Review of Utterances by Jo Michaels

Simone is not your typical teenager. When others around her are out clothes shopping and partying and thinking about boys, Simone is caring for her terminally ill mother. With literally nothing more to be done, Simone takes to reading fairy tales to her mother at her bedside from a dusty old book she found at the back of a second hand book store. However, the book is not what it seems and it magically brings healing words to it’s hitherto blank pages, creating nothing short of a miracle. The best things in life however are not always for free and magic often has creative ways of redressing the balance.

Whilst Simone starts to rebuild her life with her mother and her social life along with it, the book still holds a strange sway over her. Simone must therefore finely balance the new friendships she creates alongside of trying to convince them that she is not crazy and that there really is a good reason why she won’t let the strange book out of her sight. Her life finally has everything great going on friends, family, a job, and now a too good to be true boyfriend in the form of Tristan. However, as Simone falls farther into the thrall of the book, Utterances becomes a heartbreaking tale of selfishness and selflessness as her friends and family struggle to come to terms with the choices she makes.

Utterances is pitched as a New Adult Fantasy, but what you get is an utterly thought provoking read that will have you questioning and second guessing yourself throughout and long after. Simone is beautifully naive and the perfect person to have picked up the book, still filled with enough innocence to believe in its magic but with enough maturity to know that she is making the right decisions….or not…. I want to say so much more about her and my own thoughts about her journey but it’s just all going to be sailing too close to a spoiler. I’m still thinking about it now and finished 2 days ago!  Utterances will throw you curveballs, it had me laughing at the awesomeness of her friend Lilian, crying at the tough conversations that needed to be had along the way and then getting you right in the gut (you’ll know when you get to it) just when you think you have it pegged. It will have you desperate to start each new chapter and like the magic book itself it will keep pulling you back until you reach the very last page, unable to put it down.


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