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Louder Than Words

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  299 ratings  ·  75 reviews
The debut novel of an American original, Laurie Plissner is both medical thriller and lyric love story in the tradition of magical realism

Since the snowy night when her family's car slammed into a tree, killing her parents and little sister, Sasha has been unable to speak except through a computer with a robotic voice. Nothing is wrong with her body; that's healed. But, af
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 18th 2012 by Merit Press (first published November 18th 2012)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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jv poore
Oct 25, 2012 rated it liked it
What a cool, and very sneaky book! It begins with our main character, Sasha, reliving a terrible accident that ripped her from a normal life; leaving her a shell of a person, with no parents or siblings, no childhood memories, and no voice. As if the perils of adolescent aren’t challenging enough, Sasha uses a “speak box” to communicate.

Before too much sympathy can be evoked, we learn that Sasha chooses to use the robot-voice on her voice box, rather than trying out the human-esque voice choice
Kath McStay
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner is a fun and fast paced read. To call Sasha, the main character in this story a sassy young girl would seem somewhat unusual, considering that she is unable to speak. We begin the story when she turns thirteen, and wakes in a hospital with her Aunt Charlotte at her side. Sasha has no idea where she is or why, because as hard as she tries, she can't remember why she is in the hospital. Her main concern in those first moments are for her family. She senses some ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, vine
I was drawn to this book due to the fact it features a disabled heroine: a young girl with hysterical (selective) muteness. Due to a car crash in which she lost her parents and sister, PTSD has rendered her speechless.

Wanting to keep people at bay, she uses a robotic voice, drawing lots of backlash and Stephen Hawkings jokes--even from teachers. She's an outcast, a misfit. I understood and sympathized with her.

And she has an incredibly LOL sarcastic humor and wit. I loved it and was all set to g
C.G. Worrell
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I devoured this book in two days on my Kindle.

Seventeen-year-old Sasha is still mute four years after the tragic death of her family in an auto accident. She has one friend and can only communicate via a voice synthesizer. As you can imagine, high school is a living hell for this girl. When she's saved from gang rape by a mysterious boy named Ben, Sasha is surprised to learn that he can actually read her mind...and what a witty sarcastic mind it is! I enjoyed going along for the ride as Sasha d
A. Bookzilla.
The premise of this book sounded promising. I was really excited to read it. But I have to say that in the end I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would - or maybe I should say that I liked parts of it, and other parts of it - not so much.

The heroine is not very likable. From the beginning she just seems like this self-centered spoiled little girl, and while I tried to be understanding of her situation, she lost her family and her memories and it's a tragedy, the author laid the story o
Wendy Hines
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
First, I found the premise to be totally unique and I loved reading everything from Sasha's perspective. She does have spunk, which comes through in her own mind, and occasionally though her voice box. The voice box basically works like this: she has a keyboard that she types what she wants to say and then a microphone thing speaks it. The only thing is, her's is set to the voice of a male renowned scientist. It's a bit off-putting.

Anyways, she doesn't remember anything of her life before the ac
Kristy Sartain- Whispering Pretty Stories Reviews

Wow! I haven't cried so much while reading a book since Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks.

Sasha is the only survivor of a car crash that killed her parents and older sister. It happened when she was 13. She is now 17, lives with her aunt (her mother's sister) and uncle, and hasn't been able to speak since the wreck. She uses an electronic talking device where she types in what she wants to say and it speaks for her. Sasha has successfully alienated al
Viviane Crystal
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sasha’s world came to a screeching halt on the night when a devastating accident killed her parents and younger sister. Sasha can’t remember a thing that happened that night. All she knows is that she’s been unable to speak since that awful night!
A famous psychiatrist who has practiced around the world seems unable to make any progress with Sasha. But now her attention is distracted by a young fellow student she meets. Ben has the uncanny ability to read the minds of people he is close to in phy
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really wanted to lose myself in a YA fiction after staying away from it for a long time but was really not in a mood of getting into some dystopian theme, that, unfortunately is what YA mostly consists of these days. After a bit of research I picked Louder than Words - something about the main characters trauma spoke to me. I am so glad I did, because this book is a page turner but with all the teen angst/lethal attractions that you expect out of a YA. There are a few “why is she so freaking s ...more
missy Weeks
Promising but not quite

This book started out so great, but got so weird at the end. It was almost like the author spent a great deal of time developing the beginning of the story and then ran out of time or has at the end and rushed through it. I’m bummed that I paid for this book. Ah well..
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I loved this book! It was a relatively short read, which I completed in a morning. I think most teens could relate to the dynamic between Sasha and Ben. This book was a true page-turner.
Lavender Darcangelo
Although Ben was just a character in the book, I almost started to fall in love with him too. Her boyfriend was very grown-up for his age and he understood her on a higher level than most. If it wasn't for him saving her all the time, where would Sasha be?
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a book quite like this one.
This will be going on my bookshelf:)
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well articulated in teen-style writing; underdeveloped themes and overlying message.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice story. I really liked Jules the best.
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
Review also appears on my blog At the End of the Story

So the book starts with our protagonist reliving(sort of), in her sleep, the accident that decimated her entire family and lost her the use of her voice. I had no particular reason to, but I felt like this book was going to be a mish-mash of If I Stay, Where She Went and Forgotten. And it was, to a certain extent.

