Dreams tug, tease, and sometimes retreat into a subtle promise of a different tomorrow. A tomorrow Elio Delacruz never expected. Not after a lifetime of chasing a single goal.
Alongside his closest friends, Elio lives and loves his passion—his art. His existence depends on the whimsical, on the intangible, on the constant motion of a traveling busker.
When a tumultuous shadow from his past forces him to return to the suffocating island of Key West, his every instinct tells him to run. To flee from the scars of his youth.
And then he meets Vianella Manco. She’s only supposed to be a temporary distraction until he can break free of the island. His heart is never supposed to beat for her. And she’s never supposed to wish for anything beyond the easy moments they steal from one another.
But, sometimes, purposes change and the truths you believed turn out to be nothing more than pretty lies.
Too full of energy to sit, I follow Vianella into my mom’s kitchen, leaving my mom in the living room. Sensing my watchful attention on her, Vianella turns from the cupboard with two empty glasses, one in each hand.
“Do you want something to drink?” She shakes a glass in front of her face.
I sit on the countertop, assessing just how comfortable she is in my mom’s space. Curiosity grabs me, and I wonder how close she and my mom are. How much they’ve entrusted with one another. “Sure,” I agree. “Water.”
She nods, and after filling both glasses with ice and water, she brings it to me. Once I reach for the glass, she pulls it away from my grasp and cocks a hip out.
“Do I get a please? Maybe a thank you?” she asks, the corners of her mouth twitching. “Or are manners completely lost on you?”
Widening my eyes, I jump off the counter and walk to her. I take both glasses from her grasp and place them on a nearby counter. With her hands in mine, my thumbs run over the backs of her hands. I lean into her, smelling the subtle flowery scent of her shampoo, and immediately, I wish I hadn’t gotten so close. Now that I know just how sweet she smells, I want to taste. My tongue slips out, and I lick my lips.
“Please,” I say, tilting my head to the side.
My hand moves to her face where I trace the outline of her features with a single finger and rest it on her parted lips. She takes my finger between her teeth, and I touch her chin with my thumb.
“Sweet Vianella,” I whisper seconds before she digs her teeth hard into my skin. “Ow,” I complain, holding my hand against my chest.
She laughs and points a taunting look in my direction. “That was your fault. Touching me when I didn’t give you permission. Not using your manners. Calling me Vianella instead of Vee.” She shakes her head, pursing her lips together, as her eyes dance in merriment over my body.
“Is this our first fight?” I ask. Ignoring her statement about touching without permission, I reach for strands of stray hairs that have fallen from her messy bun and twirl the unruly dark hair around two fingers. “I feel like it is. I think we should have make-up sex now.”
“Make-up sex before you even know my favorite color?” she snorts.
“Hazel,” I reply, pointing to the color of my eyes. “Mine is violet. Now that we have that nonsense taken care of, my room or yours?”
“I-I,” she stammers, color draining from her cheeks. “I—” she repeats again.
But I cut her off, needing to see her back at ease with me, “Is that English? Maybe we need a translator?” I tilt my head to the side again.
She lets out a loud huff of air, her cheeks rising with the smile I hoped to put back on her face. “Are you always this difficult?”
“Difficult? I think I’m pretty easy. The straightforward kind.”
Yessi Smith’s writing style is poetic, something which clearly comes from the heart rather than the head. There were so many quotations I had to highlight on my Kindle here, things I wanted to re-read again and again because they just spoke to me.
One of the strengths of Smith’s work is that she manages to perfectly balance the romance and the Bildungsroman, never giving one too much focus over the other, and therefore never detracting from the actual depth of the stories she weaves. Quietly Making Noise is no different, and, the second of Smith’s books I’ve read, has propelled her to my auto-purchase author list.
The characters, their relationships and their flaws were all exceptionally well-crafted, including the large supporting characters which, presumably, will have their own instalments in the Wanderlust series. This was a cast of people to immediately care about, people with meaning rather than being included for the sake of it. I particularly loved Annie, her (crazy) perceptiveness, and her (crazy) monologues, which hit home not only for the characters but also for the readers.
Although the romance tropes may have been included, Smith still manages to forge a unique take due to the setting and the characters’ histories. This was a book which gripped my heart, made me feel, and made me fall in love. Highly recommended, and I can’t wait for the sequel.