"I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key. And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled hallway, knock on his doctor's office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen."
April won't let Jonah go without a fight. He's her boyfriend-her best friend. She'll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters-and the ones in his head?
Read an Excerpt
I know my way around the mental hospital.
I doubt most of the girls in my neighborhood could claim that, even though many of us lived just a few minutes from its leafy, sterile grounds, and some of us picnicked on the lawn outside its gate during summer break.
By the end of tenth grade, I knew Shady Grove Hospital better than I knew my school. I knew that the security guard's name was Carla and that she'd worked at her depressing post since the place was built. I knew the quiet path behind the topiary garden where I could wait until visiting hours began and she let me in. I'd memorized the shape and color of his shadow behind the dark-red curtains, and I knew where I had to stand so he could see me from his eleventh-story window. From that distant spot, I could even guess how well the medicine was working for him that day; I could tell what kind of visit it would be by counting the paces of his shadow.
I had the place mapped out, his daily routine memorized, the doctors' names and call schedule, every pointless detail carefully recorded in his special little book. He'd given me those notes as if they were classified secrets, the papers wrapped in strips of hospital linen sealed together with bubble gum, long wads of partially chewed Wrigley's tied into a crisscrossed mesh. That tattered spiral notebook was crammed with data he'd gathered over months: patients' names and histories, nurses' phone numbers, the cleaning crew's shift hours. I would never know how these bits of information came together for him or how he even found them out. But somewhere in these random nothings, he'd put together a story for me, a clue of how to get to him, a coded message that, for some reason, he believed only I could read. I was the one he trusted, the only one who had not betrayed him. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key.
And now, nearly three months after they'd taken him away, I was finally ready. I was going to march up to the security window, look into the tired guard's blurry eyes, state my name and the name of the patient I was visiting, and hear the buzz and click of the locked gate sliding open. I was going to walk down the white-tiled hallway, knock on his doctor's office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk, and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen.
I was finally going to do it.
I was going to betray him.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
April is a bit of a depressed mess. Her best (and only) friend is leaving their current school to attend a different one, and April is less than thrilled about this. She’s not good at making new friends. She hates most of her classmates and could care less about finding a new friend. When Jonah arrives at their school, she’s instantly drawn to the “new kid”, and he’s just as drawn to her. They begin to spend a lot of time together, growing feelings for each other. And the more time they spend together, the more April is able to see that there’s something a little off about Jonah. Though he’s insisting he’s “fine”, she’s noticing quite a few things that are causing her to question whether that’s an accurate statement. What I Liked: The accurate portrayal of schizophrenia. I honestly don’t know much about this illness, but reading this book was a very eye-opening experience. The family/friend support system in this story was pretty incredible. No, the family didn’t always make the right decisions, but man, they always had their heart in it 100%. The same with the friendships in this book. I don’t want to say too much (because, spoilers!!) but there are excellent friendships in this story, showing what being a true friend really is. The realistic nature of the story line was quite shocking, yet really brought this story to life. I had literal stomach pains while reading most of this book. I felt for these characters SO HARD! ALL OF THEM!! There wasn’t a single meaningless character that didn’t have a purpose in this story. Everything about this story was accurate and extremely real to life. The bullying/harassing by others was a HUGE part of this story. Obviously I didn’t “like” the bullying itself, but I was happy to see it included in this story, no matter how difficult it was to read at times. It’s extremely realistic and something a lot of mentally ill people are forced to face. A sad but real side effect to a mental illness such as schizophrenia. What I Didn’t Like: A tad too insta-lovey for my liking. I know, I know… I complain about this wayyyy too often. And honestly, this one wasn’t that bad. I can see why they ended up latching on to each other so quickly. I just felt like they went from friends to soulmates in a matter of minutes (okay, not minutes, but close.) and that kind of thing irks me a bit. Overall, I can see why it was done the way it was, and I was able to look past it and not let it bother me. I loved that this story was told through April’s point of view. Usually with mental illness books I’ve read in the past we most often get the view point of the ill person. To see it from a loved one’s standpoint shed a whole new light on the illness and how it can affect everyone around you so intensely. (There’s a bit more that I wish I could say about this topic… but I can’t, so I won’t. Sorry! Just read this book and you’ll see for yourself. ) Such a strong and accurate look into schizophrenia. I learned quite a bit from this book, and I think others would benefit from reading it as well. Getting the outside perspective on such a powerful and intense illness was extremely eye-opening. Another fantastic book to add to your must-read list! (Thanks to Sourcebook Fire for the review copy!)
**Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!** Your Voice is All I Hear was a beautifully written tale about young love and schizophrenia. The story follows April, whose best friend just switched schools. Now she's all alone and has to try to survive her sophomore year of high school. On the first day, she meets a new kid named Jonah, who immediately says that she's pretty. The two of them hit it off from there. As time goes on, the two of them grow closer and closer together, though Jonah starts acting differently. April doesn't know why he's acting the way he is, and neither does his mom. Jonah won't really say anything about it, but there's definitely something wrong with him. After going to the doctor, April finds that Jonah has schizophrenia, and she decides to try to stick with him through it all. I absolutely adored Jonah. He was perfect for April, and they were both so artsy. I felt so bad for him as he was slowly losing himself, while April was trying to help him hold on to what really matters in life. I also love how he helped April become the person that she was by the end of the book. He really supported her in her decisions and helped her see that she's amazing at piano. I honestly loved Your Voice Is All I Hear. It was very unique and different, and shed light on what schizophrenia can do to a person. I almost cried at the very end of the story, and it takes a lot to make me cry. That's how I know how wonderful this book really is. I highly suggest checking it out.
A heart-crushing and eye-opening tale of young love, true friendship and the devastation of mental illness unchecked, Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier is a powerful story that will stay with its readers long after the last word is read. Feel the weight of April’s love, loyalty and guilt as she realizes her best friend-boyfriend has been hiding secret traumas from his life that have taken him beyond his mental limits, fragmenting his mind into the hallucinations of schizophrenia from a guilt he should never feel. April is far from experienced with boys, but she knows Jonah is kind, caring, loyal and doesn’t care what others think. He sees in her a kindred artistic spirit and makes her feel important and alive. A gifted artist, Jonah captures the soul of his subjects and leaves a veiled cry for help on each canvas. A cry no one sees until it is almost too late. Determined to give him the support he needs without turning against him, as he feels others have done, she bravely and naively caters to his quirks thinking her love will heal him. After months of devotion and daily trips to the hospital, April makes a shocking discovery that will shred every ounce of bravery she has when she must decide to reveal more about Jonah than anyone realized. Will her love heal him enough to come back to her and his former life or has she sealed both of their fates and futures? From the prologue on, the emotional strains begin their staccato refrain as a young girl learns about life, love and the pain of seeing someone you care for crumble before your eyes. Leah Scheier has presented a dramatic and relatable story that will resonate with those who have felt the pain of knowing someone with a mental illness as well as inform others of the crushing toll taken on families, friends and the victim, themselves. Do not expect bright flowery prose, expect to see these events through the eyes of a teenaged girl whose capacity for love and compassion seem almost limitless as she willingly puts herself through an emotional wringer for another. Ms. Scheier is to be commended for her ability to convey both love and loss with moving and well-chosen words. Highly recommended, guaranteed to grab a piece of your heart. I received an ARC edition from SOURCEBOOKS Fire in exchange for my honest review.
For me this was a great YA book. The new boy comes to town and he doesn't go for the popular girl. He goes for the only girl in school who doesn't have a friend. Her one and only best friend left her this year for a private school. April is shocked! They become friends and then boyfriend/girlfriend and then Jonah starts to change. This is a book of a person suffering from mental disorder as told from the eyes of the teenage girlfriend dealing with the issue. I think it was very well written and I really liked the characters. I think her history assignment where she gives the class an eye opening true simulation of what Jonah goes through and has been going through on a daily basis was pretty cool. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and learned some new things about mental disorder as well. I think this is a great book for YA as well as adults. I would like to thank Sourcebooks and Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.