Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review ~ WHISPER, by Heather Hildenbrand

The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms. Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side. Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…

Over the past year I've read several Heather Hildenbrand's books. I believe WHISPER makes book number four. And each time I begin a new book, I'm consistently struck by her talent. Hildenbrand's writing is simply pure, a true pleasure to read.

WHISPER is the story of a young woman, Whisper, struggling through the depression that follows her parents' tragic deaths. Withdrawn from the friends, activities that once occupied her life, Whisper honestly just wants to be left alone, away from pity. When she happens upon a young man in the woods, injured, with no memory or family, Whisper's life is set on a new path of love, loss, and destiny.

What I found interesting about WHISPER was the use of the Native American, specifically Cherokee, culture and beliefs. I must admit, I've read very few books with Native American characters. My knowledge about the culture is very limited. (Although I think every kid I ever went to school with claimed their grandmother was half-"Indian". Always Cherokee.) So with that limited knowledge in hand, I was fascinated by the legends employed in the story.

The use of the Native American legends made me consider an entirely different train of thought. Which is, while I would technically classify WHISPER as a paranormal story (based on events throughout the last half of the book), if you believe in the Native American culture, that's not necessarily the case. The events would be considered entirely possible. Granted, this whole line of thinking has gotten a bit off point, but I'm hoping someone will think that is as cool as I did.

I did find the pace at the beginning of the story to be a bit slow. A lot of that can be contributed to the effort of laying out the background to Whisper's story; her parents' deaths, the depression that followed. Once Whisper and the boy she rescues begins to piece together the whole story, that's when the story really began to gel and move for me. I loved the revelations, the struggles, and the conclusion. And I am always happy to find a nice stand-alone story.

I found WHISPER to be a really good, beautifully written story. Heather Hildenbrand never disappoints me.
Favorite Quote:
"If there was ever a moment so sweet, so brimming with life that I knew I'd never forget it, this was it. Our breath hung on the air. There was a collective pause that seemed to include, not only the house itself, but the entire universe. As if every existing thing hung in the balance under the weight of our joined gaze." (ebook, 46%)
Published April 19th 2012 by Accendo Press         
You can purchase WHISPER at:
Source: Received from author for review.


  1. This sounds like a great book. I love that it is different and has Native American elements in it. Fantastic review!!

  2. LOL at every kid in school claiming to be "half-Indian." I had the same thing! One if my BFFs actually *is* part Cherokee and she's the only person I've ever met who could actually back up that claim. She just rolls her eyes when people talk about their great-great-great-great grandfathers were Cherokee. Ha ha.

    I've never read anything by Heather Hildenbrand. Guess I need to rectify that situation.

  3. I love books that explore less-known myths/legends/beliefs. This book sounds good! Thanks for sharing your reivew!


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