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Tone Deaf

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,905 ratings  ·  432 reviews
His world is music. Her world is silent.

Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retire
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Sky Pony
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Yeslech This is not appropriate for middle schoolers in my opinion. I did not finish this book because I found it so offensive.

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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,905 ratings  ·  432 reviews

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Olivia Rivers
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
To be honest, "Tone Deaf" was never intended to be read by others. I wrote the story out of frustration, when I was unable to find a book that featured a main character with diverse physical abilities. On a whim, I posted the first chapter of “Tone Deaf” to The response I received was absolutely amazing and humbling. “Tone Deaf” gained over 1,000 hits within a week of being posted, and to this date, has over 1,000,000 hits.

Some readers call “Tone Deaf” a “diverse book," but I prefe
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
EDIT: How the heck does a book this phenomenal get less than 4 stars? This makes me sad. :(

"Am I better off speaking in silence,
Or screaming so loud no one will hear?
I fake a smile,
But it's killed by you,
I fake a soul,
But that dies, too.
So I fake my life,
What else can I do?"

Ah, Tone Deaf. At only 24% of the novel, you have already managed to get me teary-eyed, and that’s a feat that cannot be done by many. To top that off, I have absolutely no luck with boy-band novels and road t
Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮
This book was good, but not great.

Parts of it were fluffy, cheesy and fantastic, but there were aspects of it that really brought the whole thing down.

While I applaud the author for having a leading lady who is different from the normal YA protagonists we generally see - Ali is deaf - I had A LOT of trouble with her romantic interest, Jace.

Jace is a jerk. Jace is a straight up Asshole, yes, that's right, he's such an Asshole he gets a capital A. When he first meets Ali he does something so inc
Honey Bond
May 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Tell a Deaf girl that there's a new book and it features a Deaf character and you'll get an excited girl. The number of YA books featuring a Deaf lead, I can count on one hand (although thanks to sign language, I can actually count up to a million with one hand!). So I bought it immediately .

It took me two days to read. And that's because it was painful. Like *sighs*. Don't feature a Deaf character if first, you just write sign language as italicised sentences spoken in an incredibly English man
Get it here:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

jessica ☾
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an incredibly easy book to get through- almost too easy, the writing style was a bit juvenile and that got irritating after while. But I was really exciting to read it and it did manage to live up to some of my expectations.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
*Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Guys. Guys, this was so good. Oh my gosh. I don’t even have the proper words right now. The main thing that piqued my interest is the fact that it’s a book involving music. And I’m a sucker for any book that is related to music in any way. And then to find out that the main character is deaf… well, that’s just the cherry on top because we need more diverse books and more books that deal with disabilities.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing


Christine Alibutud
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cue unlimited swooning!

Wow, what a totally surprising good read! This book was nothing short of beautiful. Just from reading the prologue, I was already in love with it. I expected a cute read, but damn, I didn't expect a heart-tugging and tear-jerker story. Guys, I am seriously in awe. No offense, but this book is definitely a far cry from shallow rockstar romance books.

Tone Deaf seriously took. my. breath. away.
"As if reading my mind, I feel a soft hand rest on my shoulder. I flinch p
This book is hard to describe but I have very few reservations if any towards the story. It's sweet and poignant despite the heavy-hearted content and I adored the relationship that blossomed between the characters Jace and Ali.

It gave me such a sweet aftertaste that I'm smiling as I write this; in a world with painful ugly moments, books such as these provide hope and it unfurled a softness in my heart. The ode to music was lovely as well, and while I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the repre
Rated five stars based on how quickly I devoured the book and thus how much I loved it!
✦ Maica ✦
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
I went into this expecting an amazing book featuring people with disabilities but instead I got teenage angst with a side of abuse (The abuse wasn't even necessary. The author just used it as a plot device) and instalove. ...more
Daniella (Reading With Daniella)

I was so incredibly excited to read this book. It seemed to be the perfect setup! I absolutley adore a book (whether it's contempory, fantasy, or somewhere in between) in which one or both of the main characters are kind of broken, but they help to piece each other back together and fall in love in the process. It's always so beautiful and makes for a fantastic read, which is why I had such high hopes for this one. The plot sounded very interesting and I was intrigued to learn more about bein
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
This sounded like a cute read but it had literally ALL the elements I hate: loss of one parent, other parent abusive, sickness (tumor), deafness aaaaand insta love. also the whole character of killer was horrible, the author tried so hard to make him likeable but it didn't work because he was so over the top.
all in all this read like a semi good fanfiction on wattpad...
"Tone Deaf" is the second book by Olivia Rivers that I've read and now it's official - I'm a die-hard fan.

