Review: Fighting Silence (On the Ropes #1) by Aly Martinez

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?

I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.

Fighting for her.
Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.
I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.

I'm not sure why, but Fighting Silence was kind of a slow read to me and I never could get full into it. The story starts off when Eliza and Till first meet, then we always skip a couple of years, until we end up when both are twenty-one and starting real life. It's not until then that I felt the story really started. So to me the previous chapters felt a bit too long, though I do get why the author put them in there.

Both Eliza and Till didn't have it very easy growing up. They're from a poor neighbourhood, Eliza was invisible for her parents, and Till did whatever it took to take care of his little brothers. The only good part from their youth was each other. They kind of lived in their own fantasy world, until they had to grow up and live in reality. The time for escaping was over, but letting go of that fantasy wasn't easy for Till.

We follow their journey through the next couple of years, when the situation for Till in a way becomes even more difficult. Boxing has become his solution for dire financial situation, and hope for a decent future. That though becomes all on the line, when he slowly starts losing his hearing. He will need to make some tough decisions, but luckily Eliza is always there by his side.

There is a lot of heartbreak and drama in this story. Personal, financially, love, family drama, it is all there and at times very depressing. It's definitely not a go happy story. Most of the time though I felt a certain detachment from the characters. I had trouble really connecting with them, and it just felt like I was reading a story without becoming emotionally attached. It's only towards the end that the pace picks up and there is more action. Most of the story just follows the daily lives of Till and Eliza.

Fighting Silence was not a bad story, rather an interesting one. All the characters were just fine by me, though I would have loved if I was able to connect with them more. My detachment from them, made it difficult to get into the story and care about what would happen to them. The overall feeling hanging over this book is not a happy one. Their struggles are certainly real, but it takes a while for hope to take root.  

The Author
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five- including a set of twins. Currently living in Chicago, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

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