cover image Your Voice Is All I Hear

Your Voice Is All I Hear

Leah Scheier. Sourcebooks Fire, $9.99 trade (336p) ISBN 978-1-4926-1441-8

Scheier follows her 2012 historical mystery, Secret Letters, with a stark look at the challenges of life with schizophrenia. Socially anxious April is dreading sophomore year now that her best (and only) friend, Kristin, has transferred to private school. Then new student Jonah swoops into town, rescuing April from solitude. Their fast, intense friendship becomes a whirlwind romance, but Jonah’s “little mood swings” escalate: he has screaming matches with imaginary voices, destroys his paintings, and exhibits paranoid behavior. Ignoring cautionary advice from her mother and Kristin, April takes Jonah’s side, planning for their future together at a local art school and telling herself that the real Jonah “was just hiding, temporarily out of sight.” The cycle of Jonah’s outbursts and April’s reactions to them grows repetitive, and the dialogue can be overly lecturelike (“Many people with schizophrenia find ways to cope and disguise their symptoms in the beginning,” April explains to her classmates). But the book remains an intense portrait of the unpredictability of schizophrenia and the toll it takes on those close to those who have it. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Agency. (Sept.)