Between the beautiful writing style, relatable and likeable characters and a strong plot, this is definitely a new favorite of mine.

I love how the author isn't scared to tackle difficult topics and how she does so with incredible finesse and tact.
Not only did "Tone Deaf" captivate me and take me on an emotional rollercoaster ride, but it also gave me food for thought. It broadened my hori
Eileen (BookCatPin)
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I first requested Tone Deaf, I didn't think too much of it. It sounded like the type of contemporary reads I usually enjoy. As I got around to reading it, I realize this book is more than just a cutesy love story. Surprisingly it dealt with some difficult subjects.

Ali's life literally went from being in heaven one moment to stranded in hell in the blink of an eye- a music prodigy to an abused deaf girl. After the death of her mother, she goes to live with her father who did not care for her
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book -- well written with good character development and a believable story. The characters were natural and real and I thought it gave a good look into the world of young woman who is deaf. It was a little slow moving for me but I think that's because I usually CONSUME books and this book took the time to develop the love story with the black moment being very close to the end. ...more
Katja (Life and Other Disasters)
**I was provided with a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review!**

When I find out about a book, I read the blurb, but to be honest I mostly only skim over it. That often leads to me being way more surprised about what happens than I would have been if I had read the summary in detail - this is basically what happened with Tone Deaf! I only knew it was about a former musical prodigy turned deaf and a boy from a band and that I wanted to read it. So, I don't even want to talk about the
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Serva me, servabo te.

This book turned out so much better than I've expected. I reckoned that this will be a light-hearted read but it ended up touching on more deeper and emotional contents such as abuse and physical impairment. The music-related elements to the book were an added bonus in creating a soulful and rich ambience.

Initially, I was put off by Jace's aloofness and jerkass attitude towards Ali. Well, more like his general hatred and frustration towards life to be exact, all except for
littlebookbosomed bookreview
5th March 2016

What caught me first was this book has a singer..... YAS I LOVE MUSICIANS!
What caught me second was this book has a heroine that is.... she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor


YAS AND YAS! I love books like this, its so refreshing and realistic.

There is another book like this, it is When I'm Gone and When You're back by Abbi Glines.

Definitely will read this and I shall get my hands on it ASAP!


Jun 01, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a rockstar romance with a twist. Ali is deaf after a brain tumor and she randomly win backstag pages and meets the rockstar Jace. When he learns she is abused by her father he decides to help her and somewhere in between their love blossoms. Liked that part of the book, little rushed but engaging. What I really disliked was his extremely asshole behaviour when they first meet and he learns she is deaf. Feelt like it was brushed over and forgotten to easily and I couldn't quite buy their ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This is the type of book to make you think that all the shit your dealing with in your life could be worse. Like you could have a past or a present like either Ali or Jace. And man, were they dealing with/had they dealt with some fucked up shit in their lives. My poor babies.

Anywho, Ali is deaf. And has an abusive father. And Jace is a famous rock star who had absuive parents before he got away from it. Ali is then thrown into his life seemingly out of no where and their adorable love story evol
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I greatly enjoyed this book! For once there was no insta-love, and the main character is deaf! Both of which you don't see often in books now a days.

Truthfully I don't read the whole entire blurb before I downloaded an review copy of this book from Edelweiss so I didn't know immediately what had caused Ali to go deaf. I found out later in the story what caused it. I enjoyed finding out this way versus knowing right from the start. It gave the book an air of mystery about it. Especially because A
🐝 Bee 🐝
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, arcs

*I received this book as an ARC (April 5th) for an honest review.*

**Caution: overload of quotes:) ** No Spoilers**

Let me start off by thanking the author so kindly for asking me to review her book. She emailed me on the 5th of April and my busy schedule didn’t let me pick up the book until the 23rd. I do apologize for the late review, but I must applaud you Olivia Rivers. This book was nothing like I expected.

