Julie Reviews Sweet Sound of Silence by Melanie Dawn

Sometimes silence speaks the only truth.

Ryder Hawkley swallows his words the way he swallows his guilt. A life-altering tragedy keeps him locked away in a silent prison—a self-imposed punishment for a horrific mistake. His reputation…


Alexis Honeycutt arrives at college craving one thing—independence. Now, away from home and free from her family's overprotection, she attends a party with friends that will ultimately change her life. The moment she spots Ryder Hawkley sitting across the room, Alexis is intrigued.

They whisper.

The intensity shimmering from Ryder’s haunting eyes beckons her, but Alexis vows to stay away from him. Only, she can’t seem to get Ryder’s unnervingly quiet stare out of her head.

Ryder is determined to ignore Alexis’s contagious smile the instant she strolls into the room. Despite his efforts, he is drawn to her and finds himself questioning everything he’d been holding on to for the past two years.
ARC provided by author.


Sweet Sound of Silence is the third book in Melanie Dawn’s So Much It Hurts series and I think she has outdone herself with this one.  This book can be read as a standalone so don’t feel like you have to read the first two to be able to understand this one.

This book begins with Ryder, who is your typical teenage boy.  He’s outgoing and just an All-American teenager.  He lives with his parents and his baby sister Chloe and he seemed to be happy with his life until tragedy strikes, leaving  Ryder with so much guilt that he withdraws from his family, his life, and even himself.  I must say that my heart just broke for Ryder and the first few chapters just ripped me in two.
Eventually, his family doesn’t know how to handle him so his father ships him off to college, in hopes that he will come out of his shell and be the outgoing boy he used to be.

Alexis has just arrived for her freshman year at college.  Her mom has always protected her and she finds out she’s loving being independent so she can find herself and be her own person.  I just loved Gia, her roommate and how they became instant friends.  When Gia drags her to a frat party, she notices the mysterious boy across the room, which happens to be Ryder.

As their paths cross, and they end up in class together, they are both drawn to each other, but Alexis soon discovers Ryder has his demons that he’s hiding within himself.  Everyone has always called him a freak but Alexis knows there is more to him than meets the eye.  She wants to know him and break him out of his shell.  She certainly had her work cut out for her but I loved how persistent she was.  I admire that she just didn’t give up and walk away.

“You can’t just untangle a love like this.” - Alexis

I really enjoyed seeing Ryder start to open up to Alexis, but it certainly wasn’t easy for him.  He is such a tortured soul and I felt so sorry for him.  But, I think Alexis is just what he needed.  As he begins to break down his walls, and as much as he feels guilty for being happy, he cannot deny the feelings he has for her.

I love how Melanie brings out the characters so well.  Once I started this book, I just couldn’t put it down.  The characters are so well developed and I loved the relationships of not only Ryder and Alexis, but Gia and his friend Fletcher also portrayed such important roles in this book. I also loved Ryder’s grandmother and the connection she had with Ryder and Alexis, and also seeing how much love he had for her.  I do believe this one is my favorite books of the series and I hated to see this book end because I was so involved in the story.  Well done Melanie with this 5 star book!


Releases 3/2!

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