Monday, September 28, 2015

Audiobook Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Title: Daughter of Deep Silence
Author: Carrie Ryan
Narrator: Karissa Vacker
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers 

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I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

There's a certain connection I think I have with authors I've loved previously that makes me assume I'll love them forever and always and everything they write will be gold. Because of this I've found myself more than a little disappointed with a few books this year alone. Some examples that come immediately to mind are The Cage by Megan Shepherd and Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre. Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth was one of the first YA books I read when I really started getting into the genre. I was blown away by the entire series and fell in love with her as a writer. So when I saw this book for the first time I had no doubt that I would love it just as much. But it wasn't meant to be.

Immediately I was sold on the synopsis for this book. I can definitely get on board with a good revenge plot, even in a contemporary setting. Frances sounded like a total badass and I was really excited to get to know her! Maybe my expectations were just too high for this book. I expected Emily Thorne but I got a whiney 18 year old with a crush.

Let me tell you about Frances (a.k.a. Libby) and why I didn't buy her character. From the very beginning of this book all she tells us is that she's angry and wants revenge and has this big, amazing plan laid out to make everyone PAY. But that's all she does. She tells us. In reality, she forgets all of her "plans" from the moment she sees Gray, the guy who she (apparently) fell in love with four years ago, when she was 14 and knew him for a couple days on a cruise. Maybe I was just way behind all the other 14 year olds, but I never fell in love. I literally saved gum wrappers from when my crush gave me some gum at church. I wish I was kidding. But I wasn't falling in love and I surely was not making it to whatever base Frances and Gray got to in their make out sessions. What I'm trying to say is, the romance is totally unbelievable.

In case you haven't caught on, this is a romance novel, not a revenge novel. Every single thing that happens in Frances' "revenge plot" is totally by chance. Literally the wrong person showing up at the right time. I also didn't understand how she intended to pull off this supposed plot. On the one hand, Emily Thorne spent YEARS of her life training with a revenge -master- to avenge her father. On the other hand, Frances spent four years in boarding school and is supposed to be some kind of master of deception. Yeah, okay.

There were just SO many things in this story that I just couldn't buy. I understand that there's a level of suspension of disbelief that has to happen when reading fiction, but this just went above and beyond.

Frances is not a badass and she has no skills. She's 18. She's a rich, spoiled, boarding school kid who is in love with her sworn enemy (or so she says). Sure, Emily Thorne pretends to be in love with Daniel Grayson (is it a coincidence that the love interest in this novel is named Gray?), but it's just pretend and it's all part of her plan.

Spoilery problems I have with the plot of this book:

  1. The reason behind the attack on the Persephone is ridiculous. I'm supposed to believe that an entire cruise ship of people was slaughtered to kill off a few people in an environmentalist group? Give me a break. 
  2. If Tom wanted Frances dead, she would have been dead. He literally had her throat against a stair cutting off her air. He could have snapped her neck without any effort. He could have choked her to death with no effort. He was a trained assassin. She was literally defenseless. The fact that she didn't die is deus ex machina at its finest. 
  3. The cop. Oh my god, the cop. First of all, if Frances was going to spill every single thing that happened, why the heck didn't she do it from the beginning?? And even more importantly, NO cop in the world (or at least no good one, which we're supposed to believe this one is) would go along with letting a guy go to jail for a crime he didn't commit, even if he was a scumbag. 
  4. Gray. Frances supposedly pulls off her master plan and escapes to her new life with no strings attached. WHY would she then sabotage the whole thing by sending Gray tons of evidence against her along with her address? I mean, really?? 

This book is Revenge for young adults, but where Revenge is amazing in almost every way, Daughter of Deep Silence falls apart. Perhaps this is where the fact that I am -not- a young adult really comes through? I am a YA junkie, but I think that maybe someone younger would be able to forgive all these faults or overlook them altogether. I enjoyed the survival aspects of the book, and some of the minor characters were really well-done. There was also enough mystery to keep me coming back. It just wasn't enough. I wanted to love this so freaking much, but I just can't get past the ridiculousness of the plot and the main character.

°o°  Notes on the Audiobook  °o°
Karissa Vacker was a fantastic narrator and probably the reason I stuck through to the ending of this one! She did a great job of distinguishing between the different characters and making their emotions believable. I'd definitely pick up another book by her!