Read A 52-Hertz Whale by Natalie Tilghman Bill Sommer Online


In the YA epistolary novel an unlikely friendship develops via email correspondence between 14-year-old James, who studies the Urban Dictionary in hopes of making sense of his bewildering peer interactions, and 23-year old Darren, who is trying to win back his ex-girlfriend while doing grunt work on the set of a sitcom....

Title : A 52-Hertz Whale
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 22464739
Format Type : e-Book
Number of Pages : 461 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A 52-Hertz Whale Reviews

  • Maggie Stiefvater
    2018-10-23 17:38

    FIVE THINGS ABOUT THE 52-HERTZ WHALE1. It's told entirely in e-mails. As a writer, I understand that yes, this is a gimmick. I have a high-gimmick tolerance, though, as long it doesn't get in the way of my emotional or intellectual enjoyment of a book. With 52, it worked for me. It might not for you, though, so I'm putting it right here as #1. Full disclosure. Emails. 2. With that out of the way, I can tell you that I found the two main characters of this book — a disenchanted, heartbroken film student and a socially challenged, maybe-Aspergers whale lover — revoltingly charming. Both of them have terrible things happening in their lives — fractured relationships and public humiliation — but the conceit of e-mail-chapters means it is funneled through their wryly self-deprecating and dutifully factual voices, respectively. The novel is ultimately uplifting without being saccharine. I know I use the word big-hearted a lot to describe the books I love, but it fits this little novel well.3. There is some deft portrait-making in this book. 52 doesn't have a lot of words to do it in, since there's no description and a fair number of characters sending e-mails, but I nonetheless felt I knew all the parties involved. It is nothing like SOME DAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU, apart from also possessing a narrator named James, but it touched me in the same way. I felt I'd met real people.4. My teen years were populated by many non-teens, and I appreciated that this teen novel was populated by non-teens as well. It made what could be a rather claustrophobic contemporary into a roomy narrative.5. There are really not any whales in this book. I mean, there's one, but he spends a lot of the book dead, so don't get excited. Spoiler? I just want you to be prepared if you're coming for the whales. Come for the whale, stay for the human dysfunction.

  • Yuniar A. Fithri
    2018-10-21 22:43

    (view spoiler)[ Well, it's true that the happiest people are usually actually suffering. The loneliest whale in the world sings at 52 hertz. No other whales are able to hear her so they're interpreting how she would feel 'alienated' from all of the other whales. The book is a story based on that. It's a good book and I was moved at times. The complete review might be on next time. Now I just like it.(hide spoiler)]

  • Corey
    2018-11-14 00:07

    This was a quirky and strange look at friendship in the technology era. James is a 14-year old with autism (not explicitly stated, but understood) who has a fixation on whales. He knows everything there is to know about them, and even follows a pod online. When one of the whales, Salt, separates from the group and is beached, James panics and contacts a most unlikely ally...a 20-something volunteer he once met in his special education class.Told only through email exchanges, this story is wacky and interesting. You get to know the supporting cast through their emails either to the main characters or to each other. It sounds convoluted, and it is...but it is also entertaining and fun.

  • Sreeni Nair
    2018-10-24 23:04

    Another YA book, which seems to be the type of all the little fiction I read these days.I had bought this book for my teenage daughter as a Christmas present since I thought it's a bit different from all the dystopian stuff that she reads normally. Also, because I like whales. Having nothing to read last weekend, I picked it up and started reading.The book is good. It has a lot of things I like - whales, teenage love, random scientific facts, phrases and expressions in foreign languages etc. initially, I thought the email format (in which the entire book is written) is corny, but I came around to like it as the story progressed.As for the flaws, the ending could have been a bit tighter, I thought, and also there were a couple of misspells, but these don't take away much from the overall awesomeness of the book.Strongly recommended.

  • Heidi
    2018-11-13 20:59

    I loved this quirky book, filled with characters who were real and funny and broken and learning and triumphant and awkward and delightful. Written all in emails, this story actually has several stories as the emails draw in other characters beside the two main characters. If you like character stories, this is a great one!

