Posted in Realistic Fiction, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Tone Deaf: YA romance with a little extra

tone deafTone Deaf, by Olivia Rivers (May 2016, Sky Pony Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781634507073

Recommended for ages 13+

When Ali Collins agrees to go to a concert with her best friend, Avery, she never expects her life to change, but that’s exactly what happens when she wins a backstage tour and meet and greet with Jace, the heartthrob lead singer of the band. Jace, however, is a moody, unpleasant jerk who flips her off when he discovers that she’s deaf. It’s only when Jace’s manager insists that he track Ali down to apologize – he doesn’t need any more bad press – that Jace sees the bruises. Ali lives her with father, a retired police chief, who abuses her, and Ali’s got a plan to run away. When Jace – who has demons of his own – offers Ali the chance to help her escape to New York, she takes him up on it and finds herself traveling cross-country with Tone Deaf, Jace’s band. Spending time together, the two learn that they have more in common than they could have imagined. Can Ali stay hidden while her father uses all of his resources to bring her home? And what happens after she reaches New York, and she and Jace part ways?

Tone Deaf is an interesting take on YA romance. There’s a little something in here for everyone: disability, LGBT characters, animal rescue, and child abuse. It sounds like a lot to throw into one book, but it flows nicely and all the elements come together to create a readable story. Jace is the brooding hero with the deep, tortured past; Ali is the EveryGirl that needs to take her life back. They can’t stand one another, but you know they’re going to fall in love, and it’s all good. Romance readers will enjoy the story, and additional resources provide information and links about the Deaf community.

A good additional add for your YA collections, especially where romance does well.



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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