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Seeing Voices

(12 customer reviews)


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By Olivia Smit

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Skylar Brady has a plan for her life—until a car accident changes everything.

Skylar knows exactly what she wants, and getting in a car accident the summer before twelfth grade isn’t supposed to be part of the plan. Although she escapes mostly unharmed, the accident has stolen more than just her hearing from her: she’s also lost the close bond she used to have with her brother.

When her parents decide to take a house-sitting job halfway across the province, it’s just one more thing that isn’t going according to plan. As the summer progresses, Skylar begins to gain confidence in herself, but as she tries to mend her relationship with her brother, she stumbles upon another hidden trauma. Suddenly, she’s keeping as many secrets as she’s struggling to uncover and creating more problems than she could ever hope to solve.

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12 reviews for Seeing Voices

  1. Angeline

    Ever since I heard about this book, I have been wanting to read it. And I can happily say that it was just as good as I thought it was going to be. It may even be better :). Seeing Voices is Oilvia Smit’s first book and it does not disappoint, she did a wonderful job with this book and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
    Seeing Voices gripped my heart, it was a book about a girl learning how to deal with the difficulty that has come up in her life and how to fight for her family. Skylar never thought that her life would end up like this, ending up in an accident before senior year. The accident took not only her hearing, but also her relationship with her brother. Now she has to learn how to gain back her confidence and hopefully fix her relationship with her brother.
    I thought that Skylar was such a cool character, she was so complex and yet I felt like I could relate to her. She had gone through a horrible accident and she was now trying to figure out how to live the consequences. I really felt for her as she learned how to deal with being deaf and what it would mean for her in the future.
    It was so cool to see her grow, to see her learn how to live again. But she had to learn that things will not be easy and unfortunately this accident affected her whole family. This family had to learn how to pull together after a tragic event. And how to stand by each other.
    I loved the side characters. I really enjoyed reading about Skylar’s family and seeing her interact with Cam and Ana. Cam and Ana were such sweet friends, they helped Skylar grow. Characters definitely make a book, and Olivia has written great characters.
    This book was amazing, Seeing Voices is one of a kind. It was such a refreshing change from many of the books that are often written for teens, that tend to be depressing. Seeing Voices had real life problems, but it had a happy and encouraging ending. I totally recommend it! I can’t wait to read more of Olivia’s writing.

    I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  2. Hanne T

    this book was sunshine and an open window and a nice breeze
    this book was the screams and laughter of children playing in the park
    this book was wood smoke and hazy twilight
    this book was birds singing in the trees
    this book was summer and light
    this book was love and hope and family

    I read this book all in one afternoon: I started it and just kept going. This is the story of Skylar and Mike, but more than that, it’s the family of their family, and of growth, and of learning to live with grief and loss and pain and guilt. I LOVED the fact that this was set in a small town! Small towns are my favorite to read about: they are so fun! Skylar was the sweetest character: I loved her voices and I loved seeing her thoughts as she learned to cope with the world. Her family was so SWEET too: I love books with loud bouncy happy families and involved parents, and this has both.

    The other characters in this book were also amazing, especially Cam. CAM!!! He was sweet and thoughtful and genuine and wise. I loved how although he was a Christian, he just…was that. A Christian. He didn’t try to push it or be weird about it, and that was just so nice!!

    Another thing I really liked about this story was the fact that it has no!! romance!! (In case you missed it, Skylar and Mike are sister and brother). Contemporary summer reads always ends up in the romance department at some point and the fact that this book doesn’t was SO refreshing to read!

    Seeing Voices dealt with some really hard topics–trauma, PTSD, depression, substance abuse–but were all done so in a way that didn’t lighten the subject but wasn’t unbearably heavy: the light summer read stayed present throughout. With that being said though, this book does talk about alcohol, marijuana, and also mentions of language, but none of it was explicitly mentioned, and I didn’t mind it. I know some people do, so I will add it in, but it was really tactfully done.

    As a side/lighter note, this book is SO CANADIAN. There were some small things, like the Canadian spelling of words, or the fact that someone lived ‘across the province,’ but then there were things like Tim Hortons and MILK IN BAGS?! I always forget that happens and it’s funny to me EVERY TIME. (Since reading this book, I have learned: milk in Ontario comes in bags of a gallon, that have three smaller bags in it. To get the milk out, you put it in a pitcher/jug and then snip the corner. It’s WILD.)

    TL;DR, this book was so sweet and I loved it. It made me happy and was just a comforting book, you know? It has such a hopeful message, which is so nice, and so needed right now. Go grab yourself a copy.

  3. Rachel D (verified owner)

    This book has been exactly what I needed during this interesting time in life. The storyline is nothing like anything I have read before making it one of the best books I have ever read. The development of the story and characters goes far beyond the protagonist’s disability to an awareness and acceptance both in Skylar’s life and in society. I am looking forward to the world to read Olivia Smit’s novel. I cannot wait to see what’s next for this upcoming author. Loved this!!

  4. Hailey

    Seeing Voices was enthralling from the first page. I read it in less than a day as I was so immersed in the world of Skylar and Golden Coast that it was difficult to pull myself back into reality. This book is a complex story involving an accident, a mysterious aunt, and a new job but it is so much more than that! The story of loss, love, and strength is rounded out by characters with stories and secrets themselves. I cannot wait to see what the author writes next, if it’s anything like Seeing Voices it will be on the top of my TBR pile!

