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Whisper

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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Whisper, who has a cleft palate, lives in an encampment with three other young rejects and their caregiver, Nathanael. They are outcasts from a society (in the not-too-distant future) that kills or abandons anyone with a physical or mental disability. Whisper’s mother visits once a year. When she dies, she leaves Whisper a violin, which Nathanael teaches h ...more
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published April 2014 by Orca Publishing (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  43 reviews


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Heidi The Reader
Whisper has a cleft palate. In this young adult dystopian tale, she and other deformed children are cast out of society because of their abnormalities.

This story is about how she survives and holds her new family, made up of other rejected children, together despite obstacles at every turn.

Whisper was a far darker story than I expected.

Terrible things kept happening to Whisper and I kept telling myself that it would turn around soon. And it didn't.

If she wa/>
...more
Nicola Mansfield
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been sitting on my shelf for a few months and I wish I had read it sooner because I just adored it! At first it feels like the usual YA dystopian fare, this time with the outcast society of deformed people, with children, especially girls being abandoned at birth. Our narrator is an older teen girl, on the brink of womanhood, with a cleft palate being raised in a camp for outcast children way out in the woods, with only a couple of others and an elderly caretaker. I fell in love with th ...more
Jennifer Hathaway
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually write reviews, but for this book, I needed to. I'll admit that I am somewhat biased because I know the author. However, even if I didn't, I would highly enjoy the book.

The book is centered around Whisper, a reject with a cleft palate. The circumstances of their world are not made known, although there are hints about why there are so many children with deformities. Whisper is not a character who is meant to take down governments and save the world: she is meant to sim
...more
Maria Andreu
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a book in which you feel that you're in masterful hands... WHISPER is just such a book. The author grabs you and reels you in to the world she's created right from the first page. Lyrical, full of meaningful detail, WHISPER is a book that stays with you.

As other reviewers have noted, WHISPER lives in a not-too-distant future in which people considered "rejects" are abandoned. And, yes, she goes through a lot of painful things. I once read a quote that said that we read books t
...more
Elizabeth R
Ah yes, another YA dystopia. I'm not complaining--I love this genre, and am pleased there are so many books populating it!

First I have to do the special ed professional thing. You can skip this if you don't care: As a professional who works with children with special needs, it was pleasant to see people with orthopedic differences featured prominently in a novel, especially a YA novel. The author writes them as one would write any young adult character, as well she should--and I hope the reader
...more
Robin Herrera
Just finished this lovely novel. Whisper, born with a cleft palate, lives with other societal "rejects" in a small compound deep in the forest. The world Whisper lives in is modern but harsh and unforgiving, but her home in the forest is ideal, if boring. Then Whisper's father comes to claim her, hoping to force her to do the work her mother did to take care of the rest of the family, and Whisper finds herself torn from the only home she's ever known.

I loved the narrative, the descri
...more
Danielle
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-2015
My overall impression of this book was that it was very depressing. I had a hard time enjoying it for that reason, especially because I felt she had very little hope, even in the end. It was an interesting story, however.
Christina
An odd book. There's a "Giver" feel to it in the beginning, with the girl whose cleft palate has gotten her banished to the woods, where others with physical deformities must live, exiled from society. She is barely educated and doesn't know anything about the modern world. Her narration makes it seem like a fairy tale kind of book, set in a time long ago or in a vague future. But then when her cruel father shows up and takes her to the city, you see it really is modern times, though she doesn't ...more
Christina Hagmann
This dystopian novel doesn't read like dystopian. It's easy to imagine a poor country where, because of resources, kids with disabilities are cast off in society. Interesting read.
Nicole
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-heart-portland
This was an enjoyable, fast-paced read. I started it New Year's Eve and spent a decent chunk of New Year's Day curled up on the couch finishing it (this is my ideal way to ring in a new year, for the record). Brief intro to the tale: The main character, Whisper, is born with a deformity (cleft palate) in a not-so-distant dystopic future and is sent to a camp in the woods to live with other "damaged" children. She receives a violin, which becomes a crucial part of her story and a way for her, a g ...more
Hannah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
katnick
I won a copy of Whisper through Goodreads First Reads. I requested it because I enjoy near-future dystopian YA. Whisper wasn't what I expected, but I liked it anyway.

