Whisper by Alyson Noël
Riley Bloom series, #4
Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Square Fish
This time, Riley might really have bitten off more than she’s ready for. After practically begging the Council for a more challenging Soul Catch, she is assigned an actual Roman gladiator—Theocoles, the Pillar of Doom. How is Riley, a skinny twelve-year-old, supposed to get through to him? Then she meets the beautiful Messalina, who convinces her that her only chance is to become part of this world. To accomplish this, Messalina helps Riley through a dramatic, mystical makeover, transforming her into the beautiful and mature teen she’s always wanted to be. Finally, Riley can experience her first boyfriend and her first kiss. With a dream this enchanting, will she ever want to leave?
Riley Bloom is a soul catcher, and her latest assignment is her most challenging one. How is 12 year old Riley supposed to be any match for Theocoles, who is a Roman gladiator referred to as the Pillar of Doom. Many soul catchers have went before her and not found their way out. Riley soon meets Messalina, who says that she is going to help Riley find a way to get Theocoles. But is Messalina really helping? She does make Riley's innermost wishes come true. Riley gets to experience what it would be like to be a teenager and have a boyfriend. Riley is soon caught up in their world and is so happy living her dreams.
Whisper is such a sweet novel. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. This is the first Riley Bloom novel that I have read even though it is the 4th one in the series. I did have some questions about things which may be explained more in the previous books in the series, but I do not think they are necessary to read to enjoy Whisper. Riley is such a likeable character and easy to relate to, and Alyson's writing style is engaging and easy to read. I have only read one other novel by Alyson Noel (I really didn't read much YA or MG before starting the blog), and I must say that it was not my favorite (but that's just me). Whisper has restored my faith in Alyson Noel, so to speak, and I will not have to think twice about picking up another novel by her. In fact, I would love to read the rest of the Riley Bloom series. Some parts were a little heavy on the blood and gore (this is gladiators, after all), so that may be something to think about for younger readers. However, I would recommend this as a great read for upper MG, lower YA, or for anyone who enjoys reading MG/YA.
A copy was provided by the publisher for review.
About the author:
You can find out more about Alyson Noël on her website.