I ended up warming a lot towards this book. Reason why I try not to give up on a book. People who liked the book "Speak" would like this one too, because it is about a girl who has been raped and tells no one and deals with it in silence.
I did not know this book was about rape. That is why I was not liking anyone in the story, especially Annabel, the MC (fine, I did not like her not even in the end. There.) I thought she was somewhat meek, that she needed a bit of backbone. The thing with realistic YA books is that it seems everything happens to the MC, like all drama accumulates in one single person. Her mother struggling with depression, her sister struggling with anorexia, her supposed BFF being a total bitch (Annabel knew this since the beginning, this is something I can't forgive her... why give up on her first and true friend over a mean, selfish girl? This tells something about her personality), and Annabel having a bad reputation in school.
Her life changes when she befriends Owen, a boy that looks the usual "bad boy" but who actually isn't. Here is when she gets involved in music, because he is a big fan of "good music". Now, I liked Owen since the very first moment he talked, but there is one thing I could not forgive him. It is good that he is so passionate about music, but does he have to judge people's taste on music?
Eventually I realized that all characters were more than they seemed, especially the sisters. I liked Whitney's story more than anything, how she slowly started to recover from her illness, the recovery methods of her new doctor, her relationship with her two sisters, her feelings about being the middle child.
The title refers to try to listen what is underneath, not just what it speaking out loud. Like this sisters, who look so perfect and beautiful, but who are really suffering deep down (not Kristen though, only Whitney and Annabel). Or Owen. Or Clarke, whom Annabel thought she hated her, but it was the contrary.
Too bad that every MC in a YA book has to end up with a boy. I would have preferred a friendship only, because Owen was a very good friend. As in, the best. But teenager readers may have made a big fuss, so...