Review // Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers

Title // Tone Deaf
Author // Olivia Rivers
Pages // 288 pages
Publisher // Sky Pony Press
Series // None
Release Date // May 2016
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

His world is music. Her world is silent.

Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.

When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.


Every once in a while, a rare little romance gem comes along and makes me fall in love with the idea of love again. This was, for me, Tone Deaf.

Romance books are more or less the bread and butter of my evenings. I adore them, because they make your heart beat that little bit faster, and create tears that form just behind your eyes. Let’s face it, they’re absolutely amazing to fall asleep to because they fill you with all these happy emotions – or is that just me? Tone Deaf was most definitely one of my favourite romance novels to have ever read. It had a different spin than most romance books tend to have, so the originality definitely awarded it some major brownie points. The tone of the novel was on point, considering it tackled some pretty tough issues. As such, please bear in mind that this story may have sensitive topics and trigger warnings in, even if only just. Yet, let it also be said, that the author has tackled these issues exceedingly well and raised significance awareness to the issues. Well done.

Ali is the damaged deaf girl who is sock of being labelled for her disability. I get that. If I had a disability, even a small one, I would hate for that to become my master status*. (I apologise for my sociology brain, I have recently finished my exams.) But still, of you are constantly defined as the person who has this certain thing wrong with them, then it can be a hard concept to shed. Yet, what I adored about Ali was her strength. While she did need support, something she acknowledges later on, she does initially attempt to deal with life herself. I like how she wasn’t made out to be the needy damsel in distress. Some authors are quick to paint female protagonists as weak, or in search of some form of help from a stronger character. Ali definitely has this aura of ‘powerful’ about her – especially with the stuff she endures.

Another powerful, and quite frankly heartwarming, character we should be idolising is the second protagonist. Have is the lead singer of a pop punk band, and definitely has the bad-boy player sense. I’ve said of before and I’ll say it again, that stereotype is hot. Although cliche, I liked who the author made him anti-addiction, whether that be drugs or alcohol. Too many books about bad boys feature addictions. While I get this is to add to the whole idea of ‘rough’ and ‘bad news’, it ultimately sends out a bad idea to potentially younger readers. No girl should ever fall for a man who is addicted to drugs, because that’s more or less a one-way ticket to trouble. So for Jace to be totally against it made me really idol him. Can I have my own Jace now?

Normally this isn’t the type of book that I would have been drawn to. I admit that I bought this book on a whim, hoping that maybe I would adore it. I don’t think I’ve ever been so pleased I took a chance on a book like this before. I want a physical copy to sit on my shelf, and I want to meet the author so they receive all the praise they deserve. This book is honestly underrated from what I have seen, so we should definitely be supporting more books like this. While it won’t exactly save a life, it will help some know that they are not alone – and that is something we need in the world.

As a strong-plotted book with a well thought-out plot, two incredibly inspiring leads and a beautiful message, I think Tone Deaf deserves to be a winning novel. We need more books like this circulating, so if anyone has read anything similar, please let me know below. I would be thrilled to read more books like this. Tone Deaf receives my highest praise and a wonderful 5 out of 5 snowflakes.

5 stars

* A master status is something which defines you, becoming all that a person can see. This is most likely to be a negative feature, and has negative repercussions on the labelled life. So basically, don’t label.


Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Kat @ Kat Reads A Lot says “It’s a perfect summer read as well.”

Poulami @ Daydreaming Books says “Overall, Tone Deaf was a great read.”

Melissa @ Book Nerd Momo says “If you’re looking for a quick contemporary read I would definitely recommend this.”

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