Review: Muted by Tami Charle

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Title: Muted
Author: Tami Charles
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Page Length: 400
Genre: Hard Hitting Contemporary | Verse
Age Range: YA
Rating: 5⭐

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A ripped-from-the-headlines novel of ambition, music, and innocence lost, perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds!
Be bold. Get seen. Be Heard.

For seventeen-year-old Denver, music is everything. Writing, performing, and her ultimate goal: escaping her very small, very white hometown.

So Denver is more than ready on the day she and her best friends Dali and Shak sing their way into the orbit of the biggest R&B star in the world, Sean “Mercury” Ellis. Merc gives them everything: parties, perks, wild nights — plus hours and hours in the recording studio. Even the painful sacrifices and the lies the girls have to tell are all worth it.

Until they’re not.

Denver begins to realize that she’s trapped in Merc’s world, struggling to hold on to her own voice. As the dream turns into a nightmare, she must make a choice: lose her big break, or get broken.

Inspired by true events, Muted is a fearless exploration of the dark side of the music industry, the business of exploitation, how a girl’s dreams can be used against her — and what it takes to fight back.

Thoughts

Thanks to Edelweiss and Scholastic for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. This review is based on the finished audiobook.

Please be sure to check out reviews done by OwnVoices reviewers: Shelly’s Book Corner

Content warning: abuse (physical & mental), forced dieting for weight loss, sexual assault (& recording it), death/murder, manipulation, forced isolation from outside world, homophobia

This book was amazing! So powerful and with so few words. I’m always impressed when an author provides such an emotional punch in verse.

Denver is a powerful character and interesting to read from. She is passionate about her dreams and will do anything to make sure she, and her friends, succeed in the music industry. You almost have to keep this in mind throughout this story. Denver is clever and does question a lot of things, but had a tendency to explain away things in the beginning. Once more and more time passed, Denver starts questioning more. The friendships in the group were heartbreaking – the experiences they have to endure and what they lose is beyond what anyone should have to go through.

Writing this review has proven difficult. It’s hard to get into words exactly how impactful this book is. The further into the story you go the more your heart breaks – the more time you spend reading each word the more invested you are in these girls. You want to protect then, but you know that you can’t. It is not an easy book to read and you will ball at the end of it!

Tami narrated the audiobook – this includes the vocals! The songs within the audiobook also had music along with it – which is something I have found lacking in other books that had songs within it (I want to hear the music!). This added touch really immersed me into the whole story – making the girls feel even more real.

As you can see, my love of this book was hard to put into words, especially without spoiling things.

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