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The Secret Language of Sisters

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,878 ratings  ·  446 reviews
When Ruth Ann (Roo) McCabe responds to a text message while she's driving, her life as she knows it ends. The car flips, and Roo winds up in a hospital bed, paralyzed. Silent. Everyone thinks she's in a coma, but Roo has locked-in syndrome -- she can see and hear and understand everything around her, but no one knows it. She's trapped inside her own body, screaming to be h ...more
Paperback, School market, 336 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Scholastic
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Rachel I believe so. The doctors and Newton paused under each letter and I dunno how they did it so quickly. I guess that Luanne Rice didn't want to bore us…moreI believe so. The doctors and Newton paused under each letter and I dunno how they did it so quickly. I guess that Luanne Rice didn't want to bore us to death with them pausing under every letter of the alphabet. I believed that as well, so I'm guessing that that is correct, you are understanding it right.(less)
James Dakota Tilson It's easy enough for maybe 6th-8th grade and it would be an easy read for high schoolers😋

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Brie Peters
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Wow, the blame game totally ruined my experience of this book. In no way is the sender of a text to blame for an accident. It's up to the driver to drive responsibly.
Aj the Ravenous Reader

A story of two sisters (Roo and Tilly) whose relationship isn’t perfect and yet their love for each other is so strong, strong enough to unconsciously create their own language to understand each especially when it matters most.

I was curious about the alternating perspectives of the two sisters. Roo as she does her best to help herself and her body recover from her almost fatal accident that trapped her in a locked-in syndrome (or the coma that is not a coma as the book describes) and Tilly as she tr
Elisa B
The Secret Language of Sisters is a very deep story that has a huge meaning. This story shows you the true meaning of sisters. It is about love, kindness and determination. The Secret Language of Sisters is about two sisters. One of them, Tilly, is in ninth grade and is having to live up to her sister's reputation. The other, Rue, is in twelfth grade and has many smarts, is the teacher's favorite, has excellent photography skills, is always on time, and has a boyfriend. One day, Rue has to pick up Tilly altho ...more
Abigayle Claire
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When it comes to sisters, there's no such thing as broken."

4.5 stars

This book delivered. It was raw and unpredictable, but it turned out wonderfully. The theme of love and sisterhood and what binds people together was neat. It really grew with the story.

Having Roo stuck inside her own mind for the most part was agonizing, but it also seemed highly real. For being such a dramatic condition, her struggles were relatable.

My main dislike was that ever
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay the ending was just so cute. *cries happy tears* (3.5/5 stars)

This was a beautiful book about two sisters who's lives were drastically changed in the matter of seconds because of one text.

I did enjoy this book. Although I felt like it dragged on a lot and Tilly was just bothering me at many times in the book. Typical 14 year old though so I'll let it slide.

The book ended up coming together very well and things ended on a happy note and left my mind wander on the girls and their frie
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good, but it wasn't my favorite. I enjoyed seeing the story from two different perspectives. It was like I was there with all the imagery. Overall, it was decent.
Kathy Cunningham
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Luanne Rice’s THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS is both a scathing indictment of texting-while-driving and an uplifting tribute to the bond between sisters. Sixteen-year-old Roo McCabe is pretty much the perfect teenager – she’s gorgeous, popular, brilliant, and a genius with a camera. She’s on track to be high school valedictorian, followed by college at Yale and a limitless future. But when she makes the mistake of answering a text on an icy afternoon, she flips her car and ends up in a coma, per ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well I think its safe to say that I did not enjoy this book one bit!!! I am going to explain why but it is impossible without some spoilers leaking in so if you haven't read this book yet....well don't read the review below!!


Okay so here we go. I'm just going to make a list of things as they come to me about why this book was so not for me.

Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Readers expecting to read about two sisters' loving relationship, may be disappointed in "The Secret Language of Sisters." Rice has written a cautionary tale about texting while driving that focuses on two sisters' differing perspectives in the aftermath of the resulting accident. While the description of the impact of the accident on family, friends, and victim ring true, one aspect of this novel does not. Rice tries to settle blame for accident on the person who sent the text to which the dri ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Received advanced reader copy from publisher via Baker & Taylor book supplier

Roo responds to her sister’s text message and ends up in a hospital bed. While others think she is in a coma, in fact, she can hear everything that is going on around her: her mind is functioning completely but her body is not cooperating. Her sister, Tilly, feels incredible guilt over the accident but she may be the key to Roo’s recovery.

This was a true cautionary tale about texting and driving. The a
Jenna Buss
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartwarming story of the close relationships between sisters, even if everything seems to be falling apart. I couldn't put this book down! The switching point of views between Roo and Tilly really brought the story to life.
Their perseverance was remarkable, and the relationship between them was so special and realistic.
Highly, highly recommend this captivating, heartwarming story.
Cherie W
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine that everything you've ever known, the life you've lived, all gone in one second. One moment, and that's all it took. Imagine being trapped in your own brain, able to think and you can't even move a muscle. You can't even breathe on your own. That's exactly what happened to Roo.

Roo and Tilly are very, very close sisters. Roo is sixteen, Tilly fourteen. Tilly is waiting for Roo to come pick her up, and gets agitated when Roo is late. She texts Roo, waiting for a reply, and whi
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: I did not finish this book. For me my heart just wasn't really in it.

