Secret Whispers

Young Adult - Coming of Age
237 Pages
Reviewed on 10/13/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Angela's Grey's Secret Whispers is a coming-of-age story that follows a young high school senior suffering from a serious mental health condition. Adria Jameson is a talented artist with a challenging life. Apart from an alcoholic mother, Adria also has to take care of herself and her younger siblings. Complicating matters more are the chronic schizophrenic episodes that render her unable to live a typical teenager's life. In comes seventeen-year-old Ben Abernathy, a somewhat privileged and shy young man who develops a crush on Adria. Soon, the two begin to fall in love. But Adria's hallucinations and deteriorating mental health threaten to drive a wedge between the young lovers. Meanwhile, a dangerous man from Adria's past may be back to shatter Adria's world into pieces again. Will Adria and Ben's relationship survive these tumultuous events?

Secret Whispers is a bittersweet tale about growing up and rising above life's unexpected hurdles. Full of heartbreak, romance, and drama, Angela Grey's absorbing novel focuses on mental health and its impact on young adults who already have to face numerous challenges of being a teenager. The primary protagonist, Adria, suffers from schizophrenic episodes, and Grey's narrative perfectly demonstrates how they affect her relationships with friends and family as well as her life. The book is very well-paced, and it makes for a smooth read. Adria and Ben's relationship feels genuinely sweet, and you can't help rooting for the two. There are also a couple of shocking reveals that I'm sure will take readers by surprise. All in all, this is a beautiful story that celebrates love and how it helps people in the face of adversity. Highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Secret Whispers is a work of fiction in the coming-of-age, interpersonal drama, and romance subgenres. It is intended for the young adult reading audience and contains references to mental health issues and sexual experiences. Penned by author Angela Grey, the work is an emotionally charged and poignant exploration of love amidst the challenges of mental health. This novel draws readers into the lives of two young individuals, Adria and Ben, who are on a journey that defies societal norms. Adria is a high school senior secretly grappling with schizophrenia while shouldering the immense responsibility of caring for her younger siblings. Her internal struggles are a well-kept secret, and her determination to protect her family from an unknown evil adds a layer of suspense to the narrative. As she navigates her own mind and the demands of life, the story offers an intimate look at what it's like to question one's sanity.

Author Angela Grey's own experiences with mental health challenges bring authenticity and depth to this narrative, which is filled with emotive twists but never feels sensationalized or gimmicky as a result. I was really impressed with the character development and dynamic following Adria and Ben, and their connection was both heartwarming and heart-wrenching, making the novel a rollercoaster of emotions that never lets up until the closing pages. I found the dialogue to be detailed and engaging, with lots of opportunities to read between the lines, and it felt authentic to the age of the characters. The issues are sophisticated and nuanced but also delivered in a format that is accessible to YA audiences and adults alike. Overall, Secret Whispers is a story of resilience, hope, and the transformative power of love, which offers readers a unique and thought-provoking perspective on the complexities of mental health and the courage to love in the face of adversity.

Stephanie Chapman

Angela Grey’s Secret Whispers is a story involving schizophrenia and how it affects the lives of everyone. Ben is shy and awkward around girls. While at work, he notices Adria is attending an interview and is smitten. However, giving her a ride home turns volatile. On Saturday, Adria attempts to accompany her best friend into an expensive clothing store. However, voices assault Adria’s mind, and she has a severe panic attack. Sadie offers her two Xanax pills to calm her down. They go to the lake to find Ben and his father unloading their boat. Ben’s father’s offer to ride on the boat leads to a close relationship. After texting each other throughout the weekend, Adria goes silent. It disappointed Ben when Adria didn’t show up to work, either. On Wednesday, Sadie gives Ben a call and reveals that Adria is in a psychiatric ward in the hospital. Despite the stigma of people labeling Adria insane, Ben remains supportive of Adria.

Angela Grey writes a unique story about a mental health issue that is often misunderstood. Adria’s fear of rejection because of her schizophrenia is understandable. From inside a mental health facility, I can relate to her thoughts about keeping other people at a distance. Ben’s need to confide in someone proved how much the stress was affecting him. The emphasis on people with mental health issues needing a support system was exceptional. I recognized the same support is necessary for family members and caretakers. It increased the suspense by trying to determine if Adria was experiencing a psychotic episode. The plot was as unpredictable as Adria’s symptoms, and I felt the emotional turmoil Ben and Adria endured. The ending was perfect and offered resources for support. I believe Secret Whispers could be beneficial in a therapeutic environment. While the story is fictional, the overall message would enlighten readers who are interested in mental health effects.