‘Louder Than Words’ by Laura Jarratt

416p 2014 Electric Monkey Bought: Waterstones

Rafi has been mute for eight years, ever since she was six. The only person who really understands her is her older brother Silas. One day on the way home from school they meet a very upset girl, Josie.  It turns out that Josie is being publically bullied and harassed online by her ex-boyfriend.  Silas volunteers to use his computer skills to try and stop the harassment. During this process, the girls start to become good friends.

At an art exhibition, the three friends meet Lara, who Silas is immediately enraptured with. Lara is beautiful and mysterious, and Silas is willing to do anything to impress her. He begs her to go out with him, and she eventually accepts. Lara brings him to her political activist group meetings, and Silas was surprised that he was actually known to the group because of the way he used his tech skills to stop Josie’s on-line abuse. Silas is slowly sucked into doing more and more things for the group, and he doesn’t say no because he still wants to impress Lara. His involvement with the group means he begins to ignore Rafi, who tells Josie, in writing, that she is worried about Silas’s mysterious disappearances.  The two girls try to figure out what is the cause of his absences and strange behaviour. But when they find out what he has been doing, they realise that he could be in bigger trouble than they thought.

The story is written mainly from Rafi’s point of view, with Silas and Josie featuring occasionally as narrators. It was well written and the plot was incredibly intense. I really had no idea of what would happen next. The characters intrigued me, and Rafi’s condition of progressive mutism was so interesting to learn about. Silas was definitely an enigma though: I found it slightly hard to believe that he, normally so sensible, would change everything just for the girl he liked.

I had huge expectations for Louder Than Words by Laura Jarratt as I loved her previous books Skin Deep and By Any Other Name, and this lived up to my expectations. Laura Jarratt’s books are always so captivating and they really blow me away.

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