I remember once watching a documentary about teenagers who have chosen not to speak. There are some who are affected by such intense social anxiety that they find it best not to say a word to anyone rather than say the wrong thing. It was a heart-breaking programme where I just hoped that these young people could get over their issues, or at least find a way to enjoy life.

This book focuses on such a person. Our protagonist is Oakley, a teenage girl who hasn’t said a word in eleven years. In many ways Oakley is a normal teen, she is an exemplary student, has hobbies, an irritating brother and a new boyfriend who adores her. But she also has a secret from her past. One that she has buried so far inside herself she can no longer communicate verbally.

Some might complain that the story moves in a very straight line, that its conclusion – and how it’s going to play out – is clear from early on. But I felt that the richness of its characters, the seeming realness of its teenage world, gave this world proper depth and feeling and made for a compelling if somewhat sad read.

My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free. A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!

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