I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key.
And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled hallway, knock on his doctor’s office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen.
April won’t let Jonah go without a fight.
He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?
April Wesley is not looking forward to a new year of high school. Her best friend Kris is going to a new private school while she's stuck at her same old public school. She would make new friends but whenever she tries to she says the wrong thing or just sputters along saying "Ummm." Then new students arrive to her class and amazingly the new cute guy, Jonah, wants to sit by her and talk to her. He even shuts down the popular girl of this high school in favor of April. He's amused by April's less than graceful responses to his questions and they bond over their mutual love for art/music and missing their best friends. They become close quickly, but then things start to change with Jonah. He acts erratic and unintentionally hurts April emotionally. There is something wrong and April only wants to protect him to her own detriment.
I feel like sometimes mental illness in movies can be portrayed in a way where you don't really get to know the illness or what the person is dealing with but how everyone else's reactions to that person. There is no real way that we can understand what is happening to that person, however Scheier is able to do that remarkably in Your Voice is All I Hear without even having the person who was mentally ill have a POV.
I just skimmed read portions of the book again to write an accurate review since I read it months ago. It wasn't until the end that I remembered my own connection to schizophrenia, something I haven't experienced personally with a family member but still it's strange to think someone in my family slowly deteriorated with this illness and no one could help her at the time. To have voices in your head screaming and taunting and terrifying you without escape... what a horrible thing to have to live with.
April is extremely loyally and protective of Jonah. Before, Jonah could be intense but loving. He loved his little sister Katie and she adores him. He teased April and their conversations were always fun to read especially since it took awhile for April to get comfortable with him and stop saying the "wrong" thing. April starts losing who Jonah was and can't cope with what to do. I really got the sense of how April quickly lost herself while she was trying not to lose the Jonah she fell in love with. There is this weight on her and sense of responsibility not to turn her back on Jonah. I loved her loyalty because it's never okay to let someone go for something they can't control. There was points that I felt April should step back because he was consuming her and when you let something so dark consume you it doesn't help the person you are trying to save.
Your Voice is All I Hear, delves deep into what it means to love a person with schizophrenia, what it feels like to have a mental illness, and how people perceive being mentally ill is like. When you aren't facing this kind of illness or love someone with it you can never imagine what those people are going through. Scheier got me to sit down and care about these characters and realize struggles that millions of people have to face everyday.