In The Silent by Rebecca Kenney, Nikki Altemann, a seventeen-year-old girl, is encouraged by a local detective to investigate threats against teachers and the principal at her public high school. The setting is a small, usually boring town called Mourning, Vermont. However, amidst a mix of family tension, friend drama, and her desire to do what is right, Nikki struggles to find the individual called the “Silent,” even with help from her best friend, Haley. At the end of the book the threat becomes reality and Nikki is caught in the crossfire. The novel shows the problems that can exist with child abuse that is not discovered and treated, as well as what can occur when the internet and other communication options invade the private space of individuals. It’s a contemporary plot with up-to-date challenges.
Kenney gives life to her characters through wonderful dialogue. The exchanges between high school teens are clipped and contemporary, yet transparent and honest. She also is not afraid to let her readers tackle real issues with her characters, such as divorce, death and suicide, eating disorders, broken friendships, love, and healing. Written in a conversational and easy-to-follow style, this book is easily relatable to teen girls. I would recommend this book primarily to female aged twelve to nineteen. – Laura Gustafson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
When frightening emails are sent to the teachers at Mourning High, Nikki Altemann teams up with a local detective to find out who is behind the threats. Few resources and even fewer clues force Nikki to face the truth-the Silent could be anyone. Between the trouble at school and conflict within her own family, Nikki wonders if she will survive the year. Only her faith can give her the courage she needs to face what's coming.