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Whisper to Me by Nick Lake
  

Whisper to Me

NewGen - YA Fiction   Books of the Month   eBook Favourites   
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May 2016 Book of the Month.

This electrifyingly smart story of a teen girl's struggle with a tormenting voice in her head is a masterwork of contemporary YA.

There's a murderer on the loose in Cassie's New Jersey hometown, the so-called Houdini Killer, which sets her quick-to-anger dad even more on edge than usual. A former Navy SEAL with untreated posttraumatic stress syndrome, he now runs the family restaurant, a site of distressing memories for them both. After finding a foot in a sneaker on the beach - one of the Houdini Killer’s victims - Cassie hears a voice telling her that she's disgusting, and it won’t let up. Convinced she's “forever doomed like Cassandra of myth - the girl who leaves a trail of violence in her wake”, the bullying voice makes Cassie promise to obey it. And she does, with near-fatal consequences, when, for example she injects herself with her Epi-Pen, which results in her being hospitalised. In the clinic she meets the irrepressible Paris. A bipolar survivor of abuse, Paris comes to play a huge part in Cassie’s life, as does one of the boys staying in her dad’s apartment for the summer. The only time the voice is really silenced is when Cassie is with him, but the voice has other plans for their burgeoning relationship.

Taking the form of the “most screwed-up love letter ever” written from Cassie to the boy she falls for, this gripping, multilayered novel is an insightful exploration of grief, broken families, mental illness and the lies we tell others - and ourselves - out of fear. It’s also about losing yourself, and coming to find your true voice. Lake has a huge talent for tackling classic YA themes, but always forges his own path, cutting through clichés, stripping back the superficial, to reach the heart of his brilliantly complex characters, all delivered through spectacularly plotted storylines. ~ Joanne Owen

Synopsis

Whisper to Me by Nick Lake

A message from author Nick Lake, ‘I can only imagine thought what it would be like to hear voices more often. And that’s what I have tried to do in Whisper to Me – to imagine it, and imagine how it could be conquered. Because these kinds of illnesses – traumas- can be conquered. That’s something I don’t have to imagine, since for a number of reasons and in a number of ways I have had close and direct experience of mental illness for a large part of my life. And I know, for an absolute fact. That people can get better. Things can get better. Life can get better.’

I love you. I'm sorry for what I did to you. I'm going to write it all down, explain everything that happened, why I broke your heart. Cassie's own heart was broken when she was younger, by a tragedy she can barely talk about. She lives near the beach, with her angry father and his collection of reptiles, and a voice that whispers strange, dark thoughts into her mind. Cassie is seventeen and she is unravelling. Even when she first meets him, the boy, the one, she can't begin to imagine that anything could happen between them. That he might be someone amazing. That in the course of one summer, she will go to the darkest places and back again, with him by her side. That she might have to hurt him to save herself.

Reviews



About the Author

Nick Lake

Nick Lake is 29 years old and a children's book editor at HarperCollins. He lives in London with his English teacher wife, Hannah.

Nick Lake Q&A:

Previous occupations:
Student, and then book editor. Which I still am.

Favourite job:
Being a book editor. No one told me at school that there was a job where you got paid for being a fan of writers and writing.

High school and/or college:

I went to High School in Luxembourg, and I went to Oxford University after that for a degree and then a fairly pointless masters. In phonetics, of all things.

Name of your favourite composer or music artist?
The Pixies.

Favourite movie:
I usually lie and go for something clever like Vertigo. But really it's True Romance.

How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
I would use the word "busy" eight times.

What is your motto or maxim?
To paraphrase the existentialists - life is what you make it. Which amounts to a practical kind of karma, I suppose.

How would you describe perfect happiness?
A fire, a good chair and a new Stephen King book. Or the moment the soundchecks finish and the band take to the stage. Or sunset on the mountains, with weary feet, and the lights of a pub ahead. Or the sound of a breakbeat. Or a very sweet tea, anywhere in the Middle East, at any time of day.

What’s your greatest fear?
Not being good.

Which living person do you most admire?
Haruki Murakami. Stephen King. Anyone who works for Medecins sans Frontieres or Amnesty International.

What are your most overused words or phrases?
"Apparently".

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
The abillity to play a musical instrument well. Also, the ability to speak all languages fluently.

What is your greatest achievement?
Meeting my wife.

If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
I wouldn't mind being Simon Cowell. I could make The X-Factor go away. Not to mention R&B flavoured pop music.

What trait is most noticeable about you?
I have no idea. My hair? It's usually quite big, because I keep forgetting to have it cut. I look like the freakish son of Tom Hanks and David Hasselhoff.

Who is your favourite fictional hero?
Sally Lockhart.

Who is your favourite fictional villain?
Steerpike. (Also hero.)

If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
I'd like to meet Shakespeare and I'd ask him how to write better.

What is your favourite occupation, when you’re not writing?
Reading? Actually probably sleeping, to be honest.

What’s your fantasy profession?
Bestselling and universally admired author.

What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
Compassion. Empathy. Humour.

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Chocolate, in any form.

What are your 5 favourite songs?
Hmmm. "Beat It"; "Here, There and Everywhere" by the Beatles; "U-Mass" by the Pixies; "Heartbeat" by Annie and "Etched Headplate" by Burial

On Books and Writing:

Who are your favourite authors?
Haruki Murakami. Stephen King. Neil Gaiman. Margaret Atwood. Joan Didion. Ismail Kadare. Philip Reeve. Philip Pullman. Meg Rosoff.

What are your 5 favourite books of all time?

Tough one. I guess... Middlemarch; Coraline; For Whom the Bell Tolls; the collected works of Shakespeare... and Little, Big, by John Crowley - the single most unfairly overlooked, beautiful, miraculous and magical book I know.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
I wouldn't presume to think of myself as someone anyone might look to for advice! But I suppose I'd tell them to read as much as possible, in as many genres as possible.

What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
"You're very... imaginative aren't you." I think they mean I'm strange.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th May 2016

Author

Nick Lake

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Author's Website

www.in-darkness.org/

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Publisher

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Format

Paperback
544 pages

Categories

NewGen - YA Fiction
Books of the Month
eBook Favourites

General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Romance & relationships stories (Children's / Teenage)
Thrillers (Children's / Teenage)

ISBN

9781408853863

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