REVIEW ✧ ARCHER’S VOICE

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“Sometimes an understanding silence was better than a bunch of meaningless words.”

☆☆☆☆3/4

I wanted to lose myself in the small town of Pelion, Maine. To forget everything I had left behind. The sound of rain. The blood. The coldness of a gun against my skin. For six months, each breath has been a reminder that I survived—and my dad didn’t. I’m almost safe again. But the moment I meet Archer Hale, my entire world tilts on its axis . . . and never rights itself again.

Until I trespass into his strange, silent, and isolated world, Archer communicates with no one. Yet in his whiskey-colored eyes, something intangible happens between us. There’s so much more to him than just his beauty, his presence, or the ways his hands communicate with me. On me. But this town is mired in secrets and betrayals, and Archer is the explosive center of it all.

So much passion. And so much hurt. But it’s only in Archer’s silence that we might just find what we need to heal . . . and live.

You never know how special a book will be until the very end. Wow, was this book something else. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started Archer’s Voice but I didn’t expect to be hit so hard and to be this emotional. Most of the NA books I read essentially want me to be happy and enjoy myself with some seriousness sprinkled in here and there. But it was Mia Sheridan wanted me to really feel with this book and to legitimately take me on a journey of discovery just like her characters. To call this book an emotional rollercoaster doesn’t even begin to cover it. My heart was floating, ripped out, sewn together, demolished again, then glued back together, and that was all in 2.5 pages. But I loved it all the same. I loved this book so much that I don’t even know what to rate it because nothing feels like the right rating for it. 5 stars seems too much but 4 stars isn’t enough, and the compromise of 4.5 stars is borderline insulting to a book like this. I guess 4 3/4 stars is gonna have to work. Thanks for the rating crisis, Mia Sheridan.

THE GOOD

  • Where do I even start? Let’s just start with the overall theme of self discovery and everything related to that. I think what I loved most about this book was that I went into it thinking that it was going to centre more on Bree and her journey of discovering herself and making this new life for herself, but it wasn’t. Sure, there was a good chunk of this book that was about that but in the end, it was really about Archer and I’m 100% not mad about that at all. I do love how majority of NA centres on the female protagonist and how she finds herself and all that jazz but I also like it when we help the male characters out and see them develop in such an emotional way. I’m so tired of toxic masculinity where men have to be so dominant and overbearing so it was great to see a story like this focus on the complete opposite of that for the male protagonist. We need to see that men can be completely broken and need to piece themselves back together. We need to see that men aren’t always the strongest ones. We need to see men be emotional and scared and vulnerable. Archer is exactly that kind of man and I want to see more men like him. And just like how I wouldn’t like when a woman is put back together because of a man, I really liked that Bree didn’t wholly put Archer back together and it was something he worked out on his own. I liked the way Sheridan handled that portion of the book and how she had Archer leave on his own accord and discover all that he is capable of but didn’t destroy Bree in the process. She continued to have Bree live her life rather than have her completely mope around because of a man. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that this was a book that let both the male and female protagonists be strong yet emotional and vulnerable and they both discovered their true selves, but one was more important than the other and it was handled beautifully. I loved watching Archer develop and learn and really come into his true self and it’s the proudest I’ve been in a character in a long, long time.
  • The real meat of this story was in the characters and relationships but I think the relationship between Bree and Archer was beyond important. I admired Bree for so many reasons but the fact that she didn’t see what everyone else saw in Archer says a lot about who she is as a person, and I loved all the effort she made in communicating with him and showing him that she cared. She really was the best person for Archer. But the thing that got me about this relationship was that it had that idea and feel of an unhealthy dependent relationship but Sheridan completely crushed that. There were so many times where Archer would discuss his insecurities with Bree and how she would always respond by saying that she’d be there to help him and while she thought it was ok, Archer didn’t. That was a big thing for his character because he didn’t want to be dependent on someone for the rest of his life because it wouldn’t be fair. That’s why he needed to leave and discover all of the things he’s truly capable of and that he can live in the world just as he is. I liked how Sheridan did this and really thoughtfully explained how and why Archer needed to do this and I think it strengthened their relationship. She took a potentially unhealthy relationship and turned it into something that’s not only healthy, but beautiful and strong.
  • I really liked how there was a spotlight on someone with a disability and really showcased how it doesn’t have to be something that weighs you down. Sure, there was a lot of stigma and nonsense from the town that wasn’t fair to Archer, but Bree’s character was good to show how having a disability shouldn’t matter to anyone really, let alone those that love you. I liked how someone like Archer was normalized more and more as the book went on. But the best thing was how there was this giant spotlight on sign language and really showed the beauty of it. I mean yeah, it’s a book so you’re not seeing the language like you would in Switched at Birth, but it was such an important factor and element of Bree’s and Archer’s relationship and their individual characters and I’m glad that Sheridan used it. It wasn’t really a plot device or something along those lines; it was just another language that they both spoke. It was great and I would love to learn ASL even more now.
  • The idea of a voice in this story was really interesting because it became more than just a sound that came out of someone’s mouth. Archer didn’t believe he would ever have a voice ever again since his accident but Bree believed in his voice more than anything, and a lot of this book was about him discovering that. But I really liked how it was how a voice can be ideas and dreams, and the impact that someone has. Archer’s voice became such an important factor in the story and went as far as being the embodiment of the entire town. I just like how Sheridan explored the idea of a voice and how it was used throughout.

THE BAD

  • The only thing, only thing, that bothered me about this book was how the POVs weren’t divided equally. I loved that Archer got a POV but I just wish that he got more than what he had. I loved seeing POVs in his past where we learn everything that happened to him, from his life at home to his accident to after the accident, but I just wanted to know more of his mind. I’m selfish like that. Everything else about the writing was top notch except for the equality between narratives.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • You’re gonna start this book thinking you’re completely prepared but I’m telling you now, nothing will prepare for the journey you’re about to take. It’s a story full of love and heartbreak but also one that is full of self discovery and true inspiration. I am beyond glad I read this book and if you read it, you’ll be glad too. But you’re gonna sob for 2.5 pages near the end and it’ll be the worst emotional rollercoaster of your life.

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Archer’s Voice
Author: Mia Sheridan
Release Date: January 15, 2014
Pages: 384 (Paperback)
Goodreads

Until next time,

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What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!

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