Tone Deaf is a sweet, if undemanding, story of two ‘damaged’ individuals coming together. The story takes place over a short amount of time and mostly within the confines of a tour bus. This is a light and airy read, perfect for a Summer afternoon.
Story: Ali was a gifted musician until an operation permanently took away her hearing. When her mother died at the same time, she was taken in by her estranged father. But her father’s PTSD from hard nights on the police force as well as a drinking problem means he has taken his frustrations out on his daughter. Now, at 17, she is ready to flee her abusive home – and seizes her chance with the band Tone Deaf and harsh lead singer Jace Beckett. But Ali won’t be safe until she’s 18 – several months during which her father will attempt to track her down and bring her back under his heel.
Although I liked Tone Deaf, I admittedly found the story a bit shallow. Everything seems to fall into place nicely and perhaps in a bit too much of a Cinderella way. Since the story is quick, there’s not a lot of room for character development and nuances in the plot. It’s a fairly straightforward story of Ali getting over her negative first impression of Jace, the lead singer, and his falling for her; at the same time, there are the quirky bandmates and the spectre of her father looming.
Admittedly, there was a lot of issues with logic and plot holes that kept this from a four star read for me. Little things like whole conversations that Ali is able to understand despite being described as staring at the ground or being jostled at a concert. Similarly, characters are able to hold a bag, point out a bus, and sign a conversation at the same time. It was very confusing and I think a bit more time spent on the descriptions would have helped. Additionally, there are some time issues; e.g., Ali says she met her best friend at the age of 10 but then also says that she hung stars on her friend’s ceiling when they were in kindergarten. Perhaps I was reading too fast because things kept jarring as I went along.
The romance is quite sweet, of course. It’s a very pride and prejudice story of mistaken impressions at the beginning. The two leads come together due to similar histories: Ali being a musician and Jace also having experienced an abusive family life. It is the latter that will lead Jace to want to ‘save’ Ali when he sees the symptoms of abuse in her.
So yes, a lovely and fairly quick read perfectly suited for younger teens as well. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.