Impossible Music

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

This concept was so promising linking music and hearing impairment. It really could have had a moment and it could have been so amazing. Maybe what this really needed was a HOH/Deaf sensitivity reader? Idk. Teens may be interested in this because of the music-hearing loss link ... but that doesn’t mean it’s one that I really want to put into their hand
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I think this is a great book for the YA audience.  What do you do when you lose a sense that is important to what you love?  How do you cope?  This books touches on that when Simon, who loves music, loses his hearing.  It's a story of struggling to accept a sudden change that you could not have predicted would ever happen.
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I was very excited to be allowed to receive this arc copy, I was automatically drawn in by the cover and once I read the synopsis I couldn’t wait to read it. I have always been interested in different disabilities or auto immune diseases, being a person belonging to one of those categories. I did love the knowledge that the book provided about the deaf community and The hearing impaired . 
 Upon reading I was quickly drawn in and did not take long for me to like the book and breeze through the book . I thought it was very well put together and I really enjoyed reading it. 
 I liked the flow of the book with how they broke down the conversations between the hearing impaired characters and the characters who could still here normally. I liked the way that they described Auslan ( Australian Deaf Community )  and how all the characters needed to use sign to survive and thrive . 
Simon was recently diagnosed with a hearing impaired problem / disability and quickly had to  divulge  in a world where everything was silenced for him and he could not hear. He was coming from a world where he was used to hearing everything especially music. He adores music so much ! 
I myself for one , love music and really love how they portrayed that life is a song through their journey . 
I felt for each character and grew to love them quickly and would definitely recommend this book to anyone needing self help, self-awareness, dealing with adjusting to a new life or disease or disability. I felt the information about all the disabilities was very well put together. 
I like the story all around and how it began, the middle, and the end and will definitely recommend this book. Thank you so much for the opportunity of this book and the knowledge of the hearing impaired .
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To start, thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this for an honest review. I thought Simon was a good character, sadly it wasn't that good for me. It didn't have that spark that I thought it was going to have when I first read the description.
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I sadly didn't enjoy this one as much as I had hoped. I felt as though it fell flat for me and the writing just wasn't for me. 2.5/5 stars from me but maybe someone else will enjoy what I didn't.
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This story takes a look at what happens when your dreams and plans are suddenly dismantled. How do you cope? What do you do now? Simon’s passion for music makes his unexpected deafness even harder to swallow, and this story is Simon figuring out how he can live with the new path he has found himself on.
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Nope.  Thumbs down.

As a hearing impaired person, I am all for HOH/Deaf rep. I want it. I will read any and everything with a HOH/Deaf character in it. I will give pretty much anything the benefit of the doubt but most of the time, they stink. 

1. This isn’t own voices. Which super bugs me because no matter how much research you do, or how many HOH/Deaf people you know ... you won’t ever get it right. 
2.It focuses on a very, very rare form of hearing impairment (He says he’s the 13th case in all of medical history ... bleh! This should have been framed around progressive hearing loss due to noise instead of the traumatic brain injury. It would have made this character more relatable to kids looking for representation.) 
3. And G is TOTALLY painted as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (anger, purple hair, blue lipstick, and roller derby all included).

This concept was so promising linking music and hearing impairment. It really could have had a moment and it could have been so amazing. Maybe what this really needed was a HOH/Deaf sensitivity reader? Idk. Teens may be interested in this because of the music-hearing loss link ... but that doesn’t mean it’s one that I really want to put into their hands.
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Music is all Simon thinks about, talks about, and dreams about. Making music is the only career he imagines himself doing.  Then, the nightmare happens...Simon suffers a freak stroke and wakes up completely deaf.  Now, he’s lost between holding on to his dreams, and learning to accept that things will never be the same.  Can his family, his doctors, and his new friend, G (who is having her own difficult time accepting her recent deafness), help him see a different future for himself?

This book will appeal to many teens.  From the music and romance to Simon’s sudden loss of hearing, there are many aspects that will intrigue YA readers.  The author provides a lengthy Author’s Note that explains his history with music, his own struggles with mental illness, and the extensive research that he conducted about deafness/Auslan prior to writing this book.  Impossible Music would be a worthy addition to any YA library.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Impossible Music is set in contemporary Australia where our musically inclined protagonist, Simon Rain, has experienced a stroke, leaving him deaf and unsure what to do about his future. The story follows Simon as he struggles with adapting to his new life circumstances through an Auslan (Australian sign language) group, therapy, and his own band. Simon has to determine how he can be a musician that can no longer hear his own music. 
     I was worried about a hearing author writing a protagonist that is Deaf. I did not know if a hearing author would be able to truly encapsulate the struggle of a character with such a drastic life change. However, I think Sean Williams provided a realistic view of a music-loving teenager that struggles with the loss of his hearing. There were moments that seemed incredibly thoughtful and empathetic, while also providing a dose of reality. 
     I think part of this thoughtfulness was framed from the variety of resources Williams received from the Deaf community in his area. From his author note, he did extensive research (including several years of Auslan instruction) that aided in his writing of Simon’s journey. Could there be issues that I’m missing due to pure ignorance on my own part? Of course. This is why I’d love to hear from people read this book and know more about the Deaf community than I. What do you all think? Did Williams provide a respectful representation of a new member of the Deaf community? 
     Overall, I’m giving Impossible Music 3 out of 5 Awesome Austin Points. Williams writes a character with a struggle that’s hard to comprehend, but I think he did so in an incredibly honest narrative. We see Simon’s pain, grief, hope, and fears as he’s navigating this “new” world. I would have liked to have liked to have seen more, though. Most of the book seemed to just be in Simon’s thoughts - I wanted more interaction with others, showing deeper relationships than were present.
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How do you handle losing the ability to hear, when your intended career path required it?This story is a profound look into the answer to how Simon adapts after the loss of his hearing. Granted it takes him being interested in a girl to start looking for the answer, but still a moving story.

*Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was received as an ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This was such an inspiring story that it brought me to tears. The story behind Simon and G and how they are so musically talented suffering from this illness that costs them their gift of hearing and still strive for their dreams. This is a story that teaches adversity, hardship, struggle and perseverance that everyone not just teens because it opens up a new world of the wonderful thing we call reality and instead of feeling sad and sorry, feel like you can still achieve your dreams and conquer the world.

This title will definitely be considered for our YFiction collection at our library. That is why we are proud to give this book 5 stars.
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