  • LouLou
    2018-11-11 16:49

    Read review in its entirety at 52-Hertz Whale is the debut novel of authors Natalie Tilghman and Bill Sommer. A clever write-up of conversational emails, swapped between different characters, constructs this work of fiction giving it a distinct style.The two main characters--James, an offbeat teen obsessed with whales, and Darren, a somewhat egotistical 20-something who's brokenhearted, converge viewpoints as they help one another through their exponential crises. Even though it can only be perceived through back and forth e-mail exchanges, the character dynamics are great and the distinction between characters even better. Readers really get the feel for the age and charismatics of each character because each is given a recognizable tone and grammatical composition.Individuals within the novel are all unique. Encountering different situations gives readers a multidimensional view of each character, but what enlists readers' regard for the characters' future happenings and attracts investment is the commonality that all the characters are learning and growing at definitive stages of their life. Each is overcoming some sort of loss and finding ways in which to cope and overcome.Because of the language (please refer to content analysis below), this fantastic novel that poignantly forays those struggling with acceptance and social approval is probably more suited for older readers.Readers take heed, read this novel with no distractions, otherwise you may miss the pivotal developmental growth of the characters, because it is gradual, thus making it a more natural and relatable representation of real-life evolution.Sweet, funny, and ennobling, feel free to take A 52-Hertz Whale for a spin--you just may enjoy your ride.

  • Kimberly
    2018-10-18 19:06

    To pass the time, my friends and I would sometimes write stories by passing the paper back and forth: I write a paragraph, you write a paragraph type thing. Apparently, that's how the authors wrote this book--by emailing each other in character, and it's brilliant! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this odd little book. It felt like eavesdropping on strangers' conversations, but who doesn't like to do that?We have James, the freshman who doesn't fit in with anyone anywhere, and lacks vital social skills, resulting in major bullying from a group of guys in his school. He's also obsessed with tracking whales, dresses in a Yeti costume for his job at an arcade and has a huge crush on his neighbor Sophia. He starts emailing a former substitute teacher from his social skills class, and discovers that Darren has some major issues of his own (he can't get over the breakup with his ex, can't hold down a job and dreams of being a filmmaker). In the midst of their discussions, we also read the messages between a scientist at the oceanographic institute that James follows for whale info, and the janitor. Also, we see the discussions between Sophia and her best friend Sarah, who can't attend school due to a major illness that is never specified; the scientist and James; Darren and his friend (hilarious conversations there) and some women in an online group called "youngwidowgroup." It's a fascinating and heartwarming take on how we all feel disconnected, even though we're actually always connected in some small way. Sometimes we just need to be reminded.

  • Jackie
    2018-10-19 18:48

    As humans, living in a world of noise, chaos, and humanity, there is that need for silence, at times. But, loneliness and it's ever-constant silence can be deafening. James, a high school student with a learning disability, (maybe Aspergers?) is obsessed with whales. Darren is a 23-year-old, down on his luck, stuck in a dead-end job, floundering, lovesick production assistant. James and Darren met nearly a year ago when Darren was serving community service for his stalking. He was helping the class film a commercial as an assignment. James reaches out to Darren a year later in his quest to get more information about a beached whale he adopted. Although Darren has no means to help him, the two strike up a friendship through emails. They pour out some innermost thoughts and in the process ease the loneliness each of them is feeling, yet won't admit to.All sorts of secondary characters are added to the story that have some connection to the two main characters. You, as the reader, start to put into place how James and Darren came to this exact point in their lives...thirsting for friendship, knowledge, and acceptance. A fun, quirky novel that will have you scratching your head (and laughing it off, too) at urban street language (and the accompanying dictionary reference), likeable, endearing characters, and threads of dialogue that only email can conjure up.

  • Lisa
    2018-11-02 00:50

    An epistolary novel for today's YA reader, A 52-Hertz Whale is a story told through emails. James is an awkward, dorky high school student obsessed with whales and struggling with adolescence. Darren, a 20-something college grad and aspiring filmmaker, is a bit taken aback when James starts emailing him out of the blue. After all, Darren only met him the one time. But this unlikely pairing blooms into a real friendship that helps both of them grow.I don't read much YA literature, but I found this to be breezy, fun, and so very readable. I loved the characters - not just James and Darren, but the other emailers whose emails find their way into the story. I bought this for a friend's teenage daughter for Christmas, and she began reading it immediately - I think that speaks volumes! In the interest of full disclosure, one of the two authors is the wife of a long-time co-worker. I would have read it even if it was terrible. Luckily, it wasn't, and I can't wait to read Natalie's next book!

  • Lucy
    2018-10-23 23:48

    Finally got around to this as part of #readathon. It was cute. I think it was the perfect book to kick off the Readathon. I liked the idea of building relationships online. Seems fitting today. Also, I was totally whale boy when I was a kid. I had the sponsored humpback and the photos and everything, so that bit held a special place in my heart.I loved the main narrative between Darren and Whaleboy but honestly felt that the side stories were hit or miss. I ended up skimming some.Overall good but not great. Thanks to the publisher for the galley.

