New book: Louder Than Words, by Laurie Feld Plissner ’86 (Merit Press)
The author: Plissner majored in art history at Princeton and earned a law degree from UCLA. Girls’ Life magazine named Louder Than Words, which is a love story and a mystery, one of 8 books to read after Twilight. Plissner’s second novel, Screwed, is due to be published in May.
The book: After her family is killed in a car accident, Sasha is so traumatized that she can no longer speak and loses most of her memories. Four years later, 17-year-old Sasha meets Ben, who seems to know what she is thinking. Ben tries to help her heal but he worries that his unusual talent will impede her recovery and backs off. Angry and lonely, Sasha explores her past to try to recover her voice and finds that her family’s death might have been more than just an accident.
Opening lines: “Every night it’s the same thing. Screeching brakes. Crunching steel. A rush of cold, wet air as the glass crumbles, letting in the snowy night. The chorus of screams, and then nothing — just the slow drip of fluids from the mangled wreck and the hiss of steam escaping the crushed radiator. And the stench — scorched rubber, gasoline, the metallic smell of blood, burning electrical wiring — all mingled with a sweet, flowery smell I couldn’t identify. Was I dead? Did God work behind the perfume counter at Bloomingdale’s?”
Review: “With an outspoken protagonist, and a quickly paced romantic relationship, Plissner’s novel touches on more than just the mystery of the novel,” wrote Dayla F.M. of blogcritics.org. “Sasha’s world explores the troubles teenagers face growing up, the dangers of the naive world they tend to inhabit, and the complexities surrounding hormones. … Witty and unapologetic, Plissner’s novel is a realistic representation of the teenage world: imperfect and complicated.”