The writing style I thought wasn't anything great. The idea was certainly interesting. And the characters weren't that great.

I also just wanted to move on. I just purchased "wires and nerves." As well as "the sun is also a star". And I really just want to start reading them
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
hi loved this book so much it it the best
This cautionary tale about texting and driving revolves around a terrible accident caused when 16-year-old Roo crashes her car while responding to a text from her 14-year-old sister Tilly. Roo is left totally paralyzed and unable to communicate normally; she has a condition called "locked-in syndrome." The plot focuses on the complicated relationship between the two girls, the guilt they each suffer and their attempt to cope with the vast changes in their lives. Students who liked Out of My Mind wil ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: B-

While waiting for a ride, fourteen-year-old Tilly angrily texts her older sister. Against her better judgment, Roo responds to the text with near fatal consequences. The sixteen-year-old wakes in the hospital with a condition called Locked In Syndrome. She appears comatose and unresponsive, but is fully aware, paralyzed from the accident and unable to move anything but one eye.

To buy into one of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS's biggest premises, you've got to bel
Kasie Lester
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice
The Secret Language of Sisters is a realistic fiction book about two sisters. The book is very interesting because it is told from both sisters point of view. It is about the bond of sisters and achieving your dreams.
One day, Ruth Ann McCabe {Roo} was out doing the thing she loved- taking pictures. She was running late to pick up her sister Mathilda McCabe {Tilly} and Tilly was texting her nonstop, upset with her sister. Roo was a straight A student, going to Yale in a year or so and Tilly..
Alyssa Navarro
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Ann (Roo) McCabe is a Junior in High school and went through some tough times when her father passed away. She is a very Smart and talented young lady but then, there was one day that changed her life completely. She was late to pick up her sister, Mathilda (Tilly). Roo decided to text her sister to tell her "Be there in 5 mins" even though that was not what happened. She flipped her car after trying to avoid a lady and her dog and ended up paralyzed. Her doctors and family all thought she ...more
Emily Ann
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who just wants a good good story
Recommended to Emily by: My school book fair
I was happy this whole book and was smiling through all of it:)

I WAS SOBBING DURING THIS ENTIRE BOOK. Yeah I was quite a mess. Just ask my bestfriend:).

This book had a lot of strengths! I will list them for you!
1. Writing style was soooo pretty. I repeat: writing style was so pretty
2. THE FEELS! Thus the reason why I was crying.

But... I rated it four stars so it had some weaknesses too.
1. sometimes confusin
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Luanne shares her beautiful writing with a new audience in this incredible story of sisters. She brings today's issue of texting and driving to this audience in a real and heartbreaking way. Luanne has always written her sister characters so perfectly and she continues to do so in this story.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A good cautionary tale about texting and driving, but I still don't get why the Sender of text messages should be blamed. I think the person who receives the texts while driving is the one who has the responsibility.
Amy Rhilinger
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
So full of New England and family and art and magic and the ups and downs of life and how people get through and move forward. I loved reading this.
Vicki Jaeger
The subject matter, locked-in syndrome, was really interesting. (And terrifying, to be honest.) But the story? Meh. Didn't even live up to the back cover copy.
Jenna Cantino
Feb 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
-1 star already for a dog getting hit by a car in the first few weeks

So many eye rolls! Do yourself a favor and skip it!
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 STARS...I have mixed feelings about this book. It deals with a serious issue and I'm not sure the author did a great job on it.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong 3.5. I was engaged and intrigued by the story but I hated how the injured sister was portrayed as flawless and perfect prior to the accident. It made it not feel very realistic and kept me at a distance from the characters. I also hated how much emphasis was put on blaming the sender of the text that caused the crash. In the situation, I understand how everyone would feel responsible (as both Roo and Tilly do) but I wish it would've been a little more clear that the sender is not responsi ...more
I selected this book because the back of the book and the cover intrigued me a lot. This book is about two sisters(Tilly and Roo) who are two years apart and also best friends. One day Roo gets in an accident because she was replying to a text message her sister sent her. She is sent to a hospital right away with critical conditions and her boyfriend Newton goes off to get Tilly. Tilly and Newton rush to the hospital and the doctors say that they believe shes in a coma. About two weeks later, on ...more
Joyce Yattoni
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Premise and messages about the irreparable physical harm that can result to people involved in car accidents as as a result of distracted driving via texting was awesome. Roo, a HS junior, sustained "locked in syndrome", which means she has all her intelligence from before accident, she just can't move any parts of her body or talk, save for vertical eye movement. I did a quick cursory research on this and it is an actual medical diagnosis, but not common. I enjoyed the closeness of the sisters ...more
Addie Bierman
This book has to be one of my favorite books so far. It is full of drama. It was sad that the two sisters were fighting on the phone which had caused the one to crash. It was even worse when the doctors had said that she had gone into a coma. It was sad because the other sister blamed herself. Then the doctors didn't realize that she had locked in syndrome. Which mean she can hear everything people are saying but she cant move or speak. I loved that her boyfriend had come to see her almost every ...more
Milana Waller
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-three novels including CLOUD NINE, BEACH GIRLS, and THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTER. LAST DAY will be out in February 2020. Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, many have been New York Times bestsellers and two of her pieces have been featured in off-Broadway theatre productions. She lives on the Connecticut shor ...more