to move once I was there. The writing was flawless. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work – a whole novel, with supporting characters when the main character doesn’t speak? But it was perfect. I honestly didn’t even notice that she wasn’t actually speaking most of the time. The supporting characters – Sam, Asha, and yes even Andy – picked it up and carried it so that the missing dialogue was never missing.
Chelsea’s character development over the course of the book made me adore her. While I do think it should have taken more than a month for her to go from who she was to who she became, it was the right path and I didn’t question it. I loved her. I hated watching her go through the bullying that she dealt with – but I cheered for her for maintaining her silence in the face of adversity.
I was unprepared for the moment she finally decided to speak again. I had expected it to be predictable. I was certain I knew when it would happen. And I was so completely wrong. And that makes me love Hannah Harrington even more.