“Much like its hero, Tone Deaf’s flashy, rock-star exterior surrounds a sweet, vulnerable soul that made it impossible to put down. It is equal parts fun and touching, with a dash of humor and lot of heart. The friendships, as well as the romance, have intense, believable chemistry, and with a giant pitbull named Cuddles thrown in the mix, I was in love!” —Laura Lee Anderson, author of Song of Summer
Published: May 3rd, 2016
His world is music. Her world is silent.
Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.
When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.
“A smart, sexy, and fast-paced story with a swoon-worthy love interest. Tone Deaf will be music to your ears.” —Jessica Taylor, author of Wandering Wild
“Olivia Rivers has hit all the right notes with Tone Deaf.” —A. R. Kahler, author of Pale Queen Rising and Shades of Darkness
“The portrayal of Ali as Deaf is authentic and modern. She loves rock concerts for the vibrations and sensory pull of the crowd. She prefers to sign but exasperatedly reads the lips of people who talk fast or turn away as they talk. As Ali, Jace, and the band tour amid Amber alerts, surprising emotional connections are painfully forged and will resonate with young survivors of abuse, especially as Ali takes small steps toward recovery. VERDICT This gripping tale of survival has great appeal due to the parallel boy/girl narrative structure, the portrayal of a Deaf character at home in the realm of music and songwriting, and the overall pop culture tenor.” –School Library Journal
The vibrations of the crowd die down a little, and Jace repeats, “Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you for coming tonight and helping to kick off Tone Deaf’s summer tour.”
More cheers. More crazy jumping and blown kisses.
“Tonight a special fan will receive a special prize,” Jace says. “Tone Deaf is giving away a backstage tour, so one of you can come meet us right after the concert.” The subtitles are quickly replaced with a tiny legal disclaimer, and even though the text is too small to bother reading it all, I get the gist of it—crazy fans can win a half-hour meet-and-greet with the band, but the tour is of the stage and not anything in Jace’s pants. Then Jace announces, “Everyone in the audience has received a wristband with a raffle code on it,” as if every girl wasn’t already aware of this.
I stare down at my own band: A632D9. I wanted to rip it off as soon as the ticket guy at the entrance put it on, but Avery had started freaking out, signing frantically that the code was defunct if I took off the wristband. I kept it on, just to please her, but not before arguing back a little.
“In ten seconds, the winning code will appear on the main screen,” says Jace. He points upwards, and all eyes turn to the huge LCD screen I’m already staring at. A large “10” appears on the screen, quickly followed by a “9,” then an “8.”
A chant goes up in the crowd, and whatever else Jace wanted to say is drowned out as the concertgoers count down. At the “1,” a roar of sound hits me, even more powerful than before. I clutch my arms to my chest and turn to the side, trying to ward off the sensations.
Something slams into my shoulder, and I yelp, glaring at Avery. She excitedly clings to my arm as she jumps up and down, and a huge, shocked grin spreads across her face.
Which can only mean one thing.
“You won?” I scream, hoping I’m loud enough to be heard over the crowd.
“Ali!” she shrieks. “Ali! It happened! Oh my god, I told you it’d happen!”
A bubble of excitement rises in my chest as I watch her smile grow even wider. Avery babbles a long string of words, but no amount of lip-reading skill could help me interpret what she’s saying. Then she points eagerly toward the screen, and I turn, grinning as I read the code. I have Avery’s code memorized; she’d been chanting it like a good-luck charm before the concert started, drawing out all the O’s like she was practicing for a kiss.
My grin falls from my face. I blink, hoping I’m seeing things wrong. But every time I blink, the screen just grows clearer.
It’s not Avery’s code. Not even close. Instead, the bright screen proudly displays: A632D9
Well, shit. I just won myself a date with a rock star.
Official "Tone Deaf" Playlist
I've always needed music to write. Whether it's punk rock or classical songs, I find music to be a powerful source of inspiration, and I always keep my headphones plugged in while I'm working on a story. While writing "Tone Deaf," I pretty much lived off a steady diet of punk rock songs, alternative music, and lots of caffeine to top it off. Music has an energy that's hard to capture in words, but I did my absolute best to fuel my muse and replicate it.
I listened to hundreds of songs while writing and editing "Tone Deaf," but only a few of them had a lasting impression on the book. Check out the official playlist below if you want to know which songs made the cut!
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About the author:
Olivia Rivers is a hybrid author of Young Adult fiction. Her works include the independently published “Tortured Elements” and “Duplicity” series, along with the traditionally published novel “Tone Deaf” (Skyhorse 2016.) As a certified geek, she enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received over 1,000,000 hits on Wattpad.com. When Olivia isn’t working as a writer, she’s a typical teen attending college in Northern California. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, and nothing thrills her more than hearing from readers.
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