I bought both of these books a few days ago on a whim, feeling it was time to take a break from my new found horror *cough* Stephen King *cough* obsession. The story is told in two books and I settled down to devour the first one, Silence, just this morning. Naturally, by the end of Silence, I was eager to start on the second book, Broken Silence and by the time I was halfway through, I wasn’t sure I wanted to finish it (and not for good reasons). I finished it, of course, but wasn’t too happy. Despite both books relying on two very different ways of telling the story due to the main character, I decided to do one review post of the both of them (I really didn’t want to do a review for these books, but I’d already purchased them so what the heck!). I feel like Natasha Preston could have really just made a longer book instead of splitting it into two different books.
Brief Overview of Silence:
For eleven years, Oakley Farrell has been silent. At the age of five, she stopped talking and no one seems to know why. Refusing to communicate beyond simple physical gestures, Oakley remains in her own little bubble of comfort. She is bullied in school, her only friend is Cole Benson. Cole stands by her, refusing to believe that she is anything but perfect the way she is. Over the years, they have developed their own version of a normal friendship. They grow closer and the inevitable happens- they start to fall for one another.
As the plot develops, it becomes obvious (at least to me) the reason behind Oakley’s silence. Her lack of verbal communication, however, does not detract from the story and continues to string you along to the very end. There are many times that felt cliche and I sighed a little. The romance was naive and immature and I feel like there could have been a little more…. oomph to the impending changes to their relationship. There was no passion or fervour. Just flat and it almost felt platonic at times. Regardless of the cliches and the flatness, the way they communicated and how Cole understands Oakley’s gestures and facial expressions was beautifully written. The characters are well thought out, but there wasn’t nearly enough focus on characters other than Oakley or Cole.
Although, I thought the story was executed with dexterity, the ending seemed rushed and snappy. There was no rush or excitement. Just confusion and more eye rolling on my part.
Brief Overview of Broken Silence:
It has been four years since Oakley, her mum, and brother fled to Australia. With the trials looming, she makes the decision to return to England. Oakley is desperate for closure so she can put the past behind her and move on with her life. How will she cope when she comes face to face with the two people that hurt her the most, and the one person that she hurt the most? Her love for Cole never faded, but how will he react to her return after so long? Will they be able to put everything behind them in order to have a happy ending?
Just from reading that lame-sauce description I could tell that this book was going to be JUST like the first one.
First of all, does it really take 4 years to gather evidence? I’m pretty sure that only takes a couple of months. Anyhoo, this book was, as I suspected, pretty similar to the first. Cole and Oakley pining for each other, yet both wanting the other to be happy. This story was more about Oakley and Cole getting back together than the trial itself.
Again, I wished Preston focused more on Oakley’s family, like her mum for example and I think even having sections from Jasper’s point of view would have given the story a little bit more… substance. During many times in the book Oakley mentions that they both are not coping well the trial. Then let me read about it! I would have rather read about the family coming together and becoming a stronger unit than to just constantly read about this flat, overly perfect relationship. Speaking of which…
Their characters didn’t seem to have changed much since they were teenagers. The slight exception was Oakley, because we- as a readership- could ‘hear’ her speaking to Cole.
Both books were filled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, which would have easily been sorted out through…hmmm I don’t know an editor?