I want to thank Madison Parker for bringing Silent to my attention. Wow-- what a great read. Honestly, I almost stopped after the first chapter. Alex's life with his mother and her abusive boyfriend was so bleak, and I'm really not a fan of reading books that are angsty and depressing.
Fortunately, because I respect people who love this book, I kept reading. It's not long before Alex finds himself picked up by social services and in foster care, and even if Alex's attitude does't immediately turn around, the book definitely gets more hopeful and interesting at that point.
Yeah, there's a lot of bleak reality in this book--not just with Alex's poverty and terrible home life but with his sister and her little girl, the rest of the kids at the shelter, Seb's backstory, and even the plot. There is one disaster after another for these poor kids. But balancing all that, the love story between Alex and Seb is shiningly wonderful and special. It pulled me through the book at a fast clip, and the dark makes the light that much sweeter. I also really enjoyed the slow turn of Alex's character, and that he choose to seek help in the end.
I would classify this as hurt/comfort because Alex is able to save the mute and withdrawn Seb when no one else can. And I do love a well-done hurt/comfort read.
There was a sort of HEA. We know Alex and Seb won't be separated and that they have a better chance at life at the end. I would have liked to have seen that pushed further, maybe graduating from high school or something, but that is an indication of how much I was attached to the characters. I really wanted to see them have a positive future.
5 stars is a no-brainer. Sara Alva is definitely now on my must buy list!