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The Silence Between Us

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,960 ratings  ·  647 reviews
Deaf teen Maya moves across the country and must attend a hearing school for the first time. As if that wasn’t hard enough, she also has to adjust to the hearing culture, which she finds frustrating—and also surprising when some classmates, including Beau Watson, take time to learn ASL. As Maya looks past graduation and focuses on her future dreams, nothing, not even an un ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Blink
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  2,960 ratings  ·  647 reviews

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Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars

Many of you don’t know this, but my grandmother and stepgrandfather were deaf. My parents and I are hearing, but I grew up around the deaf community and it has a very special place in my heart. What I loved most about this book was it captured very well what it is like to be deaf (as it should since the author is hard of hearing). When the characters spoke ASL, it was true ASL and not a hearing person thinking how deaf people speak.

This book made me miss my grandparents a lot. I wish my
Sara (Alicorn Feathers)
Mar 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
I'm almost done with my second semester of ASL, and I love and appreciate the language. So I was very excited to read this book, from the perspective of a deaf high schooler, and I perked up when I realized that the ASL would actually be written as ASL instead of just translated into English like in most the other books I've read with a deaf character.

But the book left me wanting, in so many ways.

Without even getting into my problems with how certain aspects of Deaf culture were displayed, the
Kate Willis
This author's first book In 27 Days blew me away, no joke, and even though this is an entirely different genre, I was expecting great things. She absolutely delivered. It’s unlike anything else I’ve read before, and I loved it.

The main character Maia was pretty cool. Some other reviewers have found her annoying, but I didn’t get that off her. The author did an amazing job helping me understand the reasons behind how she thought and acted or at least want to understand. I think the fact that thi
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of THE SILENCE BETWEEN US by Alison Gervais in exchange for my honest review.***

Maya is less than thrilled to beginning senior year at a hearing school half way across the country. Deaf for four years, leaving her secure previous school, where everyone signed to one where she’ll be the only Deaf student and need an interpreter scares her.

When Beau, a cute popular guy starts learning sign language, Maya is certain he’s either pitying o
I got this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

You know those stories where you fall in love with everything after just a few pages?
That, for me, was this book.
The Silence Between Us was, in a nutshell, some of the best disability representation I’ve *ever* read. I am not deaf, but, as someone with hydrocephalus, right-sided cerebral palsy, and partial blindness, I am always looking for good representation, and this book was It. The Silence Between Us celebrates disability
Aug 31, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am so surprised I didn't enjoy this one at all. I was so excited to read this. The main character was obnoxious. She was so guarded that she never gave anyone a break including Beau. Beau was always willing to apologize and see her side of things, but she couldn't do the same for him. I thought it was out of character for Beau to do what he did at the end of the book which immediately made me think less of this book than I already had. He is so open and understanding of her so why did his char ...more
I’ve been waiting so long for a book like this. Like our protagonist Maya, I was born hearing and have slowly lost bits of my hearing over the years in addition to dealing with Auditory Processing Disorder, both of which require me to wear hearing aids. While Maya is immersed in the Deaf community, I’ve remained a part of the hearing community into which I was born, but I can relate to so many of the experiences Maya has all throughout the novel.

I’ve seen some people say in their reviews that Ma
Maggie Carr
#OwnVoices is quickly becoming my favorite part of YA Lit. Having lost a lot of my own hearing just out of high school, I really related to 'The Silence Between Us' (pub. August 13, 2019). Maya was born hearing, but lost it due to Meningitis; however, she gained her confidence; embracing her deafness. "There was one thing I knew for certain. I was happy being Deaf, and I was not about to change that just because a cochlear implant might make my life easier."[280] I loved that Maya's character, s ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
So many of my reviews I start (or at least want to start) with "I really wanted to love this book, but..." Representation! I love it! But there wasn't much else I loved about this book. You know how in Seinfeld, he'd say something completely homophobic and then just add "Not that there's anything wrong with that..." as if that disregarded the offensive comment they'd already made? Well, that's the character's attitude towards cochlear implants, and I found it completely off-putting. I feel like ...more
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
4.5 Stars

Review to come!
Update 12/14/19: Okay ... so I’m a little behind on my ARCs because I had a baby. Thanks to Netgalley and Publisher for the review copy.

I went into this book expecting to feel seen, to feel validated. And that’s not what I got. In this, I did mildly see a reflection of my experience of being a deaf kid in a hearing school. I didn’t have an interpreter so my experienced differed from Maya’s. I also communicated exclusively verbally not did I have friends willing to learn sign ... heck my own fami
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow. That was an awesome book.

I found this a fascinating read because it really gave me a tiny feel of what being deaf might be like. It was brilliantly written, and I loved reading it. Maya was a very relatable character and Beau was pretty cool.

This book really does give you a good starting point for how to relate to, and understand people who are deaf.

Only 4 stars because I didn't really relate to any of the situations the characters were in, and I am not a fan of teen romance. But the boo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 Stars

I’m really torn on this one.

The audiobook I listened to had an author interview in the back and the author kept talking about Maya’s confidence. That’s actually some of what seemed... off? to me. I don’t know what it’s like to be Deaf (frankly neither does the author who is Hard or Hearing and involved in Deaf/HoH advocacy but admits this isn’t her lived experience) but what I do know damn well is what it’s like to develop a significant disability as a teen or young adult. If there’s a
Stephanie Roxane
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


This review may contain very mild spoilers.

The Silence Between Us is a book about a girl who is deaf and transfers to a hearing school for the first time since becoming deaf. I enjoyed parts of the story, but overall was kind of let down.

