Whisper is the final book of four in the Riley Bloom Book Series by Alyson Noel and it is by far my favourite one! In this book, Riley has been given the biggest, most challenging soul catch she has ever faced and finds herself a little bit worried, although she’d never let Bodhi, her guide, know that. She has been assigned a Roman gladiator named Theocoles, nicknamed The Pillar of Doom. She has no idea how a little twelve year old girl such as herself will be able to convince a real gladiator that it is time to move on. When she arrives, she quickly finds herself taking on the challenge completely on her own, she will have no help this time from Bodhi, or even from buttercup, her dog. Quickly into her wanderings she meets a beautiful girl named Messalina. Messalina quickly captivates Riley and convinces her that in order for her to be successful then she must become a part of Messalina’s world. Messalina transforms Riley into a beautiful young woman, allowing her to mature and look the part of a beautiful teenager, which she has been wishing to be for so long. With this transformation, Riley may be able to not only experience her first boyfriend, but also her first kiss. Although she quickly realizes Messalina is trying to entrap her in her world, Riley is reluctant to believe it, and to try to stop it. With everything she has ever wanted within her reach, Riley may just stay there, unless she can break free from Messalina’s spell and save herself too.
In this book Riley faces some big concepts, such as learning what it takes to grow up and to find love. Noel is a genius in delivering these big life lessons without being in your face with it. Riley learns what being mature and growing up really means and how you can achieve that even in the afterlife. She learns that she needs to listen to her own mind and her own heart, instead of others, and to see the truth that lies within.
Noel also throws in the concept of beauty as being only skin deep. In order to really grow and be beautiful, you need to be honest with yourself and accept who you are before you can grow. Noel has Riley face her issues, especially body image issues, which many young girls struggle with and can relate to. Noel very subtly, yet effectively, helps the reader understand that there is more than what meets the eye. You need to accept yourself as who you are and that in itself will help you lead a more happier life, while propelling you to where you truly want to be.
This was a wonderful final novel in the series and I highly recommend reading it, especially to the tweens. Even if you don’t read the first three, I believe you will enjoy this last book. Happy reading!