About the Book
Book: Seeing Voices
Author: Olivia Smit
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Release Date: April 15, 2020
Skylar Brady has a for her life—until a car accident changes everything.
Skylar knows exactly what she wants, and getting in a car accident the summer before twelfth grade isn’t supposed to be part of the plan. Although she escapes mostly unharmed, the accident has stolen more than just her hearing from her: she’s also lost the close bond she used to have with her brother.
When her parents decide to take a house-sitting job halfway across the province, it’s just one more thing that isn’t going according to plan. As the summer progresses, Skylar begins to gain confidence in herself, but as she tries to mend her relationship with her brother, she stumbles upon another hidden trauma. Suddenly, she’s keeping as many secrets as she’s struggling to uncover and creating more problems than she could ever hope to solve.
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As I read this book, The Pandemic of 2020 has completely altered the lives of Senior high school students in our country and, in this book, Skylar's senior year has also been dramatically changed. An accident right before her senior year has taken her hearing but more than that, it has altered her whole family and the close relationship she once had with her brother. Everything that Skylar believed in and dreamed of has been changed.
Seeing Voices is the debut novel of Olivia Smit and it is an exceptional story of family ties, lost hopes, and unexpected blessings. I loved the insights into the world of deafness; Skylar's realization that "It's funny, losing your hearing---you always expect the biggest surprise to be when you can't hear what's going on in the world around you, but for me it's more shocking to miss the sound of my own voice". What would it be like not to hear your own words? Not to know how your thoughts and emotions were sounding to others? And even though her hearing loss is traumatic, it is the lost companionship of her brother that hurts as much. Skylar and Mike no longer have the bond that they once had and it isn't until much later in the story that the reasons are explained.
Seeing Voices deals with hurt and anger but in the end, it is a story of hope and resilience. I loved that during this special summer Skylar finds friendship with Cam and Ana and I especially enjoyed that she is able to work at a library! Skylar also experiences a spiritual growth and realizes that she is loved by her family and by God. "I'm not sure when I decided to believe in God, but I think I do. I just don't know if I like it, yet". Part of her growth can be attributed to Cam, who is young in years but very mature in his faith. As he talks to Skylar about why her accident occurred, he offers her this very profound advice about God. "He isn’t safe, not like a helmet or seat belt. His love for you isn’t easy or comfortable, but it is strong. His love for you is so strong.”
This is labeled as young adult fiction but it is a story that resonates with adults dealing with their own health issues. I enjoyed Seeing Voices and I recommend it to all who enjoy Christian fiction.
I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit Book Tours. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
About the Author
Olivia Smit loves baking, visiting small towns, and writing stories that face hard truth with hope and encouragement. Olivia has an Honours Specialization in Creative Writing, English Language, and Literature and lives in Canada with her family. Seeing Voices is her first novel. Learn more at https://oliviasmit.ca/
More from Olivia
Although “Seeing Voices” is not the first book I ever wrote, it is the first one that felt like it held a little piece of my heart. Skylar and her older brother, Mike, popped into my head one afternoon, both coping with the aftermath of a car accident in totally different ways. It took me ages to figure out what kind of story they belonged to, but right from the beginning I knew it would be a story about siblings and families, pain and guilt, and also (perhaps most importantly!) togetherness and love.
In so many ways, “Seeing Voices” was for me, before it was for readers. I wrote the rough draft when I was 18, fresh out of high school and still figuring out a few tricky situations within my own family. As I wrote about Skylar and Mike, I poured a lot of my own confusion and emotion into the pages, trying to make sense of my own feelings of responsibility, frustration, and ultimately, hope. Words from the book still float through my mind when I’m in certain situations, little reminders of lessons I learned once and need to hang onto with both hands.
I prayed my way through the writing process, trying (and failing) to find a story that fit with Skylar and Mike, who felt so much like real people. I prayed through querying, trusting that if God wanted this story out there in the world, He would find it a home … and if He wanted Skylar and Mike to be a story just for me, I would be okay with that, too. In so many ways this process has been a team effort, and I feel convinced that this isn’t my story, after all — it’s God’s, and I’m just doing my part to help tell it.
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To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize package of coasters and a book sleeve!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
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