Book Review: The Sound by Sarah Alderson

The Sound - Sarah Alderson

A copy of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster Australia in exchange for an honest review.


The Sound was my first foray into the world of YA contemporary thriller/mystery. Unfortunately, I was expecting a little more mystery and thriller, and a little less boy drama.


Whilst I am all for the inclusion of sex in YA (I mean, come on, young adults do think and partake in the stuff), I felt Ren was on the other side of the no-sex spectrum. Sex was pretty much all she thought about. She was constantly talking about quivering parts and imagining herself and a boy naked ... it was pretty intense, and sometimes it felt a little inappropriate, especially for younger YA readers.


I felt like Ren had a lot of potential as a character. She was sassy and cute, smart and naive all at the same time. It was quite refreshing. Now I said 'potential', because she didn't live up to it. I've heard of people mentioning a term called 'slut shaming' in books, and had never really understood what they meant until I read The Sound. There was slut shaming galore. And I found myself feeling really uncomfortable reading it. Just because a girl wears a short skirt means that she is worthy of Ren's hatred and disgust? I found the whole thing a little hypocritical, especially considering Ren's mind was on a one track whenever a guy came into view. I just really disliked that aspect of the book, and wish it had been cut out. If Ren was jealous, then that could have been written entirely differently. One can be jealous without the slut shaming that was so prevalent in The Sound.


The love triangle was bordering on painful. Ren clearly had feelings for Jesse even though she was fooling around with Jeremy. I don't need to mention the hypocritical slut shaming again, do I? Jeremy was obviously just a player, and I almost couldn't believe how blind Ren was to that.


Mystery! Thrills! Not so much in The Sound. I wanted to read this book because it sounded like there would be a bounty of murders, and creepy happenings. Murders and creepy happenings probably took up about 5% of this book, which was truly disappointing. Barely anything creepy happens, and there was only one thriller moment in the entire book. So, a bit of a let down for my first contemporary YA thriller/mystery.


There were a few aspects that I did enjoy, however. Like our resident bad boy but really good boy: Jesse. I guessed his motives from the get-go, however, so he was not at all mysterious to me. I did like how sexy he was, and how much an effect he had on Ren. That is realistic. Girls (ahem, me) can be completely disarmed by one glance on behalf of an extremely good looking boy.


The little girl, Brodie, that Ren is nannying for is absolutely adorable. I can only imagine what kind of teenager she would grow up to be. Fabulous, if my guess is anything to go by.


The one thing I didn't guess was the killer. I suspected a whole lot of people, and was actually pretty surprised when they were revealed at the end. Again, I wish there had been more creepy killer stuff and less boy/sex drama.


Overall, The Sound was an addictive summer read (even though I read it in the heart of Winter *waves from Australia*), and I will most likely be checking out Alderson's other titles.


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