Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 27, 2010
Source: Around The World Tours
Synopsis: I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…
Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy hears a frightening whisper from Jessica's own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.
Joy comes from a family line where all the women have the ability to hear Whispers. She uses her gift as a way to please everyone and fit in while hiding the fact that she's not a regular teenager. But her older sister Jessica--nicknamed Icka for her dark and meaner personality--views their gift as a curse. Her sister's moodiness causes Joy to distance herself from Icka and ignore her ominous warnings when Joy begins to temporarily lose her powers and have terrible headaches. Then Icka disappears under mysterious cirmunstances and it's up to Joy to find out what's making her older sister plummet into darkness.
The pace of the novel was a little slow but it helped to introduce Joy's friends (all of which I immediately disliked) and her family. Joy's character was simple enough to understand in the beginning; since she could hear other people's thoughts she would do her best to cater to everyone's needs and sometimes put her own feelings aside. But for someone who had the ability to read minds, Joy was unbelievably naive. It took her a while to realize that the people she surrounded herself with were not the greatest company and that Icka may have had good reason to be so pessimistic about people in general. But once it's obvious that Icka's in trouble, Joy no longer worries about everyone else and becomes a more mature, tougher (and therefore more appealing) main character because of it. This transformation in character also picks up the pace of the novel and that's when the action began. Afterwards I couldn't turn the pages faster to see what would happen next! There was also a little bit of romance thrown in and Jamie, the boy who helped our main character, was an intriguing addition to the story. He also had a special ability to "read" people and their blossoming romance was sweet, if not slightly rushed. Jamie's special power was skimmed over though and I'm hoping that it will be touched upon more if there's a sequel. I also loved that Joy's family was present throughout the entire story and that her and Icka's abilities was a subject that the family actually discussed. I haven't come across many YA novels with a paranormal twist where the entire family unit is present (and alive) so this was undoubtedly a refreshing quality to the story. I applaud the author for not killing any family members and creating a story where the family was a huge part of the story.