  5. Kyleigh Wells

    Love, family, and forgiveness, those are the cornerstones of this story.

    This is the perfect book about a summer getaway. You get all of the relaxed, beachy feelings of a summer read, but there is also a gravity to the topics covered that make it realistic. Every character, no matter how big or small, has such a perfectly palpable personality you feel like they are a part of your family.

    At first, I was a little disappointed by the romance aspect of Seeing Voices, but then I realized why it frustrated me so much- I have been countless situations just like it. Honestly, maybe the whimsical hopefulness of the relationship here is what resonated with me most.

    Either way, Seeing Voices is exactly what you need to read this summer.

    ARC provided by the author- Thanks Olivia!!!

  6. Katie

    Seeing Voices is a beautiful book about family, friendship, tragedy and hearing loss. It’s the perfect feel-good story that doesn’t gloss over the hard parts of life but reminds you that there is always hope for healing in broken relationships. Seeing Voices opens your eyes to the challenges of living with a hearing impairment in a unique way that makes you more empathetic towards people with hearing loss. You will absolutely be glad you picked it up!

  7. Hannah

    I read an early edition of Seeing Voices and it was honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read. I totally got lost in the story… the characters are so relatable and the small town setting is so comforting; you feel right at home. I was so sad to finish it so fast, but I didn’t want to put it down! So excited to read more from Olivia!!

  8. Stephanie

    Olivia is the sweetest girl and has written one sweet story! The characters, the theme of family, and the way the story was told was both beautiful and refreshing. Don’t miss this book!

  9. Taylor Bennett

    Seeing Voices takes readers on an emotional roller coaster from page one all the way until the end. The characters are real, relatable, and completely lovable. It was hard for me to pick a favorite because…aaah! I adored them all! The setting made me want to pack my bags and go visit, and, by the time I reached the final page, I realized I wasn’t ready for the story to end. Olivia Smit has better start writing a sequel or she’s going to have an uprising of angry readers on her hands!!

    All in all, Seeing Voices is a stellar debut by an author to watch!

  10. Christina

    Seeing Voices was a beautiful story of family, faith, loss, and love. I instantly fell in love with Skylar and fell into her story alongside her. Olivia’s debut novel was one I was looking forward to for months and I am pleased to say that it just as wonderful as I thought it would be!

  11. litteraegaudium

    Every now and then a book comes along that just surprises you in such a delightful and unexpected way that you read it almost straight through in one sitting. I try not to look at the synopses of books that I intend to read so that I don’t enter into the story with any preconceived notions, good or bad, and so that I don’t end up piecing together the plot threads too quickly. Approaching this particular book, the first thing that came to mind was synesthesia because of the title. As it turns out, that is not what it references, but it is still apropos and very insightful; someone who loses or is lacking one sense instinctively adjusts as well as possible by strengthening their other senses. I find this intriguing, so I was engaged with the story from page one, and I can happily say that it only gets better!

    “Seeing Voices” may be written primarily for a young adult audience, but I guarantee that anyone older than that will enjoy it immensely also. Olivia Smit writes a stunning debut novel that deals with challenging real-life issues without being too heavy, taking on strained relationships, the effects of trauma, and the ebb and flow of grief. This is all set against a quiet yet powerful backdrop of faith, as exemplified by one of the major secondary characters, Cam. Because the tough situations are not tidily swept up with easy answers and happily-ever-after moments, the story, and thereby Cam’s faith in God, is all the more realistic and relatable. I love that Cam is so sincere and compassionate, yet does not merely spout Bible verses or platitudes but instead truly lives out his faith. My favorite monologue in the book is Cam’s heartfelt response to Skylar’s pain: “I don’t know why the accident happened to you, Skylar. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. All I can say is that I know God isn’t punishing you, and He isn’t safe, not like a helmet or seat belt. His love for you isn’t easy or comfortable, but it is strong. His love for you is so strong.”

    Part of what makes this novel so eloquently compelling is its basis in relationships. Skylar Brady’s post-accident life is scarred by the changes in her relationship with her older brother, Mike, as well as with her closest friends. During the transformative summer in which the story takes place, she forms new bonds with new friends while also trying to mend those from her prior life. Even how she interacts with her parents has fundamentally changed, and I obtained a newfound respect for those living with hearing loss. I realized that it’s not as easy as using hearing aids, which amplify all sound, including wind and background noise, and which may still require the person to lip-read, as with Skylar. She comments that it’s “Like there’s a haunting magic in the noise of it all, and when you take that away, get rid of the Pied Piper, there’s not a whole lot of reason to run along with the others.” Her spiritual awakening unfolds slowly, and along the way more trials occur. Skylar’s story, told in her own voice in the first-person, becomes all the more captivating because it meets readers where they are, especially those who are unsure about God. Circumstances in our lives may change, but God never does.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

  12. Ally

    It’s a lovely book about a relationship between two siblings. It’s the kind of book where you don’t get sick of reading it! I loved it and it was a great read. I really liked Skylar because even when times were tough, she persevered right through them. I highly recommend this book!

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