Review: “White as Silence, Red as Song” by Alessandro D’Avenia

36911793Title: White a Silence, Red as Song

Author: Alessandro D’Avenia

Translated by: Tabitha Sowden

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Rating: ⭐⭐

Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Books-a-Million | Powells

(ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley)

A teen-aged boy’s self-discovery amidst illness and death is the focus of this translated coming-of-age novel by Alessandro D’Avenia.

Leo is an ordinary sixteen-year-old: he loves hanging out with his friends, playing soccer, and zipping around on his motorbike. The time he has to spend at school is a drag, and his teachers are “a protected species that you hope will become extinct,” so when a new history and philosophy teacher arrives, Leo greets him with his usual antipathy. But this young man turns out to be different. His eyes sparkle when he talks, and he encourages his students to live passionately, and follow their dreams.

Leo now feels like a lion, as his name suggests, but there is still one thing that terrifies him: the color white. White is absence; everything related to deprivation and loss in his life is white. Red, on the other hand, is the color of love, passion and blood; red is the color of Beatrice’s hair. Leo’s dream is a girl named Beatrice, the prettiest in school. Beatrice is irresistible – one look from her is enough to make Leo forget about everything else.

There is, however, a female presence much closer to Leo, which he finds harder to see because she’s right under his nose: the ever-dependable and serene Silvia. When he discovers that Beatrice has leukemia and that her disease is related to the white that scares him so much, Leo is forced to search within himself, to bleed and to be reborn. In the process, he comes to understand that dreams must never die, and he finds the strength to believe in something bigger than himself.

I cannot tell you how eager I was for this book. It was dubbed as The Fault of Our Stars of Italy, and that alone got my attention. Add to that a very enticing blurb, and it won me over, so I requested it.

Sadly, White as Silence, Red as Song didn’t quite measure up to its potential.

The story follows and is told by 16-year old Leo. He’s witty and sarcastic: a typical teen-aged boy who, by all means, does typical teen-aged boy stuff – school, soccer, dare contests with his friend Niko, music. Reading from his perspective was a quart amusing, and annoying and just plain tiring for the rest of the way. Leo is really immature though he pretends to be all-knowing. He throws around these big words like “love” a lot when he doesn’t even understand what they mean. Given, he does grow a bit by the end of the book, but not by much.

Another thing that bothered me was Leo’s obsession with Beatrice. He claims to be in love with her, but the most interaction the two has shared were just smiles as they pass each other in school hallways. He talks about her all the time, and not to discount how strong his feelings were, but Leo’s obsession with Beatrice was strange bordering on creepy. There was this one scene that really made me stop reading for a while. Leo, who was also confined at the same hospital as Beatrice after a scooter accident, goes to visit the girl. He just stayed in Beatrice’s room even if the girl was sleeping, and, more, he caresses her face, then proceeds to tell the nurse who sees him in the girl’s room that he is Beatrice’s boyfriend.

I’m not sure if, somewhere along the way, things were lost in translation but the writing felt patchy and disjointed. It actually made this short book seem longer. I almost put it down a number of times.

I just have to make it clear that I haven’t read the original, which was in Italian, so my review only applies to the English translation. I really wanted to like this book. It had potential, but that’s just it, potential.

 

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Blog Tour + Book Spotlight & Giveaway: “White as Silence, Red as Song” by Alessandro D’Avenia

Today I’ll be spotlighting a book that’s being branded as the The Fault of our Stars of Italy.

cover - White as Silence 9780785217060.jpg_1Title: White as Silence, Red as Song (Bianca Come il Latte, Rosa Come il Sangue)
Author:
Alessandro D’Avenia
Translated by: Tabitha Sowden
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. until a new teacher arrives and challenge him to give voice to his dreams.
And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty Beatrice. She doesn’t know Lep exists, but he’s convinced that his dream will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to helps her but doesn’t know how – and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having aldready sold over a million copies, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heart-warming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning – and the cost – of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

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🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂

About the Author:

Alessandro D'AveniaAlessandro D’Avenia holds a PhD in Classical Literature, and teaches Ancient Greek, Latin and Literature at a high school in Milan. White as Silence, Red as Song was his first novel, published in Italy in 2010. It sold a million copies in Italy, has been translated into over twenty languages and was released as a film in 2012. Alessandro has since published four more books, the latest of which, Every Story is a Love Story, was published in October 2017.

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Giveaway!

Get a chance to win a hardcover copy of Alesssandro D’Avenia’s White as Silence, Red as Song (US only). Enter through the Rafflecopter button below. The giveaway runs until September 21. rafflecopterThank you so much to Thomas Nelson for giving me a chance to read this book in advance, and to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for letting me be a part of this blog tour. Don’t forget to check out the other tour stops!

BANNER

September 10th
Vicky Who Reads– Review
The Reading Corner for All– Review & Favorite Quotes

September 11th
Malanie Loves Fiction– Review

September 12th
Heidi Reads…– Spotlight
Wanderer in Neverland– Spotlight

September 13th
Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews– Review
Never Too Many To Read– Review

September 14th
booksonthebookshelf– Review
A Lovely Book Affair– Review
Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

September 15th
Rambling of a Book Nerd– Review
Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

September 16th
Amy’s Booket List– Review
Comfort Books– Review
Confessions of a YA Reader– Spotlight

 

First Line Fridays: “White as Silence, Red as Song” by Alessandro D’ Avenia

First Line Fridays (feature photo)

First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hording Books.


Hello! Happy Friday! Welcome to another edition of First Line Fridays. 

This week’s post is a translated book. Originally published in Italian, this book is being touted as Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars. That’s something! I loved TFiOS so when I saw this book in NetGalley I knew I just got to have it.

cover - White as Silence 9780785217060.jpg_1

 

 

Everything is a color. Every emotion is a color.

Silence is white – and I can’t stand white. It has no boundaries: a white elephant, a white flag, a white lie… In fact, white isn’t even a color. It is nothing like silence. A kind of nothing without words or music, Silent, alone.

 

 

I will be posting more about this book in the coming days. But for now, check out the other blog tour hosts reviews, features and other fun stuff. Here’s the is the blog tour schedule.

BANNER

September 10th
Vicky Who Reads– Review
The Reading Corner for All– Review & Favorite Quotes

September 11th
Malanie Loves Fiction– Review

September 12th
Heidi Reads…– Spotlight
Wanderer in Neverland– Spotlight

September 13th
Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews– Review
Never Too Many To Read– Review

September 14th
booksonthebookshelf– Review
A Lovely Book Affair– Review
Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

September 15th
Rambling of a Book Nerd– Review
Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

September 16th
Amy’s Booket List– Review
Comfort Books– Review
Confessions of a YA Reader– Spotlight

Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson for giving me a chance to read this book in advance, and to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for letting me be a part of this blog tour.

Addendum: (because I forgot to include it when I first posted this. I’m sorry! Totally my bad.)

I already have a winner for my Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen Giveaway

Congratulations to Michelle Stagg! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. It’s a really wonderful read.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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