True Biz by Sara Novic
True Biz by Sara Novic is an adult fiction novel that revolves around a boarding school for the deaf.
For many, the River Valley School for the Deaf is a safe-haven; one of the first places they have ever felt like they belong. In this novel, we follow three characters: the frustrated and angsty Charlie, who has a failed cochlear implant and has never met another deaf person before; golden boy, Austin, who comes from deaf royalty; and February, the headmistress of the school and a CODA (a hearing child of deaf adults).
Over the course of a school year, we follow these three as they learn about themselves, their community and their fight to keep their school open. Full of deaf culture, civil injustice, love, loss and more, this informative book easy balances educating readers with a satisfying story.
If you've read this book in physical book format, that's great, BUT you should totally go out and get the audio book. The audio was fantastic because anytime someone signed in the story, you would hear it on the audio. The publisher recreated and recorded the actual signed conversations that happen in the book and it was really neat.
Other than that, I found this book really informative. I live in an area with a large deaf community, so some of the information about deaf culture I already knew, but there was so much more I didn't know about.
Each character in the story is a different representation of the deaf community. From those, like February, who are hearing but have deaf parent; to Austin, who comes from generations of deaf family members and suddenly may have a hearing sister. Then there's Charlie, who is a prime example of those with hearing problems who don't have a support system and grow up falling through the cracks. Read each character's story, gives a new perspective to the reader.
My only real criticism is with the ending of the book. There wasn't a lot of closure at the end. It ended at a logical point but I just felt like we spent a lot of time getting to know these characters and ending it where they all intersected works, but doesn't end their individual stories. It would have been nice to get a little glimpse of what was to come.
Overall, a great read. This one gets 4 stars from me.
That's all for now!