  • Literary Princess
    2018-10-17 23:46

    I thought thought this book was really sweet and awkwardly authentic. The format (entirely written through emails) threw me at first; it was a little challenging to figure out character connections for a bit. But then the voices became clear to me, and I really enjoyed the difference from standard style.Light and quirky without much language. Some crude references and a drinking scene hold it out of middle grade level, but I think most teens could handle it without discomfort.

  • Trever
    2018-10-27 22:47

    *Received this from Netgalley for an honest review*Since this book is entirely in email format, it is back and forth between different people over a time period. In the end it comes together. I'm not sure if the title was a 100% appropriate, but I didn't think the book would be about a boy growing up.I think if it wasn't in email format I would have never had finished it, but I had to stick it out to see how it finished.

  • Jamie L
    2018-10-21 17:55

    Very quick read (email format).If you're a neat-and-tidy-ending person, this may not be for you.This book is extremely character driven (practically doesn't have a plot), and I thought the characters were very engaging and well written.I've already emailed my nephew to point him toward this book.

  • AServingOfSantosha
    2018-10-23 17:46

    Engrossing and surprisingly sweet this tale of friendship shows that a bond can find anyone anywhere. Written through a series of emails the story winds down a road of funny and poignant moments that illustrate how many ways one can truly care for a friend. Lots of lessons about love, life and death can be taken away from this story.

  • Miranda Lynn
    2018-10-24 17:03

    DNF after 40ish pagesThis is an "it's me, not you" situation. I knew that the main character was 15 years old, I just didn't realize that it would read quite so middle grade. And that's really not my thing. He seemed more like 12 years old, in my opinion.

  • Judy
    2018-10-30 17:58

    I really enjoyed this book. Perhaps it's because of the voyeuristic nature of reading other peoples' mail. It was interesting to watch the friendship between James and Darren develop and, while Darren offered helpful advice to James, it was probably James who matured the most.

  • Great Books
    2018-10-27 01:01

    When taciturn high school freshman (and relentless whale enthusiast) James finds himself facing an urgent problem, he reaches out to Darren, a, 20-something aspiring filmmaker with ex-girlfriend baggage. Told with humor over a series of emails. Reviewer 20.

  • Diana Sims
    2018-11-02 22:52

    A cute YA read, written as a group of emails, from a high school freshman, who is totally enthralled with whales, and a young filmmaker, along with various other students and family members. Funny, poignant.

  • Taylor Patterson
    2018-10-19 21:47

    Not actually about a whaleRead this book based on a review and couldn't put it down. Read it in only a few hours. Written entirely as emails which proved to be easier to follow than I thought it would be.

  • Chris
    2018-10-30 18:38

    I really enjoyed this totally unique book. I love books written in letter and email form so this was perfect for me. The quirkiness factor helped a lot too.

  • K
    2018-11-11 16:57

    Creative engaging

  • Josh Martin
    2018-11-11 23:43

    This was a sweet, funny story with a lot of depth.

  • Harald Koch
    2018-10-30 17:54

    Maggie Stiefvater made me read this book and I'm very happy that she did. You should read it too.

  • Steven Schaedel
    2018-10-16 16:51

    A whale of a tale.

  • Leann
    2018-10-22 17:56

    Nice fun easy read YA book.

  • Claire
    2018-10-20 18:44

    Two young men with fixations exchange emails, advice and friendship in this truly quirky story.Great for late middle school and early high school.

  • Kathleen
    2018-11-09 00:54

    OMG one of the authors lives in Glenview...

  • Megan Clancy
    2018-11-13 22:39

    An interesting story told in a very unique way. Quite the page-turner.

  • Amber
    2018-10-30 21:49

    I am sorry but wtf kind of kid needs urban dictionary. This kid used urban dictionary for "psyched" "legit" and "binge watching." Like wow. I am just. Wow. NO! This book was so horrendously written by a old guy trying to be hip and with it that I rolled my eyes so hard I think I saw heaven. I am sorry but no.

  • MaryKate Hickey
    2018-10-26 00:42

    This was simply a charming story. The characters were quirky and lovable, and the email format was perfect for the target audience. I don't usually read YA but was glad I made an exception for this. I am recommending this to my nieces and nephews who are heading into middle school, and to their parents - this would be a great family book club read for families with kids in that awkward stage of life!