Oakley doesn’t speak through sheer willpower because if she does it will destroy her family. Cole, her best friend since they were toddlers, is one of the only people to accept her as she is. Their friendship slowly evolves into something more but Oakley isn’t sure she can, or should, allow those feelings to develop.
It is pretty obvious from the very beginning that a traumatic event led to Oakley’s silence, and most readers will be able to guess it is because of <spoiler> sexual abuse </spoiler> but the details behind it are a shocker.
It needs editing (hence the four stars), but it is a tale that handles this delicate subject with sensitivity.
I’ve already marked the next book as to read.