The Voice Inside My Head, by S.J. Laidlaw | Book Review
By S.J. Laidlaw
Age Range: 14 and up
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Tundra Books, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd (March 18, 2014)
What to expect: Mystery, Disappearance, Siblings, Friendship
Seventeen-year-old Luke has always relied on listening to Pat, his elder sister, to help him tackle difficult decisions in life, but when Pat goes missing from a tiny island off the coast of Honduras, Luke doesn’t expect to still have to listen to her words. Yet he has no choice, because he’s started to hear his sister’s voice in his head.
Pat’s voice leads Luke to Utila, where she had accepted a summer internship to study whale sharks. While the authorities are convinced that Pat drowned, Pat’s voice convinces Luke that they’ve not gotten the story right, and to add to the mystery, the islanders’ all paint a very different picture of Luke’s sister. Yet Pat’s voice is unwavering, and Luke is determined to get to the bottom of his sister’s mysterious disappearance, whatever the cost.
With so much choice available on the Young Adult market, it’s refreshing to come across an engaging, authentic, and compelling first-person protagonist—and a male one at that. Without need for fantasy or science fiction, S.J. Laidlaw lays out a crisp, enticing, and realistic fictional piece of work with a grippingly vivid, unexpected ending. The beauty of the story here is one of the unfaltering friendship that can be found in siblings, and while the landscape of Honduras takes a backseat, with just enough detail to walk us through a troubling mystery laced with an uplifting dose of humor, it’s the believable dialogue and dialect that shines in The Voice Inside My Head. This is quite simply a page-turner, and one that will leave voices inside your head for days after.
Whether you have siblings or you’re an only child, teenage or adult, The Voice Inside My Head is a compulsive read. Add it to your summer reading list, Central American island optional.
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About the Author
Born in Philadelphia, S.J. LAIDLAW spent most of her childhood in Toronto. From an early age, she loved reading and writing stories. After completing an undergraduate degree in English, she ventured to Africa as a volunteer teacher. There she discovered that her students needed as much support and guidance outside the classroom as in it, so after three years, she returned to Canada to complete a graduate degree in clinical social work. Since then, she has worked as a counselor in many countries and has led workshops for parents and educators on raising and working with third-culture children. Her first book, An Infidel in Paradise, was published to much critical acclaim.
For more information, visit: sjlaidlaw.com
The Voice Inside My Head, by S.J. Laidlaw, was reviewed by Charlie Kennedy. Follow along with our Young Adult Books and Siblings tags to discover more great books.
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