Now, Sasha employs an electronic "voice-box" to do the talking for her. For this, she becomes the victim of much ridicule at her sc
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-arc
Okay so I think the summary above does little to make sense of this novel. First it's Sasha's older sister that is killed in the car crash. Sasha goes to live with her mom's sister and her husband who had decided not to have children because of their law careers. But lucky for Sasha, they are kind and loving people who, if they don't get it right it's not for lack of trying, it's more for lack of knowing how. Charlotte, her aunt, tends to be neurotic and a bit dramatic but Stuart, Charlotte's hu ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I didn't really know what to expect going into Louder Than Words. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll probably know I'm a HUGE fan of contemporary books (YA, Adult, New Adult). However, this one seemed a little different from my typical read, and from the summary, I knew it would probably go two ways: I would love it or I would hate. However, as it turns out, I shouldn't have been worried at all, because Louder Than Words turned out to be one of the best books I've read so
Article first published as Book Review: Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner on Blogcritics.

Review also appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy for review

Laurie Plissner’s Louder Than Words is a fantastic debut for the older young adult audience. Plissner’s writing style is witty, modern, and touching. With the barest hint of the paranormal, Plissner manages to engage her reader with a smart and grieving protagonist, and a climax that will take the reader’s breath away.

Sarah Elizabeth
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Merit Press and Netgalley.)
Four years ago, Sasha was in a car accident that claimed the lives of her parents and her older sister Liz. Sasha was unharmed, but Has since been unable to speak – a condition which the psychiatrists have told her is ‘hysterical mutism’.

Now 17, Sasha has been seeing a psychiatrist weekly for 4 years, and is still no closer to recovering her voice. Then she meets Ben.
Ben is al
Tabitha Olson
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: recent-reviews
An okay story. The premise is very intriguing, but the execution wasn’t my favorite. I was pulled out of the story many times due to inconsistencies and things I just didn’t believe.

I wasn’t all that fond of Sasha, and I couldn’t connect to her because I thought her characterization was inconsistent. She starts off telling us what happened to her family and what she remembers when she woke up in the hospital, and then all of a sudden she’s telling one of her classmates ‘f-you’ in the middle of
Asha R
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
In the book Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner, the main character, Sasha, loses her voice from being in an accident. Her vocal chords aren't physically damaged, she was just traumatized by the fact that her whole family died. She feels as if she doesn't belong, and that she is different because of her disability to talk. Then one day she meets a boy named Ben who can literally read her mind, which starts to make her feel like a normal teenager again, that is until Ben decides to leave her unt ...more
John Clark
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sasha has had the same horrific dream almost every night for the past 4 years. It's hazy, but replicates what little she can remember about the accident that killed her parents and older sister. She was relatively uninjured, but has been unable to speak ever since. Her condition is called hysterical mutism. She calls it sucky and even worse when it interferes with any chance of a normal life.
She lives with her aunt and uncle, both lawyers who never planned on having kids, but are doing their be
Megan Palasik
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This book was just okay for me. I'm a speech-language pathologist and I enjoy young adult fiction, so I thought a book about a girl who cannot speak but instead uses a computerized voice box might appeal to me.

This book felt like it had too many stories going on. It felt like part teen love story, part mystery, part psych session and that none of those stories were fleshed out as well as they could have been. Sasha is not a very likable character at first. She is hurt and sarcastic and a "bad g
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, young-adult
17 year old Sasha has not been able to speak in over 4 years, since her parents and sister were killed in a car accident that left her alive but traumatized, and suffering from hysterical mutism. She also has almost no memory of her past. Living with her aunt and uncle, Sasha uses a robotic talkie box to “speak,” and has been seeking counseling and treatment but with little to no success. She fears she will never speak again, or lead a normal life… until she meets Ben. Ben can read minds, and th ...more
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
I think this is one of those books that I read at the wrong time. I was hyper-sensitive to almost everything that happened in this book and took issue with many items.

First of all, there are 2 very aggressive and more titillating than is necessary sexual assault scenes. As I've stated many times, I am not anti-sex, but there is a time and a place for these kinds of incidents. This book didn't need it and it was far more graphic than the scene required. Another issue I had stemmed from these scen
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Earlier this year, I read What I Didn't Say, a novel where the main character loses his voice permanently. I also read Speechless where the main character willingly chooses to remain silent to atone for past mistakes. I thought it would be interesting to check out another book where the main character does not speak.

In this case, Sasha has lost her voice after a horrific car accident that killed her parents and sister. The
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Since Sasha survived the car accident that killed the rest of her family, she has been unable to speak. After four years of seeing a therapist and even trying hypnosis, Sasha is still unable to speak, her electronic speaking box and hysterical mutism limiting her everyday life. Then one day she meets a boy at the library who can read minds and Sasha begins to feel almost normal again. When Ben pulls away Sasha is devastated, but even more determined than every to cure herself and figure out what ...more
Megan (The Book Babe)
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Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

Louder than Words was really freaking great--and so not what I expected when I started this book. For one, I kind of expected it to be a really sweet romance--it wasn't. Not that it wasn't kind of sorta cute--it totally was, but it gives off a more mature vibe than that. This is not a fluffy read at all. I wouldn't recommend this one for anyone under fifteen--sexual content is pretty high in this one.

But in the story's defe
{My Thoughts} – Sasha is an extraordinary girl. She had been through so much, much of it she couldn’t remember, much of it she was still trying to piece together, but that didn’t sway her or change her outlook.

When this book begins Sasha is 13 and she’s lost her family to a terrible crash. She was in the car and she lived, her only injuries were the loss of her voice and memory. I have to admit I didn’t think it was appropriate for a 13 year old character to use some of the language that was bei
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Laurie Plissner, author of Louder Than Words, is a Princeton- and UCLA-educated litigator. She gave up the courtroom for life as a full-time mom, although she could not overrule her love of literature. She lives with her husband and two teenagers. This is her first novel.

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