Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, Penguin on 5/26/15
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.
In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.
Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this book. The cover made it almost look like a fantasy to me, but the blurb made it relatively obvious that it wasn’t. I’m not much for suspense, and I didn’t know if this book would venture too far into that territory for me to love it. Still, I was definitely intrigued and I ended up requesting this one through Shelf Awareness and was excited when I got it!
Well, it turns out, I loved this book!!
The book starts out with Frances being rescued after being adrift at sea for over a week. She and her friend Libby escaped their cruise shop when all of its inhabitants were brutally murdered, but unfortunately, Libby wasn’t able to last long enough to be rescued. When Libby’s father finds out what happened and that the murders are being covered up, he comes up with a plan – have Frances pretend to be Libby so that he can protect her. Frances is now an orphan with seemingly nothing in life to go back to, so she agrees. But she spends the next four years plotting how she can discover the secrets of why everyone on the ship was murdered and expose the truth.
What I loved:
- Shipwreck! Okay, I was pretty much fascinated by this book from the get-go. Ryan did a fabulous job with the mystery, giving you more and more details of what happened on the ship the night it was attacked and what happened to Libby and Frances as the book went on. I savored each piece of information as it was unfurled! Plus, it’s a shipwreck – those are just inherently interesting, as far as I’m concerned.
- Inner turmoil. Yes, there was suspense and mystery to this book, but I would actually say that it was mostly about Frances’s struggle to come to terms with everything that had happened to her. The tragedy of watching her parents (and others) being killed and watching her best friend die followed her throughout her life, and she simply could not let these things go. The attack haunted her and her quest for revenge took over her life. Then there was the identity crisis – Frances had to learn to be Libby, and in many ways, she lost herself in the process. She buried herself when Libby’s body was buried with her name. She lost her friends and her family and her very sense of self. And she never felt like she could truly make connections with people under her assumed identity. The only thing that kept her going was the idea of getting revenge, even on the boy who she had once been in love with.
- Grey and Shepherd. Both Grey (the boy who Frances was in love with on the ship, who was now participating in the cover-up) and Shepherd (the boy that Libby was in love with when she died) played major roles in this book and I kind of loved both of them. I was glad that there was no love triangle, though – while Shepherd did have some confused feelings for Frances because he thought she was Libby, nothing ever came of it. In the end, Shepherd ended up being a true friend – someone who was willing to tell it to Frances like it was and helped her come to terms with who she was and who she truly wanted to be. Grey was haunted by the night on the ship as well, so it was hard not to sympathize with him, but it was also incredibly hard not to be suspicious of him. That made for some great suspense in the romance department!
- The ending. The ending was pretty open-ended, which I don’t always love. But in this case, I was okay with it because I thought that we got enough closure to feel hopeful about where things might end up going and we’re left with the idea that, no matter what happens, Frances is going to be okay. She’s conquered most of her demons and is ready to move on.
- Love at fourteen. The only thing that held be back from absolute adoration of this book was the idea that Frances and Grey fell in love on a one week cruise when they were fourteen and it was supposed to be this deep connection that somehow lasted four years of separation – even if neither Grey or Frances totally understood or believed that. Oh, and Libby and Shepherd were also deeply in love at fourteen (and Shepherd had ALSO held onto that love for four years, never losing the hope that they might somehow end up together still). I do believe in young love (my husband was only fifteen when we started dating!), but not when it develops in a week! So, why isn’t this a complete negative? (You know my feelings about insta-love, so you’re probably wondering how this didn’t completely ruin the book for me.) A couple of reasons: First of all, I had to give Ryan a little bit of a pass because the love at fourteen was pretty much necessary for the plot to work. Frances had to have been young enough at the time of the shipwreck that it was believable that her facial features were still changing a bit as she grew and four years had to pass for that same reason – it was imperative to the story that people could believe that Frances was actually Libby. Also, the circumstances under which both young couples fell in “love” were pretty extreme – Frances and Grey had this huge (for them) first love experience and then immediately went through a completely traumatic shipwreck and lost each other. It’s reasonable to think they would still have a lot of unresolved feelings about each other. Libby and Shepherd grew up together (almost as brother and sister, which I found a little bit ewww, but I gave Ryan a pass on this as well), so they had A LOT of history, even at the young age of fourteen. And again, being torn apart by tragic circumstances (but not being able to completely separate from each other) makes it more believable that Shepherd might have still been harboring feelings for Libby as well. So, while I did occasionally roll my eyes at the mentions of these characters’ deep love at the age of fourteen, I was able to look past it.
Daughter of Deep Silence is a grippingly suspenseful read with a strong focus on character development. The book explores what shapes identity and how we can sometimes lose ourselves along the way. I don’t know why I haven’t read Ryan before, but I will definitely be reading more of her in the future! I give it 4.5/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Carrie Ryan is the New York Times bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series and Infinity Ring: Divide and Conquer as well as the editor of Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction. She recently published The Map to Everywhere, a four book middle grade series co-written with her husband, John Parke Davis, and Daughter of Deep Silence, a romantic thriller, which was just released by Penguin Random House. Her books have sold in over 22 territories and her first book is in development as a major motion picture. A former litigator, Carrie now lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and various pets.