Monday, January 11, 2016

{Book Review} Fighting Silence (On The Ropes, #1) by Aly Martinez

From Goodreads

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?

I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.
I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.

My Review

5 "You've Always Been Forever For Me" Stars!

Till Page and Eliza Reynolds stumble upon each other in an abandoned building late one night. Each hiding from grim homes lives, they continue to meet in secret throughout the years, and soon form an incredible bond that is more than friendship. They become vital to each other's sanity in a dirt poor, damn near hopeless life.

"It was more than a friendship, but there wasn't romance or sex. There was definitely love, though. Immeasurable amounts of it. I knew Till had this grand fantasy about me, but what he didn't realize was all that he gave me in return. He was the only thing I'd ever had that I honestly thought I couldn't live without."

With his father in jail and his mother completely unconcerned, the responsibility of his two younger brothers falls to Till, in order to keep them out of the foster care system. Till and Eliza are as close as two people could be; Eliza is Till's fantasy, his escape from their bleak reality. He is terrified of loosing that, so much love for each other and one unforgettable night, their relationship never goes further.

With the stress of being a parent to his brothers at such a young age, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food in their mouths, and Eliza going away to college, their lives are split apart as they move in different directions.

A twist of fates lands them smack back into each other's lives, and this time will be different. Despite fighting poverty, raising Till's brothers, navigating a new relationship, and dealing with Till's impending silence, these two stay strong. 
This time, it's no longer an escape. This time, it's their reality. 

I read Fighting Silence in one sitting, and fell in love from the very first page. It's high on my best books for 2015, and is one of my favorite books of all time. There honestly wasn't a single thing I didn't enjoy about this.

"There is nothing in this world that was ever more mine than you."

Eliza was a fantastic heroine. It was incredibly refreshing to read a heroine that was strong, capable, intelligent, and a genuinely good person. She wasn't whiny, despite how tough their lives are more often than not, and she gave so much. She loved Till's brothers like they were her own kids, and the way that family was together....that, combined with the level of gentle adoration she has for her lover and best friend, brought tears to my eyes, and inspired all kinds of:

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Now Till...good god, he's a man after my own heart. I normally don't like fighter romances. The fighters are usually big, dumb, violent assholes. Till wasn't like that. He was compassionate, dedicated, hard working, smart, and loved his family beyond all reason. Even though he has so much working against him, he never once faltered in his tenacity for what he wanted. I admired him more than pretty much any character I've ever read.

"You always say that you love me, but you have given me so much more. And because of that, I will spend a lifetime fighting to give you the world."

The couple had fantastic chemistry! A truly deep, loving, understand relationship that was beautiful to watch.

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Till's struggle with going deaf was fascinating to watch. How he dealt with it, how his family dealt with it, and how it affected every single aspect of his life and career was raw, and intense. It was so interesting to see how it nearly broke him, but he still pushed through and worked past it. It was inspiring and humbling, to be perfectly honest.

She burst out laughing. God, I loved that sound. I knew I'd never be the same when I lost it to the silence. I'd happily give up every noise in the world if I could just keep her laugh.

I loved the pacing and flow of this story. We start off with a bang, then we're in their childhoods. From there you're shown the evolution of the characters and their relationship, their mounting challenges, and every success. It was enthralling and addictive. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, and loved every second of it. 

This is the first book in the On The Ropes trilogy, each focusing on a Page brother. My review of the second book, Fighting Shadows, can be found here. The third and final book, Fighting Solitude, releases February 2nd!

Overall, this is one of the best contemporary romances I've ever read. If you like intense emotion, sexy boxers, strong family ties, amazing character development, and a gorgeous love story, I highly suggest this one! Go with the print of eBook version, though. The audio narrator doesn't do it justice. 

- The Bibliophile Babe


  1. I've had this on my Kindle for awhile, but wasn't sure about it. I'm glad to know it's one of your favorites! I'm thinking I need to give it a chance.

  2. Ooooo this definitely sounds like a winner Amanda! I'm in a little in love with Till already, I want him for my very own. And I'm so glad that Eliza isn't whiny in the least despite everything she and Till face. There's nothing I have patience for less than a whiny protagonist.

  3. Till sounds like the type of character that I love reading. Need to grab this one.

  4. Sounds really well done. I'm glad Till was a good character and not some "dumb, violent" jock type. Not attractive!


  5. This sounds really good. I totally don't mind a fighter book if it is door well. Great review!

  6. Oh man. How I could I not want to read this after reading a review like yours?!