Before I begin my review, I just want to make sure everyone knows that this book deals with physical abuse, and it even made me cringe at times. I know that might be something that can cause issues with some, because of personal experience, so I just wanted to throw that out there before I started talking about this book.
Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers is a great book. It’s a hard book to read at times, because of some of the themes in it, but the story is beautiful, and it had me hooked from the very first page. Plus, if you like swoony, adorable love stories, this is a book for you.
Ali Collins used to be a great musician – until she was diagnosed with a horrible brain tumor, that when removed, left her completely deaf. To make matters worse, she was sent to live with her father after her mother died – a man who refused to learn sign language and acted like Olivia wasn’t deaf. In order to communicate with him, Olivia had to learn to lip read, and then she had to speak with him instead of signing. Her father was also abusive toward her – he took out his anger on her and left her walking on eggshells and dreaming of a life where she was happy and no one hit her anymore.
When she and her best friend go to a concert for her best friend’s favorite band, Tone Deaf, Olivia wins a backstage meet and greet with the band – only to have that go over terribly. The lead singer of the band, Jace, is incredibly rude to her, and it only makes her feel more alone and miserable.
When Jace is forced to call and apologize, as well as offer her the tour and a check for a large sum of money (to avoid bad publicity), Olivia has no plans to take it…until she realizes that she can use the money to run away and get away from her father. When Jace learns more about Olivia, he offers to help – providing her with assistance in escaping her father by going on tour with the band and hiding out until they get to New York, which is where Olivia wants to go.
Only, as Olivia and Jace (who pretty much hate each other for a good portion of the book) start to spend more time together, they realize that maybe they can both help each other.
While Jace is an absolute jerk towards Olivia (and honestly I’m surprised about just how much of a jerk he is), we eventually learn about Jace’s past and why he acts the way that he does. Once I learned about Jace’s background, my heart softened for him a little bit, and I started to actually like his character.
Olivia has been through a lot in her life – things that might break some people, but she’s still going on, and she’s confident and strong, and I admired that. Not many people can have their dream taken away from them, their mother taken away from them, and be thrown into the care of an abusive parent, and still manage to deal with things. The part that makes the situation for her even worse is that because her father is a retired police chief, even when Olivia and her friend’s parents came forward about the abuse, no one believed it. So Olivia continued being abused for years.
The story is told in alternating viewpoints of Olivia and Jace, and I think this was a wonderful way to narrate the book. Not only did we get Olivia’s side of the story, we also got to learn about Jace and get inside his head, which led to me really liking Jace by the middle of the book. I loved hearing his story as well.
For the most part, I think the relationship between Olivia and Jace is kind of predictable, but it doesn’t really take away from the story at all. I still found myself absolutely loving the way things were progressing and the way that both characters were handling the situation.
Even Jace’s bandmates were fun characters, and while they were hesitant to accept Olivia (who can blame them? They’re all over the age of eighteen and they’re hiding a seventeen year old girl on their tour who has run away from home…if they were to get caught, things wouldn’t go very well for them), eventually some of the guys made friends with Olivia and made her feel welcome.
I did feel like the ending of Tone Deaf was rushed, in comparison to the slower pace of the rest of the book. It seemed like the entire climax/conclusion of the book was wrapped up in about two or three short chapters. I did love the ending, though, so don’t get me wrong. I think it was wrapped up perfectly.
While this book has some really heavy issues (such as the physical abuse I talked about earlier), it’s a really great read. It was one where I kept saying “one more chapter!” over and over again, leading me to pretty much finish the book in one sitting.