Welcome to my stop on the Louder Than Words Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours! Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule.
Title: Louder Than Words
Author: Iris St. Clair
Publication date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: Review copy
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.
Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.
Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can't let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm's length.
But by the time Rex's charm wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the "just friends" shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.
With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it's the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.
There are many reasons why I love Louder Than Words, which by the way is the perfect title for this book. Ellen, the main character, is my favorite kind of heroine with humor and wit and courage. She's insecure with herself as she's very young, but she handles herself well. With what she's been through with losing her dad and basically her mom, too, personally I'd want to curl up in a ball forever. But Ellen keeps going on.
Rex was definitely charming, and in a genuine way. I enjoyed Ellen and Rex's witty banter the most. Every time their dialogue made me smile or even laugh out loud, I couldn't help but think of how much I was loving this book and these characters. They spilled their darkest secrets to one another within a day of meeting and were able to connect through the family problems they were facing.
Ellen and Rex also frustrated me on many levels. If only Ellen could have seen in the beginning that Rex had an interest in her and might not be a bad guy after all! But I can understand why she reacted in the ways she did due to her issues with trust, especially after her teacher crossed the line and violated her trust. Some of Rex's actions had me scratching my head and cringing - I so badly wanted to tell him that's NOT how you win over a girl!
I wasn't sure how Louder Than Words was going to end, which was a happy surprise. I thought it might end predictably, but for me it didn't. I could read this book again and again for the witty dialogue and for Ellen and Rex's interactions. I loved reading about them and want to do it all over again!
Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that's another bio).
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.
Iris believes in the two-year "fish or cut bait" dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.
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