First off, there's nothing futuristic about this book. They have no technology that's currently unavailable and their society's not all that different from what you might find in some parts of the world today. Whisper is less near-future dystopia than present-day deliberately unnamed South American country with nonexistent or unenforceable l
...more
Lauren
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit - I actually almost stopped reading this book in the very beginning because the premise is, at best, completely unbelievable and at worst, completely absurd. Whisper has a cleft palate, and because of her abnormality has been sent away to live with other "deformed" creatures. Her love interest is missing an arm. Her little companion has webbed feet. The newly arrived baby also has a cleft palate. They trade items with a messenger, who brings back goods. They hunt. They find their own foo ...more
J.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was wary of this book at first- was it going to be yet another dystopian young adult novel? I was pleasantly surprised.
As I began reading, there were a number of clues that placed the novel in the United States in the near future and I felt incredulous. The author describes a place where babies are abandoned because of birth defects and simple surgeries are withheld that can vastly improve a child's chance of success. Children are forced to beg on the streets and live in brothels. Sewa
...more
Rachel Meyer
This is the second time I've read this book and I forgot how much I love it. It's a dystopian book, but it doesn't feel like any other dystopian I've ever read.

The premise of the story is that in a future society, anyone with birth defects are rejected. Mostly girls, since a boy can at least work, even if he's malformed. Birthmarks, cleft palate, missing limbs; if it doesn't fit, they're out. This is really sad and gives the story a great point about what it really means to be yourse
...more
Rikki
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whisper was born with a cleft palate, and like all children with disfigurements that aren’t killed at birth, she is sent to live in poverty in the forest with others like her. Her friend Eva has webbed feet and hands and her friend/love interest Jeremia is missing part of an arm. They are cared for by Nathanael, an elderly man whose only deformity is his soft spot for the unfortunate. This family of rejects is getting along just fine until Whisper’s father Belen, and her cruel uncle, Celso show ...more
Alicia Marie
I won a copy of Whisper through Goodreads First Reads. I am a huge fan on futuristic dystopian YA novels, and although this book was really (in my opinion) not futuristic at all, I really enjoyed it!

I had issues at first trying to visualize the world created in this book- futuristic, no. More 3rd world with technology available to others, but perhaps not to them. From the summary I read pre-reading I just couldn't wrap my head around the concept of outcasts living in stick and mud huts, but pla
...more
Megan
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whisper overall is an ok book I gave it three stars because it was a little boring throughout the book especially toward the end. I didn't particularly like the end either it was kinda dull and didn't have anything special like most books do in the endings. In the middle there was the same problem over and over again. The problems in the book would just rotate till they were solved which I think is kinda dumb. Before I sound too much like a Debbie downer I did like some parts of the book. I like ...more
Karen Johnson
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to say I enjoyed this book--it's more that I appreciated it and cared enough about the characters that I wanted to finish it. It was just hard to read in parts because it was painful.

I wavered between a 4 and 5 star because it isn't perfect, but it is awfully good with a creative story-line and terrific protagonist.

It will be thought-provoking for YA readers with regard to deformities and how we treat people with them. Whisper's resilience is inspirational, and her sense o
...more
Ashley (Tiny Navajo Reads)
Holy WOW! This book is definitely one that you need to read. "Whisper" is about a girl who grew up in the forest, surrounded by others who are like her, what society of this time calls "rejects." Whisper was born with a cleft palate, an opening in the roof of her mouth. She was nearly drowned by her father, her mother rescued her and took her to the forest, where she lives with an elderly man named Nathanael, a one-armed boy named Jeremia, a girl with webbed hands named Eva, and a little girl th ...more
Pam
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
*** SPOILERS ***
I couldn't put this book down and when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it. I didn't give it 5 stars (as is my norm when I burn thru a book so quickly) based on a few details:
1. The leaps were grand and happened so quickly. The story could've been longer to fill in some gaps and is would've gladly read those extra chapters.
2. Setting. I had no idea if this was present day, past, future. I understand that this might be a minor detail but since some of the
...more
Kim
Whisper doesn't really read like a typical dystopian novel. There are brushstrokes of a broken and faltering society shading its setting, but the book concerns itself almost not at all with that. Instead, Whisper is an eloquent and accessible expression of what it must be like to live among people who will not see you as anything more than the way you look.

