As a child, she was on the edge of becoming a star in the classical music world. With her mother’s support, she was going to have everything she ever wanted. But the tumor took her hearing and a tragic accident took her mother, leaving her with her father- an alcoholic and abusive man who hides behind his badge. Now, all she wants is to survive to the age of 18 so she can break free from her father, go to a school that will understand and embrace her deafness, and leave the pain of the past behind her.
Who knew that her best friend’s obsession with a silly “boy band” could end up being a ticket to freedom and help her find her music that she thought was lost?
Olivia Rivers novel Tone Deaf could have slipped into a silly YA romance, if not for her attention to detail and her well-developed characters.
A teenaged girl running off with a famous band to escape an “evil” parent is an easy fantasy, but by authentically representing Deafness, the Deaf Community, along with the devastating effects of abuse that linger and shape a person, the reader is drawn into Ali’s world and the instant connection between her and “bad boy” Jace, reads honestly. Trigger Warning for readers: One of the driving forces behind the main characters development is surviving child abuse and the narrative, while not overly graphic, is realistic to the experience of the abused. For some, this may cause problems.
Music and the band Tone Deaf are obviously prominent pieces of the the story’s journey, and Rivers handles Ali’s transition within in the music world as a hearing person to a deaf person deftly. Further, she writes about the members of the band with such a sense of wit, fleshing them out to be more than just scenery. You actually want to hear them perform.
YA Readers will find themselves rooting for Ali, and wishing that they too, could hang out with the band.
Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers is published by Sky Pony Press and was released May 3rd 2016. To order from Amazon, click the link in the title.