Authors: Julie Berry
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: September 26th, 2013
Format: Arc copy
Buy the book on Amazon
Buy the book on Amazon
I had a really, really hard time deciding what to rate this book. It took me a while to get into the story. I had trouble following the timeline of events, I disliked how Judith spent the entire book saying "you" (talking to Lucas), and I thought that I had the plot figured out within the first few pages. However, by the time I got about halfway through the book, my thoughts changed drastically.
After Judith returns to her family under mysterious circumstances with her tongue cut out, not only is she unable to speak, but everyone in town also ignores her; they assume either that she is cursed, that she has been violated and is thus an adulterer, or that she is too simple-minded to participate in society. However, it turns out that Judith has a complex and entirely intriguing mind beneath her silent and passive exterior. After spending years silently pining and pouring out her heart to her childhood best friend Lucas, an attack on her hometown forces her to come out of her shell. She makes friends, she begins to use her voice, and she learns to never back down on her beliefs. Judith's transformation throughout this novel was absolutely astounding, and was by far my favorite part; I loved seeing her grow into her own skin and show everyone the wonderful young woman that had been hiding all those years.
The plot turned out to be much more complicated than I had anticipated. It wasn't until the conclusion of the book that Judith's entire story was explained, and the so-called "clues" that led me to believe what I thought had happened were actually not quite as obvious as they had seemed. I found myself riveted by what had occurred in the past, and even more excitingly, what would happen in the future for Judith, especially regarding Lucas. For the entire first half of the book, we really only see Lucas from afar as Judith spies on him, and as she relives her childhood memories with him. However, by the second half, Lucas really develops as a character, as does Judith's brother. I loved seeing her interact with everyone in town, and how she was able to stay strong when conversing both with those who disapproved of her and those who enjoyed her company.
Overall, after much deliberation, I decided to give this book four stars. The beginning was quite slow and I was not very impressed by it, but I found that the second half of the book more than made up for it. It was suspenseful, dark, and thrilling, not to mention that it took place in the indeterminate past, which is always a plus in my book. That being said, if you can get past this book's slow beginning, I would definitely recommend it!