Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

Title: Whisper
Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: April 27th 2010
Hardcover: 320 pages

Stand Alone or series: First book in a new series (not sure how many books there will be).

Summary: (from Goodreads)
I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…

Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a frightening whisper from Jessica's own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Ok wrong story, but similar premise. The women of Joy's family have a gift that allows them to hear other people's thoughts and desires. One of the ways Joy deals with hearing these "whispers" is by using her gift to help other people instead of manipulating them and trying to take over the world like the rest of us would surely do. Unfortunately, Joy's idea of helping other people usually involves doing whatever they want regardless of her own feelings. Joy's sister, Jessica, on the other hand is having none of it. Instead of embracing her gift, Jessica is slowly being driven crazy by the whispers she hears and it is up to Joy to save the day.

I actually picked this book up on a whim while wandering aimlessly around the YA section of the library. Usually I don't check out books I haven't heard about before (I like to research books before I read them...weird I know), but the cover and synopsis peaked my interest. Ryan spent the night at a friends house and since I've grown so accustomed to his attempt to sleep as close to me as humanly possible that I can no longer sleep without him, I decided this book would be perfect for a nice quick read.

And I guess that kind of sums up my feeling about the book. While I enjoyed Whisper overall, I found the story to be quick and lacking depth. Joy also comes off as incredibly annoying at first. Eager to please to the point of almost throwing the book across the room, this book is very much about Joy growing into herself and into a young adult. At the beginning of the book, Joy is almost infantile in everything she does. While Jessica is supposed to be awful and unhinged, I think people will actually relate more to her than Joy.

As Joy finally learns that being a "yes man" does not equal being a good friend, she starts to get less annoying. Jamie, the silent loner type who you just know will be important right away, also adds some much needed complexity to Joy's character. Even though it was completely expected, I loved Jamie right away. The story also becomes more interesting as we learn more about the relationships Joy has with her family. I hope future books will center more on Joy's changing relationships with her mother and sister as well as feature more of her interesting aunt Jane.

My biggest complaint about this story is its lack of depth. This book feels like a first book in a series and I hate that. (I just finished the The Darkest Powers trilogy and it suffered from the same problem I think.) Not all stories need to be dragged out into multiple books (just because you can, doesn't mean you should). While I did enjoy Whisper for the most part, the story could have used a little more of something (I'm not even sure what that something should have been, but I still think it needed it). Since this book centers so much on Joy's growth, many readers will spend a lot of the time annoyed at her instead of rooting for her. If the story had been pared down and then followed by a more substantial second half I don't think people would feel that way. I'd much rather read one long, but pared down, story then a story filled with filler so it can be stretched out. (Obviously I can't know this for sure until I read the next book, but with The Darkest Power trilogy I am adamant that it could have been made into one singular exceptional book rather then three okay ones.)

Notable Quotes/ Parts:

You can read the first four chapters here.


I would give this book a go if you liked The Summoning, Wake, Once Dead, Twice Shy, or Evernight. Unfortunately for me, these books are starting to become so similar that I'm finding it hard to even muster up the energy to be excited anymore.

Rating: 5. Blah – essentially neutral


  1. haha...I read your opinion of it yesterday when I was looking for reviews. I found it quite funny. :)