Title: Tone Deaf
Author: Olivia Rivers
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
“His world is music. Her world is silent.
Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.
When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.”
“Serva me, servabo te”
I enjoyed the story, but I didn’t love it.
The thing about this book that first drew me to it was the fact that the main protagonist is deaf. I’m always looking for great young adults novels that represent someone living with a disability. (e.g. Blind by Rachel DeWoskin, which is a book I really love.) It’s nice to see that representation in young adult literature. I saw that in connection with music and instantly thought Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. Of course, this wasn’t going to be anything like that as it is a young adult novel, but I’m always looking for something similar. This book also deals with a heavy subject; child abuse. Honestly, the author did a great job with both subjects. She depicted the effects of abuse and what it is like to live without your hearing really well. However, some of the other things in the story fell flat for me or felt unrealistic which kept me from completely loving it.
We have two main characters. Ali and Jace.
Ali was a child music prodigy until she lost her hearing, she also lost her mom. This ultimately leads to her living with her abusive ex-police chief father. Jace is the lead singer of a popular band who is seemingly a complete jerk but also has his own baggage. They meet by chance because of Ali’s friend’s obsession with his band, and then a lot happens.
I really liked Ali. She’s been through hell, yet she retains this toughness and spark that I admired her for. She is also such a caring and supportive person. I spent the whole book rooting for her and hoping that she would get the happy ending she deserved.
Jace, I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t love him. The way he was officially introduced felt really distasteful to me. I didn’t like it. You learn over time exactly why he acted the way he did, but I felt there was no excuse. However, he turns out to not be such a bad guy after all. He has his problems that are fueled by a lot of baggage, but he also has a caring heart under all of his arrogance and jerkiness.
The secondary characters; Arrow, Killer, Jon, and Avery.
I loved the secondary characters. Arrow brought a dose of reality and tough love to the story, Killer a lightness full of teasing quirkiness and support, Jon a kind of quiet shyness, and Avery was the supportive, loving friend Ali needed. All of the characters inherently rooted for, loved and supported each other. The friendships were on point and it’s one of the things I loved most about this book.
The romance. It crossed the border into insta-love land. I found some aspects of the romance to be unrealistic and cliche which caused an eye roll or two. However, I also found it cute and fluffy at times. I didn’t not enjoy the romance between Ali and Jace. In fact, I was steadfastly rooting for them. I loved the support they gave each other and how they found the strength to confide in each other.
As far as secondary character romances go I adored Arrow and Killer. They were just so cute. Arrow was such a serious character and Killer such a quirky excitable character. The difference in them made them balance each other out so well.
Overall this book wasn’t too heavy even though it does deal with a heavy topic. It had this certain lightness to it that made it a quick, easy, and enjoyable read. I did, however, feel like it became too unrealistic at times. The ending felt majorly rushed and I was not completely satisfied with it. There were a few parts of the storyline that I felt were left without a resolution. In a standalone I need a feeling of resolution at the end.
That aside, the authors writing was fantastic and the characters were memorable. I also really loved how music was such a big part of this book and how it connected the characters.
If you’re looking for a quick contemporary read I would definitely recommend this.
Surprise review! I actually started this book this morning and finished it in a few hours. Definitely wasn’t a part of my TBR this month, but I needed a quick read after all of the series I’ve been reading lately haha.