It's the spring semester of their senior year at Centerville High and a place away from their current situations are what Nikki and Caroline desperately want. Senior year was supposed to be filled with excitement and careless fun, instead Caroline is pregnant and Nikki's dealing with her mom's reckless drug habit plus the shady associates unfortunately attached. Throughout their lives, the two friends always stuck by one another, however the year continues to produce unforeseen problems, leaving each of them to decide what kind of paths lay ahead.
...a challenging, gripping and heroin tale of two teenage girls forced to make adult choices creating a butterfly effect catapulting their lives forward.
Author: D.L. Husted
Title: Silently Screaming
Publication Date: November 15, 2012
Links to Purchase: Amazon
My Review: I Liked It!!
So, let me first start off by saying that while I read A LOT, I have read only one novella and that was by Dean Koontz and was the prequel leading into one of his newest novels. With that said, I wasn't really sure how a book dealing with such major issues was going to be able to tell a story in such a short amount of space... 67 pages to be exact. The set up of the novella was interesting; each chapter was from the point of view of either Nikki or Caroline, but you saw the same scene from each of their viewpoints before you moved forward.
I enjoyed D.L. Husted's "Silently Screaming" and I enjoyed the characters quite a bit, Nikki more so than anyone and this could be because I could relate to her on so many levels. I grew up in a similar environment as Nikki, and while my situation was never so blatant and in your face, it was what it was, nonetheless. There was a part where Nikki is coming out of her room and she is fearful of what she might find, and I found myself holding my breath, knowing all too well exactly how that felt. The constant need for self preservation, the need to work rather than a desire for spending cash, and the longing to break free of a life you are determined not to live is Nikki's world and I was reminded of how far I have come from those very days in my own life.
Caroline, while not as relatable for me is a relatable character and finds herself in a situation that I am sure a lot of young girls today can identify with. Both girls have plans for their futures, but suddenly find that life has other plans as they are forced down different paths than they planned.
Nikki's main goal throughout the novella was getting to graduation, walking across that podium and knowing she had done it... she was free. I again could relate to this feeling. It's never easy when you know people are judging you because of the kind of family and/or background you come from, and that desire to succeed, to show everyone that you are stronger and more capable than they have given you credit for, well it is a driving force that is fierce and strong and this was evident in Nikki.
As I said above, the chapters are from each girls view and you would see the same scene twice, but first from Nikki's view and then from Caroline's. There were times throughout the novella where the author mixes up the characters within their chapters and this led to some confusion as I found myself going back a line or paragraph to double check who she was actually talking about. In addition, I feel there were areas more detail could have been included and I desperately wanted it. Sometimes she would mention something, such as when Nikki is holding her breath as she walks through the house, but she never explains why. It is simply this one sentence and then she moves on and I longed for more... more detail, more information, something that would invoke more emotions, but they rarely came.
While there were a few things that fell short for me, which is why I gave it a 4 stars I LIKED IT, I did really enjoy Silently Screaming. I read it in one sitting and felt a real connection to the characters and wanted to find out what was going to happen to them, and when it ended I still wanted more. I kept thinking this was just the beginning of Nikki and Caroline's story. I can only hope that the author feels the same way and that we will soon be following Nikki and Caroline as they navigate down the paths their lives have led them down.
Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I recommend Silently Screaming to anyone who enjoys short stories dealing with tough choices and real life obstacles.