Review: The Sound - Sarah Alderson

Release Date: August 1st 2013
Published By: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 320
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: 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…

Review: Ren Kingston has her future planned - she will spend the summer as a nanny on the island of Nantucket, and when she isn’t looking after 2 young children, she will spend her time reading and blogging, and then she will return to England to become a music journalist. And her future certainly does not include any boys.

Ren however doesn’t plan on becoming mixed up with some of the holidaying rich kids, meeting the local bad boy, of falling for anyone - but life takes an expected turn when all of this happens… but more so when she becomes the target of a killer who has a liking for foreign nannies. Will Ren survive so she can live a life that she never planned for?

The mystery in The Sound was very well written. I was suspicious of most characters in this book at one point or another, and while I felt that Sarah didn’t purposefully steer you in the wrong direction (which sometimes can make it completely obvious to go in the other direction), she gave you enough to become suspicious of characters but not enough to grab hold of that suspicion and find it predictable.

I found Ren to be highly entertaining female read. She is sassy, determined and although she may be led astray for a little while, I felt she was generally true to herself. Ren’s inner-dialogue and feelings were amusing and realistic regarding many aspects of her life, including her breakup with her boyfriend, and her feelings that are provoked by meeting Jeremy (rich prat type who is also gentlemanly sweet), as well as Jesse (the mysterious bad boy type). Although there is no “insta-love”, a relationship develops between Ren and Jeremy… but there is something about Jesse that she just cannot overlook.

Along with Jeremy, you get to meet other “rich kids”, Parker, Tyler, Sophie, Summer, Paige and Jeremy’s siblings Matt and Eliza. This group of spoilt teenagers have been spending summers in Nantucket all their life, but they seem to be accept Ren into their little group - but is there more to this than being “friendly”?

Jesse on the other hand is on the outer. He is a local, he isn’t rich, and he put Tyler in hospital by brutally beating him. Needless to say, tension between Ren’s new friends run high. Jesse is angry, brooding and guarded but yet he shows sides to him that vulnerable, loyal and sweet. He is also sarcastic and sexy - that just has to be mentioned. The flirting, banter and sarcasm between Ren and Jesse brings such much needed lightness to the ongoing conflicts throughout this story. Oh, and the chemistry between them is amazing!

There are lots of varying types of characters throughout The Sound, some likeable, others utterly detestable. As drama starts and little pieces of information start to unfold, Ren realises that there may be more to her new friends, and to Jesse. Ren is determined to get to the bottom of their secrets, but will revealing the truth put her friendships, or her life, at risk?

Once again, I found Sarah Alderson’s writing to be entertaining and enthralling. Sarah has a great ability to create humour and lightness along with tension and darkness - and that talent is highlighted in this contemporary YA. One of my favourite things about The Sound is that Sarah has incorporated some funny dialogue regarding some cliché/stereotypical YA situations. You know, those things that make you roll your eyes, cringe or even laughed out loud at a protagonist, male lead, or the love story? Well, it seems that Sarah feels the same about those things, and brings these issues up in a very comical way!

A special shout-out also has to go to the character of Brodie - the 4 year old that Ren looks after - this little girl is hysterical! The thought of some of these things coming out of the mouth of a little girl is that entertaining combination of mortification and laugh out loud.

All the “action” was at the very end of this book. And while that sometimes falls flat, I felt that it really worked here. The love story of this book took centre stage, characters kept you entertained (or repulsed) and you get to unravel many secrets while it slowly builds up to the dangerous and possibly deadly ending.


“I refuse to be a cliche. I refuse, point blank, to fall for the hot moody guy with anger issues. Is my name Bella Swan? Am I the protagonist of every paranormal romance lining the shelves of Waterstones? No. I am not.”

“I narrow my eyes at him. ‘Don’t try to take me on with sarcasm. I am the queen of it. I’ve studied it, perfected it. I come from a land where we own sarcasm and the use of it. There is nothing you can teach me about sarcasm.’

“Also I kind of want to see what he looks like, because, frankly, his back is begging the question – what the hell does his front look like?”

“I can’t think about anything but kissing you… about being with you…”

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