by Hannah Harrington
Chelsea has always been proud of her status as one of the most popular girls in her high school, and also as the one who knows the dirt on everyone and isn't afraid to share it. After all, gossip is just telling what you know about people. But when she lets out a secret about a boy in her class, a secret that results in him being attacked and almost killed, she realizes that maybe her inability to keep a secret is not good. As a penance of sorts, she decides to stop talking altogether. As she loses her friends and popularity, she beings to find that maybe everything that she thought she was was a lie. Maybe through not talking she'll find her true friends and a better way to be.
While I thought the whole 'vow of silence' thing to be a bit cliche and selfish of Chelsea, I really wound up liking her as a character by the end of the book. The book itself deals with some very heavy themes: sex, hate crimes, LBGT rights to name a few, but it does so in an age-appropriate way. The book really reminds you the impact that one careless statement can have on many, and in all honestly how many people can say they've never gossiped about someone and regretted it afterwards. A really good read for teens.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 8th Grade