Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review: The Voice by Jennifer Anne Davis

The Voice
Title: The Voice
Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
Publisher:  Lands Atlantic
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Pages: 288, Paperback
Goodreads Rating: 4.72 stars
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: During her abduction and assault, Audrey begins to hear a voice. She hopes she's not going crazy, because after what she's experienced, that's the most logical explanation. However, as she begins to listen to the voice, Audrey realizes that someone may be telepathically trying to help her.

Unfortunately, rescue isn't all she needs. In order to leave behind the constant reminders, she flees to her Aunt Kate's house in San Diego, and assumes a new identity. It works until the eighteen-year-old twin boys who live next door threaten to break through the protective walls she's worked so hard to build.
Between Caleb going out of his way to befriend her and Justin avoiding her at all costs, Audrey doesn't know if normalcy will ever find her again. But one thing is certain: When a familiar danger resurfaces, it's the same voice that she turns to -- a voice that is not only real, but a lot closer than she realizes.
Gripping and tastefully told, The Voice is a story of healing, trust, and courage.


I had mixed feelings about this book.  After reading several stellar reviews, I had high hopes and I honestly don't think the book lived up to them.  But, again, I was torn.  On the one hand, I thought it was an amazing story of recovery from sexual assault.  The book is about a girl named Audrey who is abducted by her uncle and repeatedly abused.  They story actually begins with her escape and focuses on her recovery from the horrible things that happened to her.  I definitely felt Audrey's pain and I thought that her struggles were handled tastefully and truthfully.  Her uncle is arrested and awaiting trial, but Audrey starts to receive calls threatening that if she testifies against him someone will come after her again. It becomes apparent that this new stalker is watching her closely and Audrey is terrified that she will once again be put in harm's way.  This whole part of the storyline was very well done - I was emotionally invested in the characters and the stalker storyline was suspenseful.

Unfortunately, it was the paranormal part of the book that fell flat for me.  Throughout her ordeal with her uncle, Audrey is encouraged and strengthened (and possibly saved) by a voice that she hears in her head.  She is not sure if the voice is real or if it is just her mind's way of helping her through her trauma, but she feels a true bond with "The Voice" (as she calls it).  Even after she escapes her uncle, The Voice helps her stay sane when things become too much for her.  I won't spoil exactly who The Voice turns out to be (although it is incredibly obvious - so obvious that I honestly don't think the author was trying to hide the fact from the reader, just from Audrey herself).  Unfortunately, this is where the story gets frustrating for me.  Because the person who is actually The Voice doesn't want Audrey to know who he is, he walks around not speaking to her or disguising his voice around her.  The whole thing gets a little ludicrous.  I honestly would have preferred if Audrey would have recognized the person's voice right away, but doubted herself because it just didn't seem sane.  The author could have said that the voice sounded slightly different because it was being heard through her ears instead of directly in her head - this would have been a good enough reason for her to hear an eerie similarity, but still doubt that it was him.  As it was, it just got tedious having this character avoid letting her hear his true voice. Because of this, we had to have important plot points explained in a letter rather than in person.  Plus, there were times that Audrey heard the character talking to other people and there was never a good  reason why she wouldn't have recognized his voice in those circumstances.  Another issue that bugged me - Audrey told The Voice details about her life, but whenever she asked for details about his own, he wouldn't respond.  Why?  He didn't have any reason to believe that Audrey would eventually end up in his town (across the country from where she lived) and be able to figure out who he was, so why was he so secretive?  And his explanations about why he concealed his identity from Audrey in the first place seemed weak to me.  I can think of lots of good reasons why he might want to hide his abilities, so it's not that I felt like he didn't have them - I just thought that his explanations were somewhat lame.

Okay, so that all seems very negative.  But, in the end, I did still enjoy the book overall and I found myself not wanting to put it down despite its flaws.  I also really enjoyed the characters (especially Audrey and Caleb, who I didn't really mention much in my review, but who is a very big part of the book).  Overall, I give it 3/5 stars.