September 18, 2012

Title: What I Didn’t Say

Author: Keary Taylor

Published: April 2012

Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He’s been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it’s too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he’ll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn’t limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she’ll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she’ll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn’t say before, even if he can’t actually say it.

***Note: This book was provided by Net Galley but that did not in any way influence this review.

Ana will put What I Didn’t Say on her second shelf!

My Review: All. The. Emotions. I felt them all! This book takes you from the highest highs to the lowest lows and never…I repeat, never…gives you any warning about how you’ll feel next. These characters experience so much and, even though there are many times where they can rightfully wallow in their sorrow, they’re too strong for that. So, the reader (read: me) cries with them and laughs with them but also prepares to move on, somehow gaining strength from their tenacity and their relationships.

I have to admit that I expected this entire story to be about Jake. After all, that’s what the synopsis seems to imply. Jake gets into a car accident and, due to his injuries, is left mute. The obstacles he has to face after that are easily a story unto themselves. How will he go on living his life? How will he fit in with his family and friends? How will this affect his future? As readers, we’re ready to see how he gets through it. But, as he begins to tell us his story, we discover that he’s got something else on his mind…Samantha. Although never speaking again is unthinkable, never telling her he loves her is unbearable. He’s loved her forever and she doesn’t know it. And that’s not how he wants it to end. So, we have a second storyline to focus on…the relationship. Because of Jake’s reluctance to live his life without her, we meet Samantha. She’s a very smart girl with big dreams for her future and secrets of her very own. Secrets? Yes! So, we fall in love with her and then, well, we have three stories in one.

The author did an absolutely great job of intertwining these characters, their stories and their friends and families. The secondary characters provide us with the humor we need at times in the story and make our hearts swell as they provide Jake and Sam with the support and love they need. Everyone in this story has a reason to be there and adds something to the plot or storyline. That is very refreshing. And speaking of out-of-the-ordinary plot elements, Jake and Sam are independent, strong and intelligent in their own right. Their relationship does not make them who they are but actually enhances their individuality.

And that’s why I laughed and cried and moped and had heart palpitations. It’s why I recommend this book. It’s why I’m sad that, for the first time in a very long time, I’ve just read a book that is not part of a series. I connected with these characters and it’s unfortunate that I won’t see them again…that is, until I reread this book!!


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