One thing I really loved was the writing. The author wrote sign language in a really cool way that I've never personally seen before. She also wrote parts where the main character Maya is
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
**I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

The Silence Between Us follows a Deaf girl named Maya as she navigates a hearing school for the first time in many years. I was initially excited for this book because of the disability rep. The author, Alison Gervais, is hard of hearing, and I think that she did a great job at representing a Deaf main character. There were so many little things that added to the experience, from the choppier way conversations in sign were r
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
The Silence Between Us is a rousing young adult novel with a Deaf protagonist who never lets her disability set her back. It explores the challenges of a Deaf/hearing relationship and addresses the strain a sibling’s chronic illness can have on a family.

I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to everyone, but especially those wanting to learn more about the Deaf community and how to be respectful to people with a disability.

Read my full review on my blog.
Lisa Mandina
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great story about a deaf girl who moves and has to now attend a regular, as she calls it, "hearing" school. As a hearing person, there was a lot that hadn't known about, and I always enjoy a book that makes me learn things. It took a bit to read and get used to the way sentences were cut out or cut short based on how she lipread and obviously couldn't always catch every single word sometimes. Or also just the way they signed they didn't use all the words we use as we talk, because that would b ...more
Nicole M. Hewitt
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

I fell in love with this book easily, mostly because Deaf culture has always been a topic that's near and dear to my heart. Growing up with a Deaf uncle, I was always fascinated by the chasms and bridges between Deaf and hearing culture, which is the main focus of this book. (Things have gotten much better since my uncle's days of growing up---but that's a whole other topic). I honestly believe that every teen should r
May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Maybe between a 3.5 to a 4, probably either 3.75 or a 4. I'm really unsure on my rating for this book. ...more
Katherine Hardisty-Cranstone
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I have always been interested in learning sign language, because I mean HELLO people talking with their hands and body language? It is so cool and something we humans naturally are in tune to, plus having more people in the general population knowing ASL (or other dialects) will make space for deaf people in our communities. So this book was a natural auto buy when I saw the author was hard of hearing and used ASL herself. (Make sure to buy #OwnVoices when possible so you're r ...more
K Hebe
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I enjoyed this book because I've never read anything like it before! I loved that this story is from the perspective of a female high school student who is deaf and confident with who she is as a person. The discussions characters had regarding cochlear implants were necessary and a delight to read. I loved that the conversations in sign remained in ASL syntax on the page! This novel only dipped its toe into the culture of the Deaf community; there's so much left to explore, and I can't wait for ...more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed seeing how Maya had to deal with being the only deaf kid at an all-hearing school. The first quarter of the book had me hooked: Maya's frustration and alienation were palpable as she combatted embarrassment, her own insecurities regarding her future, and the school's fumbling how to best accommodate her. I appreciated the book's theme that just because someone has a disability does not mean they're miserable or in need of pity, or that they earnestly crave to be "normal." Maya has been ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Just like author Alison Gervais states: "it is time we see more deaf characters in Books. n books. It’s time we see more books celebrating sign language and Deaf culture."

The YA-genre indirectly leaves room to educate its readers, makes topics like sexuality, mental health problems, physical disabilities more open for discussion. But it is quiet hard to find books with deaf main characters (even blind ones). The Deaf culture and community is quiet intriguing, the shared language intimate. It's r
The Reading Raccoon
Thank you to NetGalley and Blink Publishers for the copy of The Silence Between Us for review.
This is a solid coming of age story of a 17 year old deaf girl who moves from New Jersey to Colorado and has to attend her first hearing school. Like most coming of age stories there was some growth with Maya’s character even though it takes place over a year. Unfortunately, she still kind of came off as needlessly stubborn and arrogant sometimes. I understand as someone coming from a group that is oft
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
I've never read a story that focused on a deaf MC so I found this fascinating. I really enjoyed this one. ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it


Maya is a Deaf teenager who moves to Colorado before her senior year of high school. It's a big adjustment for her, as she's leaving behind her school for the Deaf to attend a hearing school. Gradually, Maya befriends classmates Nina and Beau who demonstrate interest in learning ASL to better communicate with her. With encouragement and support from her friends, her interpreter Kathleen, her single-parent mother, and her younger brother Connor who has cystic fibrosis, Maya nav
Samantha (WLABB)
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, contemporary, arcs, diverse
Maya lost her hearing after an illness at age 13. She found herself cut off from the world she knew, but thanks to the amazing Deaf community at her school, she was flourishing. However, her mother's new job forced the family to move across the country, where she had to attend a hearing school. Once again, she was pushed into isolation, but things improved, when she opened herself up to some new friends and some new possibilities.

• Pro: This was an #OwnVoices novel, and I really appreciated the
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.7 stars
I’m so so so grateful I was able to receive an ARC for this book, it was definitely unexpected favorite of the year.

Maya Harris is deaf and when maya has to leave her school for the deaf in her senior year to go to attend a hearing school things change drastically for her.
This was such a simple yet emotional and educational read. it was funny and romantic and had so many different layers. Maya is charismatic, witty and relatable and I absolutely adored reading from her point of view
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I can't remember having read a book with a Deaf main character so this was an interesting read for me and I enjoyed the representation.

Things I liked:
- the portrayal of ASL - I don't know much about it so it was interesting to see how the sentence structure works
- Learning about the struggles Deaf and Hard of Hearing people can face - going to school, applying for jobs and college etc - things that hearing people might not even realise they take for granted
- Maya's self-acceptance -
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ARTBA 2020: THe Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais 3 10 Jun 22, 2020 08:19PM  

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