After Zero by Christina Collins

Hiya everyone, it’s Sarah!

I received this eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Elise’s father died when she was born, so it has only ever been her and her mother. However, her mother has always acted distant, never celebrating holidays and not allowing Elise into her room. Elise could only find solace in her best friend and next-door neighbor. She always dreamed of going to public school with her friend, but was homeschooled by her mother, until recently. Elise was finally able to go to school, but when she got there, things weren’t as great as she had imagined. Her teachers embarrassed her with their corrections and she could never seem to say the right thing to make and keep friends. Elise has decided that it is best for everyone that she doesn’t talk. She keeps track in her notebook of how many words she uses each day and each class period. She is trying to maintain the ultimate number of zero. However, when two siblings, who used to be homeschooled, show up at school, Elise finds herself wanting to reach out. She may even want to talk to them. This budding friendship is the only thing Elise can lean on when she finds out an overwhelming secret about her family. If she wants to continue getting help, she is going to need to start talking.


This book was over-the-top drama, but I appreciate the fact that it brings to light real issues related to selective mutism. I wish that there were more people in Elise’s life paying attention to her, because this girl needs intervention. I found her new friends and their large family fun and funny…until even they weren’t. At times it felt realistic because of the layers of good and bad in characters, but sometimes went into the melodramatic area, making it less believable.


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