Whisper If You Need Me by Dina Silver, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 12, 2015), ISBN: 9781517189082. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
Julia Pearl has major trust issues. She’s never gotten over the awful night when her fashion model mother came home disheveled and she witnessed the shouting match resulting in her father telling her mom to leave and never return. That was five years ago and she still has no satisfactory explanation. In addition, her mother messed with her head with a constant litany of warnings about what disasters might befall Julia on a daily basis.
Her father remarried a woman who had two children younger than Julia. While she likes them, she feels distanced from them and is unable or unwilling to trust her stepmother’s attempts to connect. It didn’t help her feelings of disconnection when she had a breakdown following Mom’s exile. Julia refused to go to school, certain some dire accident would befall her on the school bus. She’s been home schooled ever since, further fueling her isolation.
This summer, however, Dad and Stepmom put their foot down and she’s going to a summer camp for several weeks. No cell phone, no calling home, nobody to run in and bail her out. She falls asleep on the bus and has to be woken by Jack, nephew of the somewhat incompetent and mean (to Jack), owner of the camp. Julia might not sense them, but sparks fly between the two immediately. Since Jack is 19 and a counselor, any fraternization between them is forbidden.
You know right from the minute Jack sees her that they’re destined to be a couple. Getting there, however involves restraint on his part, Julia deciding to explode her comfort zone and make a new friend in zany free-spirited Emma, while accepting the challenge to sleep alone in the woods as part of a special wilderness program.
Watching her grow and learn to trust people, surviving a nasty prank by a jealous rival and finally learning what happened to her mother, make this a stellar blend of romance and coming of age. It’s definitely a worthwhile addition for school and public libraries.