Let me start by saying that I read this book in 2 days. Like, I stayed up until
An amazing read indeed!!! <3

"Am I better off living through death,
Or dying an invisible ghost?
Am I better off speaking in silence,
Or screaming so loud no one will hear?
I fake a smile,
But it's killed by you,
I fake a soul,
But that dies, too.
So I fake my life,
What else can I do?
Take me in, spit me out,
And I scream and scream and shout,
But you can't hear my pain,
My blood's nothing but a worthless stain.
I fake a smile,
But it's killed by you.
I fake a soul,
But that dies, too.
So I fake my life,
What els
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*I received this as an eArc from the author for an honest review and that doesn't affect my review and thoughts*

Amazing! A unique love story that made me shed tears! I'm not a book crier, remember? So tears are a big thing... I recommend this to people out there who love romance and contemporary! YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! Full Review will be up on blog!
Maria-Emanuela Coman
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've really missed reading a rock/boy-band story! A sweet asshole hero and a different type of heroine - wished it was longer! ...more
Sep 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Cute, but a little rushed. I think this book did a good job with the deaf representation, but the conversations around abuse weren't great. Don't get me wrong, they were pretty good for the most part, but then every once and a while they would get the tiniest bit problematic, and you could always tell it was because the romantic plot line was prioritized over the abuse plot (for example the number of times Jace has to "save" Ali or the fact that, as his bandmate mentions, she's probably
Originally posted on Daydreaming Books.

*I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Thankfully this month's off to a pretty good start, at least in the bookish sense! This book was totally adorable! It was exactly the thing I needed! I loved it to bits! And it had so many diverse features plus I've always been interested in the deaf culture so it made a pretty interesting read.

Ali Collins lost her mother and her hearing pretty much at the same time that left
Cristina (My Tiny Obsessions)
Read full review HERE


I LOVED IT! In my head this book is kind of like a mix between The Mortal Instruments and Everything Everything, but the plot has nothing to do with either one of those stories, lol, it’s just the vibe… is it weird?!

The writing is wonderful. I never read a book about a deaf MC, and I was curious to see how that would be incorporated to the story and I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Not only was ASL well explained and included, but each reference to vibrations and wh
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Silent World — A ...: Tone Deaf by OIivia Rivers 1 26 Sep 09, 2017 02:39PM  

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Olivia Rivers is an award-winning author of Young Adult fiction. Her works include Tone Deaf, which was awarded a place on the American Library Association's "Quick Picks" list, and In the Hope of Memories, which has been optioned for film. Olivia enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received over 1,000,000 hits on She is represented by La ...more

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“Am I better off living through death,
Or dying an invisible ghost?
Am I better off speaking in silence,
Or screaming so loud no one will hear?
I fake a smile,
But it's killed by you,
I fake a soul,
But that dies, too.
So I fake my life,
What else can I do?
Take me in, spit me out,
And I scream and scream and shout,
But you can't hear my pain,
My blood's nothing but a worthless stain.
I fake a smile,
But it's killed by you.
I fake a soul,
But that dies, too.
So I fake my life,
What else can I do?
And if one day I wake up gone,
Maybe people will see through,
But until then the lies will rule.
And sometimes I think
I'm better off dead,
But then I realize
I already am.”
“Close your eyes
When clarity's gone and logic is done and love flees out the doorway,
When kisses hurt and your heart is cursed and so carelessly cast away,
When life's tumbling down, down, down,
And nothing's there when you look up,
Except the innocence you let life corrupt.
Just close your eyes,
Feel my hand in yours and know you're alive,
Just close your eyes,
Feel my lips on yours and know you'll survive,
Oh, close your eyes,
And in the darkness of the hour,
Know that I'll be here forever,
Forever yours,
I'll never go.”
More quotes…