Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book Review: The Sound by Sarah Alderson

Pages: 320
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Mystery
Pub. Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda. What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer…"

Ren, a British teenager, escapes to Nantucket for the summer working as a nanny for a very rich family.  Nantucket is extremely different than what she's used to, especially when it comes to the other teenagers her age. They seem straight out of an episode of Gossip Girl.  She's hoping to have a low key summer where she can escape from her ex-boyfriend and spend a lot of time blogging about her latest musical obsession.  As Ren spends more time getting acclimated in Nantucket, she meets Jesse, a good looking local boy who has a serious reputation, and "good guy" Jeremy and his group of elitist friends.  Her summer is looking blissful, that is until a dead body shows up on the beach in Nantucket and just like last summer, it happens to be a nanny.  People are starting to wonder if there is a serial killer out there. Sarah Alderson's The Sound combines thrilling suspense, a fun summer romance, and a mystery that kept me wondering.  

Ren was a likable character in The Sound. She is escaping her normal summer routine to get away from her ex-boyfriend who broke her heart. She thinks that a summer in Nantucket will be the perfect escape. At first, it seems to be. There's bonfires, parties on the beach, lunches on the water, good looking guys, and sunshine filled days.  She even meets Jeremy, the son of a wealthy family and he seems to like her.  He takes her to parties, introduces her to all of his friends, and seems to be a downright good guy.  He and his friends have one problem though: Jesse Miller.

Cue the good looking mysterious bad boy: Jesse Miller. He isn't wealthy nor vacationing on Nantucket this summer like the other guys. He's a local boy who works at his father's bike shop, but everyone steers clear of him, because of his sordid past. He got in a fight with Tyler, one of Jeremy's friends, and nearly killed him.  No one knows why though.  Ren gets to know Jessie when she rents a bike from his shop and at first, he is a tough shell to crack. Ren is horrified by his initial rude behavior, but as she gets to know him more and more, she can't help but feel a connection, especially once he opens up. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he's so good looking, but everyone tells her to stay away from him.

There's a mystery in The Sound that makes it more than your whimsical summertime romance. There's been a murder on Nantucket and it seems the killer is targeting nannies.  Plus, Jeremy and his friends are hiding a dark secret that Ren finds herself becoming a part of, even though she wants nothing to do with it. Let's just say, summer in Nantucket heats up for Ren!
My only issue with The Sound was the pacing.  For half of the book, I forgot that it was a thriller/mystery. It was like reading a fun summer romance, but then Alderson hits the readers back up with some suspense towards the end of the novel. In fact, the opening of The Sound was pretty intense and it should be said that I really liked Alderson's writing style. It's very readable and enjoyable overall.
If you are looking for a beach read that takes place in a beautiful setting with a side of suspense and mystery, then check out The Sound this summer.


  1. This sounds like something I'd really like but it is weird that it is a combo of summer romance and suspense. Not something you often see in teen fiction but I am willing to give it a try! Thanks for your review.

    1. I know….definitely not what you would expect, but it works….thanks for visiting, Christina!

  2. I liked this one but I was hoping for a bit more from it. As you said, it reads like a summer contemp for the most part (which I like!) but I thought the mystery/thriller aspect was a little lacking.

    1. Yes, the mystery could have been focused on a bit more, but I liked all the summertime romance and the island descriptions, too. Thanks for visiting, Leanna!

  3. I so want to read this Christina!!! I adored Hunting Lila and think Sarah writes brilliant characters, so I can't wait to meet everyone in this book. Even though the pacing was a little off for you, it still sounds like a fantastic read overall:) Really nice review!

    1. I have heard Hunting Lila is awesome. I should read that one soon. I think you would like this book, Jenny, I hope you get to read it soon. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes! There's definitely a murder mystery, which is odd for a summer "beach" book, but it works for the most part. I love the cover too….definitely more than the UK one. Thanks for dropping by, Juju!


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