White as Silence, Red as Song
by Alessandro D’Avenia
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
Leo is your average high school student. He is only sixteen years old and acts like any normal teenager. He is in high school, but doesn’t really like any of his classes or teachers. He has good friends, plays sports, and he is just living in the moment. He experiences his first crush in Beatrice, a girl a year ahead of him in school. She doesn’t really know Leo other than in passing, but he loves her regardless.
Leo is infatuated with colors and hates white as it is the color of silence. White is nothing and Leo does not want to be white. He does not want to be alone, doesn’t know how to be alone and wants to feel as if he exists. Leo has a passion for red. Red is love. Red is what is tangible. Beatrice is red and Leo will do anything he can to make Beatrice see him, but when Beatrice gets sick will it be too late for Leo to tell Beatrice how he feels?
Leo is not always an easy character to like in the beginning. Sure, he is a good person, but I felt he was lost in his own little world when it came to Beatrice. Everything was about his love for Beatrice and in turn he never actually saw what was right in front of his eyes. His good friend Sylvia. I don’t think Leo really took Sylvia’s thoughts into consideration and at times Leo felt very selfish. My feelings for Leo changed pretty quickly, though once Leo met The Dreamer, a substitute teacher who comes in to teach a Philosophy class. Leo finally starts to shine and become a likable protagonist for me.
Leo finally learns what it means to dream and to have a passion for something. Leo puts his whole heart and soul into his dream and this is when he finally comes into his own and grows from his experience. It was amazing to watch him flourish and become an honorable and thoughtful teenager willing to help others, especially Beatrice. I could see how Leo wanted to make a difference and in doing so, he learned a lot about himself in the process.
White as Silence, Red as Song has been compared to books such as A Fault in our Stars and while I can see a lot of similarities, I can also see this story being compared to A Walk to Remember especially with the beautiful passages and the deeper meaning behind certain things. It really is a highly emotional book, but not only is it emotional, it also makes you think about your own dreams. It really makes you think about what you want out of life. For myself, I did stop to think about my dreams and how I have pushed them to the side and this story makes me realize that without dreams what is your purpose in life?
White as Silence, Red as Song is a beautifully moving and emotional coming of age story full of life lessons that we should all listen to. It is a story that will encourage you to think and to dream.. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes an in depth story on par with the two books mentioned above. This story has found a place in my heart and renewed my faith in my own dreams I had previously pushed to the side.
Prize: 1 copy of White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia
Starts: 9/10 Ends: 9/21
About The Author:
Alessandro D’Avenia holds a PhD in Classical Literature, and teaches Ancient Greek, Latin and Literature at a high school in Milan. White as Silence, Red as Song was his first novel, published in Italy in 2010. It sold a million copies in Italy, has been translated into over twenty languages and was released as a film in 2012. Alessandro has since published four more books, the latest of which, Every Story is a Love Story, was published in October 2017.