Tuesday, March 17, 2015

ARC Review: Signs by Anna Martin

After spending most of his life in special schools, Caleb Stone now faces public high school in his senior year, a prospect that both excites him and threatens to overwhelm his social anxiety. As a deaf teenager, he’s closed himself off to the world. He speaks a shorthand with his parents and even finds it hard to use American Sign Language with people in his local deaf community. But Caleb finds comfort in his love of photography. Everything he can’t express in real life, he posts on his Tumblr. 

Struggling to reconcile his resentment for his father's cruelty with the grief of losing a parent, Luc Le Bautillier scrolls through Tumblr searching for someone who might understand his goth look and effeminate nature. When Luc reblogs a photo by Caleb, sparking a conversation, they both find it easier to make friends online than in person.

Luc and Caleb confront their fears about the opinions of the outside world to meet in New York City. Despite Caleb’s increasing confidence, his parents worry he’s not ready for the trials ahead. But communication comes in many forms—when you learn the signs.

Dani's rating:

Signs is pitch perfect.

There is no angst, misunderstandings, or miscommunication, just two 18-year-old boys meeting, connecting, and falling in love.

Both MCs are fully realized and REAL.

Caleb is deaf and has social anxiety. He's not expressive in his signing and doesn't feel like he belongs in the Deaf community. He just wants to be defined by what he CAN do vs. what he can't.

And Caleb can do so much: He's smart and artistic. He takes gorgeous photographs. He enjoys writing, running, and posting on his blog. He loves his parents and is a respectful son. He's kind and introspective.

But when Caleb wears his hearing aids, he may as well carry a sign that says FREAK.

Only Luc really HEARS Caleb.

Luc is an emo twink with dyed black hair, eye liner, and piercings. Bullied by his late father, essentially abandoned by his alcoholic, pretending-to-still-be-rich mother, Luc lives with his awesome older sister.

Luc plays cool but is lonely and disconnected. He wants someone to see beyond the image to his heart.

Caleb and Luc meet online when Luc reposts one of Caleb's photos and move their friendship from the virtual to the tangible.

Caleb and Luc are incredibly mature and have a strong relationship built on mutual understanding and trust. They support one another and talk through everything. Their relationship never wavers, even as Luc struggles with his mom and best friend jumping ship, and Caleb is once again disappointed at being passed up for a cochlear implant trial.

I liked Luc's supportive sister and Caleb's incredible parents, even if his mom was a bit overprotective.

Luc is such an amazing boyfriend! The way he learns ASL just for Caleb, the way he encourages Caleb, the way he's THERE . . . it brought me to tears.

And Caleb adores Luc. He crawls out of his shell for Luc. He wants Luc by his side always.

Luc realized that this was what had been missing from his life. He was loved. He was so, so loved.

Told in alternating third-person POV, this book is full of feels and love.

The steam is gentle and breathtaking, utterly appropriate and so damn sweet.

Caleb and Luc are each other's first everything; sharing pleasure, making love -- it brings them closer; it makes them stronger.

"Caleb," Luc moaned, liking the way the word sounded when he was this turned on, when Caleb was making him feel this way. The fact that Caleb couldn't hear him didn't matter. The way Caleb kissed his own name off Luc's lips did.

I loved this story. I believed in this HEA.

What a lovely, hopeful, uplifting read! BEAUTIFUL!

Even if like me, you typically avoid YA/NA, do not miss this one!

Get the book:


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An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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  1. Thanks for the review! Just added Signs to my TBR list - sounds like a book I would like.

  2. Thanks for the review. I read YA but haven't read anything by this author. I'm going to get this book Sounds wonderful.

  3. Jen and Denise, I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. It was YA skirting on the edges of NA, and had more sexual content than the typical YA book.


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