Title: The Silence Between Us
Author: Alison Gervais
Genre: YA contemporary, #ownvoices
Release Date: August 13th, 2019
Publisher: Blink YA
Source: ARC from publisher which did not influence my opinion
My rating: 5 stars
Moving halfway across
the country to Colorado right before senior year isn’t Maya’s idea of a
good time. Leaving behind Pratt School for the Deaf where she’s been a
student for years only to attend a hearing school is even worse. Maya
has dreams of breaking into the medical field and is determined to get
the grades and a college degree to match, and she’s never considered
being Deaf a disability. But her teachers and classmates at Engelmann
High don’t seem to share her optimism.
And then there’s Beau
Watson, Engelmann’s student body president and overachiever. Maya
suspects Beau’s got a hidden agenda when he starts learning ASL to
converse with her, but she also can’t deny it’s nice to sign with
someone amongst all the lip reading she has to do with her hearing
teachers and classmates. Maya has always been told that Deaf/hearing
relationships never work, and yet she can’t help but be drawn to Beau as
they spend more and more time together.
But as much Maya and
Beau genuinely start to feel for one another, there are unmistakable
differences in their worlds. When Maya passes up a chance to receive a
cochlear implant, Beau doesn’t understand why Maya wouldn’t want to hear
again. Maya is hurt Beau would want her to be anything but who she
is—she’s always been proud to be Deaf, something Beau won’t ever be able
to understand. Maya has to figure out whether bridging that gap between
the Deaf and hearing worlds will be worth it, or if staying true to
herself matters more.
A great story about a deaf girl who moves and has to now attend a regular, as she calls it, “hearing” school. As a hearing person, there was a lot that hadn’t known about, and I always enjoy a book that makes me learn things. It took a bit to read and get used to the way sentences were cut out or cut short based on how she lipread and obviously couldn’t always catch every single word sometimes. Or also just the way they signed they didn’t use all the words we use as we talk, because that would be a waste of signing time. It was also interesting to read about how a surgery could make a person who was deaf feel about themselves, and that it would make them not want to do it. I feel like there was a lot of good things to learn about and read in this book that was still a really great teen story with all the usual emotional issues along with the extra stress that not being able to hear brings to the story. And of course Maya wasn’t the only one with her own issues and that is what was great also, for her to see she wasn’t the only one when decisions were made that things were based on. As a teen it is so often usually just based on what you are thinking, what you feel, and it takes a bit to see other people’s points of view. And this was a different way to look at it. I will definitely be purchasing this book for my school library for my students to read and enjoy hopefully as much as I did.