The Silent is a young adult book by Rebecca Kenney and is published by Journey Forth Books, a division of the Bob Jones University Press. When death threats are made at Nikki's high school, she is asked by the detective to listen out for any information about the other students. As Nikki listens to and watches those around her, she learns about their pain. As one of the only Christians in her school, she has a message to share with these students around her. But, Nikki finds herself dealing with her own pain also. Can she find out who is the silent one filled with anger in her school? Or will they all be in danger when she is too late?
As a parent of soon to be teenagers, I was very interested in reviewing The Silent. Many books that are written for this age group are self-centered and shallow. The Silent was a welcome change in a pretty discouraging market.
Rebecca Kenney did a great job of using situations that were relevant to older teens. The characters were believable and likable. They are real people with real problems, not hard to believe super good people that have it all together. The plot was interesting and unpredictable. There was depth to the story, a theme beyond just the surface plot of looking for the student making the death threats. Without being a spoiler, I will say it was easy enough to catch without being over obvious. I was very pleased that the book was able to get across relevant Christian messages without being preachy. While still an obviously Christian book, young adults who pick up this novel won't be turned off by trite Christian phrases. Instead, they'll find and interesting, action-filled read that challenges them to live in a Christlike way.
On a slightly negative note, there were a few times that the writing in the book seemed slightly stilted and just didn't flow well. It probably has more to do with the author's attempt to keep the book on an easier reading level and less with her ability to write well. Because of that I'll give it four stars. But, they are a very generous four stars. There are some really dark parts to the story and enough real life drama to recommend it only for older teens, so I'd give it a PG rating. I can feel good about recommending this one, and I would be glad to look for other reads by the author.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.