Caleb Stone is deaf and has social anxiety issues – he keeps to himself and does shorthand signs with his parents. He does not have friends to really “talk” to except for the people from the local deaf community. A single post on his Tumblr account led to a conversation with Luc Le Bautillier who’s got his own family issues and is looking for someone to “really” understand him. When goth Luc met up with the shy Caleb, there was that instant connection that grew more as they explore their feelings and learned more about each other – when love is already in front of them, looking for signs is just way overrated.
One would be able to totally relate with these two young boys as they learn how to take in the outside world and accept things about themselves. When you’re young, everything seems to be easy because you have people who you can depend on – parents, caretaker, teachers etc… but when you’re on your own – it’s actually a ton harder than you expected. Signs isn’t exactly a heavy book about teen struggles. It’s actually a book that is more on acceptance and being able to be yourself regardless of what other people say. It’s also about equality – like with Luc and Caleb – the latter’s deafness isn’t a deterrent to pursue their connection. Rather than be discouraged, in the story Luc learned how to use American Sign Language (ASL) in order to communicate better with Caleb in person. I thought that was really sweet –that gesture alone makes me want to squeeze Luc so hard and kiss his adorable little goth face.
There is no angst in this story, there’s just the comfortable transition of Caleb and Luc from being total strangers to friends and to being lovers. As young as they are, both were incredibly mature about a lot of things. They know what they want out of life and they have the courage to pursue whatever that is.
This story just makes my heart incredibly light and just happy. And that ending was just a movie moment when you just go awwee…
“Hi,” Luc said.
One word, but loaded with emotion that felt like a punch right to Caleb’s chest. Luc looked the same as he always did: dark hair, pale skin, the silver loop through his bottom lip. He’d known all this about Luc, and so much more, but not what his voice sounded like. Not until now.
“Hi,” he said back.
Anna Martin, thank you for this wonderful, wonderful book!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Published March 20th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
About The Author
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south west of England. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.
Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, she is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), travelling, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading and creative ass-kicking provided by her closest friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept any responsibility for anything Anna has written.