05 January 2019

White as Silence, Red as Song | Book Review


Hailed as Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars, this Italian bestseller is now available for the first time in English.

“I was born on the first day of school, and I grew up and old in just two hundred days...”

Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.

And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having already sold over a million copies, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: September 4, 2018


White as Silence, Red as Song is an odd YA story. Leo carries it with a stream-of-consciousness-esque narration, so naturally, it focuses on the aspects of his life: school, soccer, friends, and his crush on Beatrice. At times, Leo comes across immature and makes questionable decisions (he is a teenage boy, after all), but his growth through the story, thanks to injury, illness, and a teacher that makes him think, is interesting to see.

When I picked up White as Silence, Red as Song, the comparison to The Fault in Our Stars helped me to have an idea of what type of story I was entering—and kept me from fully investing emotionally with the characters, I think. Even so, I found that Alessandro D’Avenia’s novel had enough differences to make it unique. It’s a quick, thought-provoking read that YA readers could enjoy.


Thanks to BookLook Bloggers, I received a complimentary copy of White as Silence, Red as Song and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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