Book: MUTED by Tami Charles
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Position in Bibliography: This is Tami’s second young adult novel.
Numbered Pages: 383
Chapters: 255, (Chapter Titles, Not Numbered), (Part One: Check In, Part Two: Security, Part Three: Takeoff, Part Four: Landing)
Word Count: Approx. 41,000 words
Audiobook Run Time: 5 hours and 42 minutes (Unabridged)
Audiobook Narrator: Narrated by the author, Tami Charles (Note: Multiple songs are sung by the author throughout the audiobook.)
Setting: This book takes place over the course of just over a year from May 11 to June 14. This book takes place in Shohola, PA / Newark, NJ / Milford, PA / New York City / Alpharetta, GA / Atlanta, GA / Tour: Nashville, Charleston, Raleigh, Richmond / Lehigh Valley, PA. There are also a handful of flashbacks.
Point of View (POV): First Person
Themes/Subjects: Friendship, Family, Fame, Music, Abuse
Trigger Warnings Mentioned at Beginning of Audiobook: Abuse, Eating Disorders, Divorce, Manipulation, Rape
Additional Triggers: Pedophilia, Kidnapping, Abortion, Body Shaming, Fatphobia, Racism, Gun Violence, Death
Be bold. Get seen. Be Heard.
For seventeen-year-old Denver, music is everything. Writing, performing, and her ultimate goal: escaping her very small, very white hometown.
So Denver is more than ready on the day she and her best friends Dali and Shak sing their way into the orbit of the biggest R&B star in the world, Sean “Mercury” Ellis. Merc gives them everything: parties, perks, wild nights — plus hours and hours in the recording studio. Even the painful sacrifices and the lies the girls have to tell are all worth it.
Until they’re not.
Denver begins to realize that she’s trapped in Merc’s world, struggling to hold on to her own voice. As the dream turns into a nightmare, she must make a choice: lose her big break, or get broken.
Inspired by true events, Muted is a fearless exploration of the dark side of the music industry, the business of exploitation, how a girl’s dreams can be used against her — and what it takes to fight back.
Dedication: “To every artist, everywhere: May your gifts always be heard, loud and clear”
Find the Acknowledgements: End of Book
Jacket Copy Blurb:
“Muted blends the music of beautiful poetry with a powerful and relevant message. A stunning book.” – Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of THE SURRENDER TREE and Young People’s Poet Laureate Emeritus
Characters + Identifiers (In Order of Named Appearance):
Denver “Denny” Lee Lafleur – 17 years old and turns 18 years old on August 12, Lesbian, dresses in too-big jeans and tees, big body (p. 9), teterochromia – two different colored eyes – left eye is ocean blue, right eye is brown (p. 23/96), Haitian (p. 26), Birthday is in August (p. 37), ight brown skin (p. 80), her body is “too thick for Sholoa guys, just right for Caribbean eyes” (p. 220)
Papi / Captain Antoine Lafleur – Denver’s Father, Pilot, long fingernails, ashy knuckles, ebony skin (p. 257)
Gwendolyn “Gwen” Jaylis Lafleur – Denver’s Older Sister, brown eyes (p. 182)
Ma – Denver’s Mother
Dalisay “Dali” Gomez / “Say Say” – 17 years old, Denver’s Best Friend, “Angelic Voices” → “Untouched” singing group member, Questioning Sexuality, has a Miss Universe vibe (p. 19), braces (p. 22) but gets her teeth done (p. 224), sun-kissed skin (p. 35), family is from Santo Domingo (p. 37), “hair once cascading like dark waterfalls down her back now barely touched the tips of her ears” (p. 224) spiky, choppy, blond with a silver ball tongue piercing (p. 224-225), brown eyes (p. 228)
Shakira “Shak” Brown – 17 years old, Denver’s Best Friend, “Angelic Voices” → “Untouched” singing group member, has legs for days (p. 19), tall, lanky, bronze colored, wears glasses (p. 64)
Sean “Mercury” Ellis – R&B Star, 39-years-old, gray eyes (p. 22), smoky eyes (p. 28), has a syrupy-thick voice (p. 54), dimples (p. 162), veiny hands (p. 248)
Mr. Andrade – Denver’s Teacher
Meat – Merc’s Security Guard, figure is described as a teddy bear (p. 154)
Mami – Dali’s Mother
Gran – Denver’s Grandmother
Mrs. Billick – 9th Grade Chorus Class
Nana and Pop – Shak’s Guardians
Marissa “M” Avent – Merc’s crew, hot-pink lips (p. 196)
Tia Esme – Dali’s Aunt
Pastor Brown – Shak’s Grandfather
Grandma Brown – Shak’s Grandmother
Bryan Lewis – Australian Producer, thin lips (p. 155)
Chandler – Gwen’s White (Secret) Boyfriend
Ahmed Rakim – Celebrity Personal Trainer, “cut-up, ripped-up, veined-up, muscle of a man” (p. 217)
Officer Parsons – Has the “face of stone” (p. 236)
Officer Anderson – “had the swivel neck going” (p. 236)
Sharmaine – Backup Singer
Althea – Backup Singer
Isabel Fadden – Merc’s Fan, “teeth all jacked up,” “toe’-up braids” (p. 276)
Chance Lafleur – Denver’s pet otterhound puppy gifted by Merc
“Natasha” – Kidnapped Girl
Nancy Dixon – Meat’s Girlfriend, thick thighs (p. 343)
There are pop culture references to India Arie, Kirk Franklin, Queen Yeli, J.Lo, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Mary J Blige, Beyoncé, El Cuco, Chucky, Freddy Krueger, Hot 97, Jay Z, Mariah Carey, Cardi B, Jane the Virgin, Bob Marley, Wakanda, Ella Fitzgerald, Showtime at the Apollo, Tyler Perry, Ne-Yo, Usher, Ava Duvernay, Spike Lee, Marvin Gaye
Suggested Reading: Books by Elizabeth Acevedo