I've read many books that touch on issues of prejudice and discrimination, particularly those connected with race, and this is the first one that
...more
Tamber Mauney
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a great book! Whisper was taken from her forest home and forced to be a house maid. Her dad and uncle were evil. Through out all of the abuse, Whisper still kept her dignity. I could definitely see her developing as a character. She made new friends, found love, and believed in herself. I really like the ending when SHE chose to take off her veil. So many people today make fun of people who have disabilities. Just recently a woman decided to divorce her husband because she didn't wa ...more
Munro's Kids
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whisper is an outcast from a society where anyone with a physical or mental disability - especially girls - are cast aside or killed. Born with a cleft palate, Whisper lives in a forest camp with other rejects. One day her father comes to claim her and takes her as his house servant. She is passed from one place to another, until she finds a sort of home with other rejects in a run-down building called Purgatory Palace. However, after a university professor discovers that Whisper has a natural t ...more
Alexis
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian, giveaways
I won this book on a goodreads giveaway and I seriously loved it.

So Whisper isn't your everyday dystopian young adult novel. Whisper is disfigured with a bad cleft but nonetheless she is beautiful. The novel isn't what I would call fast paced or action filled but it hooks you with believable characters and a wonderful heroine. Whisper was not perfect but that is what made her so awesome. She actually grew throughout the book and she took you right along with her. In a time when the f
...more
Zander Woosley
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
Whisper is a defining tale of the human condition. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Whisper! The characters were realistic and connected to the emotions. Whisper tells a story of a girl who lives life as a servant because of her physical deformities. The book expertly reflects real world conditions both literally, and metaphorically in the case of racism. The author is to be commended for their poetic descriptions of the world, from the point of view of a girl living in a world where she doesn't bel ...more
Breanna
Whisper by Chris Struyk-Bonn

Anyone that is considered a “reject” must either be killed or sent to live in camps. Abandoned and living in a woodland camp all because of her cleft palate, Whisper is left alone with 3 other “rejects” and her caregiver, Nathanael. Being in this harsh and unforgiving world she must endure and find her strength in order to survive. When Whisper is taken away from her encampment to live in her brutal father’s care as a house servant, music turns out to be h
...more
Annika Dyck
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star-books
I really liked this book. The character and the story were refreshingly different from the typical futuristic story. And what happens in the story is not all that different from what is happening in some parts of the world. Its definitely a feel good story because sometimes I thought that there were some unlikely good things that happen to the main character, and then you feel badly that the other characters in the book didn't a good thing as well. But then at the same time that's how the world ...more
Dark Fire
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adults
Shelves: young-adult
I loved this book! It was beautifully written with great characters. They were realistic and far from perfect! The auther did not end this book with a happily ever after, she simply emplies life gets better. Chris is a wonderful descriptive auther who has a lot of talent and I look forward to reading more books by her. Whisper is neither perfect, nor pretty, but she is a great character. I highly suggest this book as a must read, for it is one of those thought provoking books that change the way ...more
Sherry
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young girl born into a society where disability is seen as a curse. Living with other "rejects" Whisper is thrust into a life where she must make moral choices for the direction her life goes and survive by any means necessary. I enjoyed this YA book a lot, the scenes changed often enough and held my interest so that I wanted to keep reading and not put it down. I wish the author had gone more into the reasons for the dystopian society, she touched on them but just barely making me more curiou ...more
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I live in Portland, Oregon, even though I am originally from Iowa. I've been in the Pacific Northwest for so long that I can hardly claim to be a midwesterner anymore.

My family keeps me pretty busy and on my toes! I have two boys who have decided that it is their goal and ambition in life to make my days as difficult as possible. We have soccer balls in every room, we have darts stuck to every wi
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“He was always so happy when he returned that I wondered why he did it, why he tortured himself by watching a bruised world he couldn't heal.” 0 likes
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