Book Review: Whisper Falls

Whisper Falls
Published By: Spencer Hills Press
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Page Count: 370
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy/Time Travel, Historical Fiction

I haven't read many YA novels that featured the late 1700's as a time period. In addition, the lives of indentured servants doesn't typically make it into novels. I often find myself gravitating towards the stories of those whose stories have not been told previously. I was excited to learn more about this time period, indentured servitude, and women's issues.

Whisper Falls is the story of two teenagers living in the same area of North Carolina, but separated by centuries. A chance encounter allows the impossible to become possible and the two meet. They both find the falls in their town to be a special place. Mark lives in 2016 and spends his days cutting lawns and training for cycling competitions. Susanna lives in 1796 and spends her days working as an indentured servant for a large family. These two couldn't be more different, but somehow they forge a bond that transcends time.

I loved the idea of this novel and found it to be an enjoyable read. It did take me a little time to settle into Mark's sections. I found that his way of speaking didn't always feel realistic and true to a modern teenage boy. I preferred the historical sections told from Susanna's perspective; these sections were truly what made this novel shine. Langston infuses Mark and Susanna's story with information about the area surrounding Raleigh, North Carolina in the late 1700's and with detailed information about indentured servitude. I knew that indentured servants existed, but I always wrongly assumed they bartered their freedom for passage to the shores of America. That was the case for many, but some indentured servants were signed over by family members who no longer had the means or desire to care for them. Many times, young women were handed off to learn a trade. The treatment of these young ones was harsh and often difficult to comprehend. Susanna endures countless acts of cruelty and brutality at the hands of her master.

In addition to the strong historical influence, I found the evolution of the relationship between Mark and Susanna to be sweet and romantic. I wasn't sure that I would end up supporting these two when they had so many historical and cultural differences hindering their path, but in the end everything made sense to me. 

I enjoyed my time with Whisper Falls and would recommend it to fans of historical fiction. Langston offers up a compelling debut that combines history, time travel, and romance. Reading stories like this one remind me of the difficult path women have trod. I am so thankful I was not born in Susanna's time. I don't think I could have handled the view society had of women and their place in the world.

One Last Gripe: I felt like Mark's family accepted Susanna a little too easily. The explanation is plausible, but the reaction of the family didn't feel entirely realistic.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved watching Susanna grow as a character. I might have even applauded when she stood up for herself.

First Sentence: I perched on a stool in the dining room's corner, the mending basket at my feet, a torn pair of breeches draped across my lap.

Favorite Character: Susanna

Least Favorite Character: Jethro

About the Author

Hello, I'm Elizabeth Langston, and I write fiction for young adults. My debut novel, Whisper Falls (Whisper Falls, #1), releases November 19, 2013.

I live in North Carolina and work in the computer industry for my day job. I have two YA daughters and one really old husband. At night, when I'm not writing, I'm watching TV (So You Think You Can DanceThe Daily ShowCastle) or reading (and that is all over the place.)

About the Novel

While training for a mountain bike race, high-school senior Mark Lewis spots a mysterious girl dressed in odd clothing, standing behind a waterfall in the woods near his North Carolina home. When she comments on the strange machine that he rides, he suspects something isn’t right. When Susanna claims to be an indentured servant from 1796, he wonders if she's crazy. Yet he feels compelled to find out more.

Mark enters a ‘long-distance’ relationship with Susanna through the shimmering--and temperamental--barrier of Whisper Falls. Curious about her world, Mark combs through history to learn about the brutal life she's trapped in. But knowledge can be dangerous. Soon he must choose between the risk of changing history or dooming the girl he can't stop thinking about to a lifetime of misery.

Check out the other great posts on this tour:

November 5 - Introductory Post: Reading With Me Tumblr (

November 6 - Review: Books Complete Me (Nicole)
November 7 - Guest Post: Read For Your Future (Lora)
November 8 - Guest Post: Bookaroo-Ju (Julie)
November 9 - Guest Post: Letters in the Sand (De'Anne)
November 10 - Character Interview & Review: Oops! I Read A Book Again (Dianne)
November 11 - Author Interview: Fantasy Book Addict (Stacey)
November 12 - Guest Post: Because reading is better than real life (Michelle)
November 13 - Author Interview: Adventures in Writer Land (Heather)
November 14 - Review: WTF Are you reading? (Frishawn)
November 15 - Review: Reading Lark (Andrea)
November 16 - Author Interview: Never Ending Stories Book Blog (Ta'Necia)
November 17 - Guest Post: My Guilty Obsession (Ali)
November 18 - Author Interview: Cover Contessa (Brooke)


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