It Started with a Whisper
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: June 1st 2016
Five simple words: That's all it takes to change the course of 18-year-old Josie Graham's life in the summer of 1989.
Josie is a musical prodigy: She can sing, play guitar and is a natural on the piano. Instead of spending her last summer before college traveling the country with her rock star father, she's made a last minute decision to spend it working at her Aunt Bernie's inn, in Ambler's Fork, North Carolina. But what could have turned her life-long passion for music into a hatred for an industry she's worked so hard to get into?
Her aunt's inn seems like the perfect place to escape, to clear her head and figure things out, but on her first day there, she almost drowns before Chic Hobbs saves her.
Chic wants nothing more in life than to leave Ambler's Fork and his sordid past behind—at least not until that day Josie Graham swims into his life. The problem is, Chic's got a secret. It's a secret he's keeping from Josie, and he's worried if it gets out, it'll ruin everything, and she'll judge him for his past mistakes the way everyone else in town has.
Josie is carrying a burden of her own. One that made her run to Ambler's Fork - away from her family and everything she's ever known.
Chic saved Josie once. Can he save her again? Or will Josie rescue him this time?
Read an excerpt:
I wake up, lying flat on my back. His lips are on mine. His warm breath fills me. When I open my eyes, he pulls away from me, then turns me on my side. A deluge of water rushes out of me. I cough and cough, gasping for air.
He pats me on my back. “Take a deep breath,” he says.
I do as he says, slowly inhaling, feeling like a stack of bricks has crushed my chest.
I squint up at him. His face is blurred, but I recognize his voice and the concern in his dark brown eyes. “You're going to be okay,” he says, soothingly.
He brushes a strand of hair away from my cheeks, leans close to my face and whispers into my ear. And I know I'll commit these five words to memory for the rest of my life.
First I have to say that I love that this book takes place in the 1980s. A dose of nostalgia is always a good thing, though this story would work in any recent decade.
Josie is running away from her problems, unable to handle an overwhelming disappointment with her famous father. In doing so, she is also sacrificing a huge part of herself. She is a strong young woman who holds tight to her convictions and demands that those around her be true to themselves. The ironic part is, she actually struggles with being true to herself. She is so wrapped up in her anger that she temporarily seems to forget what else is very important to her. Enter a fabulous aunt named Bernie, an idyllic getaway setting, and an attractive young man who manages to save her life.
Said young man is Chicory, who goes by Chic. He literally saves Josie's life when she is drowning up on her arrival. He feels a pull to this stranger to town, not realizing how much the two of them actually have in common. In addition to an intrinsic need to be with music, and undeniable talent, he also struggles with his past and a need for people to be true to themselves. His checkered past has caused people to react negatively toward him and he desperately seeks a do-over of sorts in life. He is actually a good person, but many there don't want to remember that good person.
As the two of them grow closer to each other, they find solace in their bond and in confronting their mutually similar problems. The world around them also seems to shrink as they become more intertwined in each other's lives. They end up unexpectedly saving each other in many ways.
Being 18 is difficult enough, without adding in checkered pasts, daddy issues, and a society that is constantly pointing a finger at you. These two kids are desperate to make some sense out of this world as they enter adulthood and are very fortunate that they have found each other. They are also fortunate to find within their community the unwavering support of people like Josie's Aunt Bernie, who fills the slot as the wise woman from whom we can all learn, even those of us who are well past our young adult years. This story is a good reminder to hold true to yourself and to hold those around you to higher standards. Don't stand for being walked on and fight for what is right in life.
This young adult romance is one that flows pretty easily and is an enjoyable way to pass a couple of warm summer nights. You can feel the heat in the air, as well as the pulse of the music that draws them together. It may also spark some reflection into your own life's desires and goals. I'll be interested in checking out some of McCrimmon's other books.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author
Shannon McCrimmon was born and raised in Central Florida. She attended Rollins College and earned a Master's Degree in Counseling. In 2008, she moved to the upstate of South Carolina. It was the move that inspired her to write her first novel. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and toy poodle. She'd love to hear from you! Connect with her at shannonmccrimmon.com
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