by Phillip Tomasso, III
Genre: YA Fiction, Drama
"Bacterial meningitis is usually severe. While most people with meningitis recover, it can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disabilities." Quote courtesy of www.cdc.govWhen twelve-year-old Marco becomes ill with bacterial meningitis, he awakes to the sound of nothing. Forced to come to terms with the loss of his hearing, Marco struggles with not only the turmoil of being a prepubescent boy but the realization he will need to relearn everything he knows.
On more than one occasion I felt tears threatening to fall from the corner of my eyes. The innocence and positive attitude displayed by Marco's little sister, Marie, was heartwarming. The perseverance of Marco and his family, along with his best friend, Patrick, as they cope with, and finally accept this extreme change was inspiring.
The simplest tasks, such as riding a bike, walking, throwing a baseball, becoming a challenge with the changes in equilibrium. It really makes you ponder what we take for granted, and how we would be affected if robbed of a vital sense.
"I dropped the fork onto my tray and leaned back in my chair. I wished I could have heard the fork clank when it hit, echoing in the almost-empty cafeteria."According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, there are five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. While a far stretch from death, Marco feels as if his world has ended. Tomasso has given us a story so rich with character development that readers can follow each different character as they go through these stages.
The attention to detail written into the pages of Sounds of Silence is marveling. All the way through the book, I kept thinking that Tomasso must have first hand experience with the content. He did a fantastic job conveying sign language into something that I could picture in my mind. So description was his writing, it was almost as if I felt the vibrations of the music along with Marco.
Inspiring...is the only word to describe this piece of fiction from Phillip Tomasso. Clearly outside my purview, I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing this new genre. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the pacing of the story. Personally, I like hard hitting non-stop action. Pretty hard to find that in a book like this. So that's more a matter of personal taste as opposed to an issue with the writing. Thanks to Phillip for sharing his softer side with readers. If you'd like to read about of his more gory fiction, check out my review of Vaccination: A Zombie Novel, and keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming review of his new addition to the Vaccination series, Evacuation.
The Bookie Monster's Rating:
Twelve-year-old Marco Lippa is the star pitcher for his Little League baseball team and does his best to lead his team to victory against their cross-town rivals, reveling in the cheering and applause. After one particular game, he becomes sick and is rushed to the hospital. Treated for meningococcal disease, Marco wakes up to discover that he is deaf—and all of his dreams seem to crumble.
Now Marco must come to terms with living in a silent world—and the grief, anger, and loss that seem to go with it. He is enrolled at the state boarding school for the deaf, leaving behind his comfortable home and his family and friends while he re-learns how to communicate and function without his hearing.
As if that wasn’t hard enough, he quickly discovers that being deaf does not exempt him from the “normal” anxieties he faced at home—bullies, girls, and fitting in. Will he ever find his way back to his dreams?
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About the Reviewer:
Shay Festa A.K.A. The Bookie Monster reviews horror and paranormal books, with an emphasis (but not limited to) zombie fiction. With a background in Psych Nursing, Shay brings her unique perspective to the online reading community. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook. And keep an eye out for the future release of her debut novel, Time of death.