Friday, 31 August 2018

Hear What You Want by Kyra Lennon out now!

One of my oldest author friends released a new book this week, and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC. I can wholeheartedly recommend this book - in the past, Kyra Lennon has been known for sweet romances that I have thoroughly enjoyed, even though that is not my first genre of choice. The key is that her characters are always completely relatable, and that carries on into this new offering which takes a turn into some darker territory, doing so in a way that is skilful and keeps you guessing.

Title: Hear What You Want (Chaos and Consent Book 1)
Author: Kyra Lennon
Blurb: Ambra
Things I wanted:
A great night out, and to meet my favourite band.

Things I didn’t want:
To wake up the next morning with my underwear beside me on the floor and a large chunk missing from my memory.

Guess which one I got.

Things I wanted:
To meet a pretty girl at my band's gig and have some fun.

Things I didn’t want:
To find a photo of me and the pretty girl on social media with people questioning whether or not I raped her.

But here we are. And that one photo?

It changed everything.

**This book contains sensitive topics that some may find upsetting.**

My review:

One of the best novels I've read in a long time. I think its greatest quality is that it deals with very hard-hitting, challenging issues in a style that is very accessible - we get alternating viewpoints from both main characters and I felt a great deal of sympathy for both of them, including Noah, who we have to believe is behind the attack that underpins the plot - now that's no mean feat. The problem is that neither of them are sure whether an attack took place, and while they're trying to piece it together, they're facing a backlash that could threaten both of their futures.

This very timely novel is a sobering warning about the pitfalls of social media - which as well as being a force for good, can all too often become a vehicle for a mob mentality in which people jump on the bandwagon to vilify someone with no worries about the consequences. In the days following the night that changes her life, this has almost as devastating an effect on Ambra's life as the incident itself. I won't give away any spoilers, but let's just say the nature of trust also comes under the microscope here as something that is increasingly fragile in the digital age.

Lennon throws in a good couple of twists towards the end - I hadn't actually realised this was the first in a series, so now I'm eagerly awaiting part 2 to see where she takes us next.

My only quibble with this book - which was very minor, and might not bother someone else - was the Americanisms that pop up throughout (eg "apartment", "asshole", "most everyone"). British people don't speak like that - I even share the same hometown as Ambra, Brighton on England's south coast, so I would have preferred a more authentically British feel. It jarred me out of the story slightly at times, but didn't spoil my overall enjoyment.

That aside, this was an engrossing read that kept me turning pages, and is the best I've read from an author who has consistently produced excellent books. Highly recommended!


Heather R. Holden said...

Great review! This sounds like such a weighty book, for sure. Intrigued by the social media aspect and how that'd complicate things further. Glad to hear you enjoyed this!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to Kyra!
Funny, I bet most Americans won't even notice that the jargon is wrong.

Liz A. said...

Sounds like a very timely story.

Loni Townsend said...

Sounds intense and gripping. Great review!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - what a great review for Kyra ... it does sound a good read - cheers Hilary

Roland Clarke said...

Interesting review - and makes me wonder if my Brighton language has changed from being married to an American.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I can definitely relate to what you and Kyra wrote about the mob mentality of social media. I'm on Twitter, and I've noticed that people are so quick to bash whoever's been accused of something before they get all the facts and hear all sides of a story. The problem with social media is that it often provides a very biased perspective of certain situations, and it can negatively affect the way people think and see the world and other people.

Darla M Sands said...

I'm with Liz. ~nods~ I'm so grateful to be in a longstanding relationship. Thank you for sharing this compelling review. Be well!