I received an arc of Whisper to Me by Printz award winner Nick Lake from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Whisper to Me is slated to be published by Bloomsbury on May 2.
Whoa, this book. Like, whoooaaaaahhh. Whisper to Me takes place in a depressed New Jersey beach town lifted straight from a Bruce Springsteen song. The glory days are over, fewer and fewer tourists visit the shore and to make matters worse, a serial killer is on the loose. Enter Cassie, who has been traumatized by her mother’s violent death and is trying to navigate a rocky relationship with her ex-SEAL dad, who himself suffers from PTSD.
Then Cassie finds a severed foot at the beach and starts hearing a malicious, often malevolent voice.
I can’t say enough good things about this book. It is expertly crafted and hard to put down. It’s creepy. And alarming. And beautiful. The entire book is narrated by Cassie in the form of a letter she’s writing to a boy whose heart she broke. Cassie might be an unreliable narrator on the surface, but she’s striving to tell the difficult truth about herself and her experiences.
Whisper to Me is also intense, especially in the first quarter of the book, when Cassie’s mental illness is first manifesting. I had to put the book down a few times after some particularly vivid nightmares. I always went back to it, though, and am glad I did. The author’s afterword, including resources he lists for dealing with mental illness, is an especially welcome addition.
Highly recommended, but be prepared for an intense experience. 4.5 stars.