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Tour Stop: Review/Playlist of "Muted" by Tami Charles

MUTED, by Tami Charles

Imprint: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: February 2nd, 2021

ISBN: 9781338673524

Page Count: 400 pages


⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*I received an ARC from Scholastic Press and Terminal Tours free of charge, and my opinions are completely my own.*


It wasn’t the first time

we sang and dreamed

and wished upon a star,

every wish, every prayer unanswered.

But for me,

I longed for the day

when hustle

turned to gold.

Show it to my family.

Show them who I really am.


TW: abuse (physical & mental), large age gap in relationship, forced dieting, sexual assault (& recording it), death/murder, forced seclusion from outside world, homophobia

In Tami Charles’ Muted, Denver, Dali and Shak know they are destined for greatness beyond their hometown. After all, their girl group Angelic Voices is accurately named and their original songs deal with rising up and succeeding despite any and all trails. When Sean “Mercury” Ellis holds a concert in their town, the trio sing their way into his innermost circle and patronage. As Merc gives the girls everything they could have dreamed of - fame, parties, and a record deal - Denver slowly realizes that some things can come with strings that aren’t quite right. As she battles to remain herself, can she also remain safe?

I adored this book - while it deals with heavy subjects, Charles manages to keep the innocence of Denver’s character prevalent, allowing one to hope for a happy ending. However, there are no trigger warnings within the actual book itself - you just have to assume something bad is going to happen and brace yourself for it. If you are easily triggered by this kind of content (as I sometimes am), it can cause one to feel intensely sad and somber after reading it. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as Muted is meant to engage the reader in a serious discussion of sexual abuse within the music industry.

Muted relies heavily on music and meter, not only as a plot device, but in order to tell the story in and of itself. Thus, it was almost a duty of mine to create a playlist based off this lyrical novel. I chose to focus on songs that directly relate back to the events that Denver experiences in the lyrics that are sung. As the playlist begins, you get How To Return Home, as we first learn about Denver returning to a home that doesn’t quite fit anymore after the last year or so. Then we go back to the beginning and the easy friendship between her, Dali, and Shak with songs like Flying Solo. As the plot progresses, the focus slides from being on the friendship to the quest for success. We get more songs like Empire State of Mind or Million Dreams, where we see the dream becoming real, even as we can also see the decaying of various relationships in songs like Nova Phone Home. Eventually, the playlist dies down and ends with Titanium, embodying the inherent strength of these girls despite the trials heaped on them. To listen to the full playlist, click here.

If you like these books:

  • Grown, by Tiffany D. Jackson

  • Clap When You Land, by Elizabeth Acevedo

  • Punching the Air, by Ibi Zoboi

  • I’ll Be the One, by Lyla Lee

Then you will most definitely enjoy reading about Denver and her friends’ journey to fame and security.

The great thing about all of this is that you can purchase your own copy of Muted today! Be sure to stop by your local bookstore or to order online at these links: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

Many thanks to Terminal Tours for allowing me to join the Muted book tour! You can check out the rest of the tour stops on their Tour Schedule webpage.

TAMI CHARLES is the critically acclaimed author of numerous books for young readers, including instant New York Times bestselling All Because You Matter. In her teens and early twenties, Tami enjoyed a taste of fame as a member of an all-girl R&B trio. They performed for Boyz II Men, BET, Showtime at the Apollo, and had a one-hit wonder on the radio. For more information on Tami and her books, visit tamiwrites.com.


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