Louder Than Words
by Iris St. Clair
Publication date: September 16th 2014
by Swoon Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
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.
Let me start by saying this book has several triggers in it, so the subject matter may not be for everyone. I, however, enjoyed the story very much.
Ellen has quite a few chinks in her armor. Her father was killed by a drunk driver, which sent her mother over the edge, in search of the worst possible ways to numb her pain. Because of this horrific childhood, Ellen resides with her older brother. As if all that isn’t bad enough, a popular teacher whom Ellen confides in takes advantage of her. That was the straw that broke her. She chopped her hair off and built a wall up around herself. That new mindset was firmly in place when she returned for another tour as a junior counselor at summer camp. Until she met Rex Jacobi, a new kid on the block, and her partner for the summer. But it’s not all cookies and chocolate milk from there, my friends.
While some pieces of the puzzle were predictable, it was also quite remarkable as a whole. Ellen has such an incredible character arc, which made this book a big winner for me. She starts out broken, but grows and matures and learns as the story unfolds. She figures out what kind of person she wants to be, and that isn’t the type of person who hides from her problems. The pacing of the story was perfect, and the secondary characters were fleshed-out as well. This is a story that will tug at your heart-strings and possibly even instill bravery in the reader.
This is not just a romance novel. There are many facets woven into this tale, but it flows so well with each one being folded in gently. It’s a story of love, trust, betrayal, regression, valor, and overcoming even the most terrifying obstacles.
I highly recommend adding Louder Than Words to your TBR if you’re a fan of YA contemporary romance/drama.
About the Author
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.
Iris’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads
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