The Silence That Binds Us by Joanna Ho
Narrated by Raechel Wong
Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. | Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
Maybelline Chen is a typical teenager and far from the perfect Chinese-Taiwanese daughter her mother expects. Her smart, kind, athletic, Princeton-bound older brother Danny, however, can do no wrong. Unknown to Danny’s family, he has been struggling with severe depression and when he commits suicide, May’s life is shattered. On top of dealing with her own loss and her grieving parents, a local rich, white venture capitalist claims that Danny committed suicide because his parents put too much “pressure” on him and that these extreme expectations from Asian parents are why so many white students are struggling with mental health and academics. May’s parents tell her to keep her head down and ignore the comments. But how can May stay silent? Who gets to say which experiences get told and which are ignored? Soon, May and her friends begin a school campaign to take back their narratives and find justice for Danny’s memory.
Joanna Ho’s novel is an honest look at mental health, survivor’s guilt, racism, and so much more. Raechel Wong’s narration is a clear, honest performance. There is a lot for listeners to identify with in this novel and readers who enjoyed Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why, This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura or Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee should give this book a try.
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.