Whisper

Whisper

3.9 29
by Phoebe Kitanidis
     
 

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I'd love a cup of coffee. . . . I wish she didn't hide how pretty she is. . . . I hope she didn't find out what Ben said about her. . . . I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin. . . .

Joy is used to Hearing Whispers. She's used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people's deepest, darkest desires.

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Overview

I'd love a cup of coffee. . . . I wish she didn't hide how pretty she is. . . . I hope she didn't find out what Ben said about her. . . . I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin. . . .

Joy is used to Hearing Whispers. She's used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people's deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good—to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people's lives—especially Joy's—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears Jessica Whisper I want to kill my Hearing dead, and kill me too if that's what it takes, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car, and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

Whisper is an exhilarating debut novel from talented newcomer Phoebe Kitanidis.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like a paranormal version of The Breakfast Club, Kitanidis's first novel is a fairy tale in which the pretty, popular girl is rescued from delusion by the misfits she's been trying to avoid. Joy Stefani has a gift: she can "Hear" the wishes of others. It's a trait shared by her mother and her older sister, Jessica, but that's all the sisters have in common. Jessica (or, as Joy refers to her, "Icka") is destructive and full of rage, whereas Joy moves easily through the world. But everything changes after Joy's 15th birthday, when the wistful, superficial wishes she has heard during childhood suddenly turn deeper, darker, and hurtful. Only Jessica seems to understand what is different--and she's gone missing. Joy's narrative voice is appealing, but this is an unsubtle, schematic fable in which adults and peers alike are revealed to be hypocrites and any form of ambiguity or compromise must be a lie. Joy's mother and sister are archetypes and opposites, and even when their poles are reversed, they remain just as extreme. Ages 12–up. (May)
Kim Harrison
Whisper is a refreshingly unpredictable story with the perfect balance of family and friends, and magical gifts and secrets. Phoebe Kitanidis is a strong new voice in the young adult, urban fantasy genre, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“An imaginative tale that brings to the surface the complexities of family, friends, relationships, and belonging, WHISPER also explore selfishness, selflessness, and the bonds that link us to each other.”
Erin Bridges
On the outside, Joy Stefani is a well-adjusted high schooler whose helpful nature makes her everybody's favorite. Inside, like her sister and mother, Joy is able to Hear Whispers—the innermost thoughts of the people around her. Like her mom, Joy listens to people's desires and helps them. However, she has noticed recent changes as she hears shocking and hurtful thoughts, some of which are directed toward her. She also experiences excruciating headaches that no one seems able to explain or soothe. What's more, Joy's once strong connection with her older sister, Jessica, continues to disintegrate. Jessica views their ability as a curse and tries to sabotage Joy's happiness and popularity. Confused and concerned, Joy begins to question people and experiences. Through questioning, she finds an untapped confidence that leads her on a mission to rescue someone she loves and discover the truth behind who she is. Reviewer: Erin Bridges
VOYA - Kim Carter
The women in Joy's family have a gift—they "Hear" the thoughts ("Whispers") people think to themselves. While Joy is a natural at making friends, using her Hearing to make other people happy and to fit in, her older sister "Icka" (short for Jessica) is a loner, convinced that Hearing is more a curse than a gift. She also believes that Joy's recent onslaught of killer headaches is a sign of rapidly intensifying Hearing. As Joy struggles with her strained relationship with Icka, she finds her relationship with her best friend Parker changing as well, especially when Parker's would-be boyfriend, Ben Williams, starts showing interest in Joy. Then, there's quiet, strange Jamie, who leaves Joy a single white calla lily on her desk, and whose Whispers say he just wants her to be happy. Figuring out how her own happiness fits in with keeping everyone else happy becomes more complicated every day. Then, Icka disappears ... and Joy is the only one who can find her. An imaginative tale that brings to the surface the complexities of family, friends, relationships, and belonging, Whisper also explores selfishness, selflessness, and the bonds that link us to each other. While Joy's special powers will pique readers' interests, the somewhat disorganized introduction of multiple characters may challenge younger readers' ability to follow the unfolding convergence of the characters' relationships. Reviewer: Kim Carter
VOYA - Chase Carter
I liked this book. It is thrilling, cool, and has a great narrative hook. I disliked that the main characters and Joy's powers aren't described very well. People who like exciting fantasy will enjoy this book because it has a lot of imagination and is just plain great. Reviewer: Chase Carter, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Like her mother and her sister, Joy can "Hear" the "Whispers" of others, thoughts just barely in their consciousness. Now that she is 15, her gift enables her to know not only the lighter side of internal monologues, but also the darker ones—thoughts of violence, lecherous impulses, and criticisms of Joy herself. As she works to navigate her new "Hearing," she must also cope with increasingly intense headaches, an antagonistic relationship with her sister, and friendship problems. There is also the mystery of Jamie, an unusual boy with a secret of his own. When Joy is at her most confused, her sister goes missing, and only Jamie can help her. Despite the fantastic premise, it's hard not to read this novel as an analogy for maturity, the archetypal move from innocence to experience. Joy has been a pleaser, working hard to use her power to make others happy. But when she can "Hear" the good and the bad, and even her parents are unable to help her deal with her overwhelming feelings of frustration and insecurity, she must strike out on her own to do what needs to be done. Despite a somewhat typical YA story structure and an ending that may have been tied up a bit too easily, these common conflicts are nuanced by Kitanidis's intriguing construction of Joy's powers, unexpected plot moves, and strong characterizations.—Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Just like her older sister, Jessica, her mother and every female ancestor before her, 15-year-old Joy Stefani can "Hear" people's innermost desires, which her family calls "Whispers." While pessimistic Jessica remains a loner and dabbles in drugs, Joy feels compelled to fulfill Whispers as best she can, becoming popular in the process. After she temporarily loses her Hearing and the social insights it brings, it returns full force, allowing her to Hear her friends' true thoughts and causing her to question their motives. When she discovers that Jamie, her crush's younger brother, has a similar talent, she begins to trust an outsider with her secret and learns how to use the power of her Hearing when Jessica, whom she's pushed away over the years, needs saving. Joy narrates the story in the first person, and her responses to her classmates' Whispers will strike a chord. Although the too-tidy ending feels rushed and the story is not as solid as Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy, fans of the genre will likely enjoy it. (Paranormal. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062001412
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/27/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,260,895
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
13 Years

Meet the Author

Phoebe Kitanidis lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and a big gray cat. A former language arts teacher and contributor to Discovery Girls magazine, she now writes fiction full time. She's absolutely addicted to swimming, chocolate, and Facebook. If you ever meet her, beware: It's quite possible she can read your mind.

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