Okay, so it's Thursday, and I've been spotlighting an amazing verse novel every week this month for National Poetry Month.
Today's title is THE SOUND OF LETTING GO by Stasia Ward Kehoe. This is Stasia's second verse novel, and the first, AUDITION, is just as compelling and beautiful.
I sort of stumbled onto Stasia's work through a group I used to be involved with, The Bookanistas. We formed several years ago as a support system, and one of the things we did was mail around ARCs for review. Sometimes they were just ARCs we got from publishers, but sometimes they were our own ARCs.
That's how I came upon AUDITION. I read it early in my genre exploration of verse novels, and I loved it. Since then, I've left The Bookanistas, but I didn't forget about Stasia's writing. So when THE SOUND OF LETTING GO came out earlier this year, I couldn't wait to read it.
About THE SOUND OF LETTING GO: For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.
But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How do you know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?
I even blurbed the book. Here's what I said: “Achingly beautiful, The Sound of Letting Go takes readers down a dangerous path while touching the heart and encouraging hope.”
And that's how I feel about it. It is achingly beautiful. It is about hope, about Daisy learning how to stand up for what she believes while still being a sister and a daughter. I loved the struggles she goes through, because they felt real -- and they're struggles that don't stop just because we become adults. So the book felt real to me, even outside of being a YA novel. It felt true to life, true to having to make hard decisions in many different areas of life.
But it was also hopeful. I don't need a perfect ending. I just want to feel like the main character will find their way, whether I see it on the page or not. Because I want to feel hopeful about my own life. I don't know what's going to happen yet, but I want to believe that I can figure it out -- just like Daisy does. And THE SOUND OF LETTING GO does that.
What have you read that has provided you with hope?