Ship Sooner

Imagine being able to hear everything—the whispers of neighbors in their kitchens, the sucking sound of a blink, the heartbeat of your best friend. This is the premise of Ship Sooner, Mary Sullivan’s second novel (after Stay), titled after the all-hearing main character. Ship is an awkward teenager surrounded by a cheerleader sister and a heels-wearing mom. Her “ear caps,” devices she wears to block out the unbearable sounds, estrange her from people her age. Her adventure starts when her only friend Brian disappears, and when she hears a strange cry in the woods. … It is a good read if only for the descriptions—“a chair scrapes” and “A lighter snaps open, then a flame licks up, followed by the burn, the hiss, and the singe of Trudy’s cigarette”—but fails in the storyline. Ship’s adventures lead the book more and more astray, creating a highly unbelievable story but a very interesting character.