June 2014, Egmont, 416 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Summary from Egmont
Rafi hasn't spoken for eight years. It's up to her to tell her brother's story now that he can't speak either ...
Rafi idolises her seventeen-year-old brother, who is popular, generous and a borderline genius. Ever protective, Silas always includes her when he's with his friends, so Rafi gets to hear all sorts of things that younger sisters wouldn't normally be a part of. Like the time Silas hacks a gaming site to help out his friend Josie, who has been trashed by her ex.
With Josie, Rafi finds herself with a proper friend for the first time in her life. As they grow closer, she realises that she wants to find a way back into the world - she wants to learn to speak again. But Silas has found a new interest too - and it's taking him away from everything that was once important to him. Can Rafi find the words to save her brother?
I adore this book! It's nicely odd after I've recently read a non-fiction book about selective mutism and several books on characters who stop speaking that I read Rafi's story. I wasn't that fond of the chapters with her brother's thoughts but the rest of the story makes me forget those parts. Rafi is a sweetheart. It was fascinating watching her slowly get to grips with improving her mutism, how she blossoms under her new friend Josie's whirlwind approach to life.
Josie is immensely fun to read about, especially given how she and Rafi met. Josie is exactly who and what Rafi needs, unlike Silas who gets in deep trouble due to his new friends. He does have a close relationship with Rafi which made me tear up on several occasions. I had a suspicion about Rafi's condition which pretty much was proved correct, unlike my thoughts on what had happened to make Silas go away which changed a few times as I read the book and was mostly a surprise when the end came.
Find out more on Laura's website.
For younger readers they can find out about not talking in The Mute Button by Ellie Irving (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)