Friday, 9 August 2013

Review: What I Didn't Say

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.

Title: What I Didn't Say
Author: Keary Taylor | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: April 30 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 336 Pages
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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Love it, so cute and perfect for the story.
Point of View: 1st person, following Jake

My Rating: 5 Stars

The first thing that drew me to What I didn't say was the cover, then the synopsis... I was hooked after that.  I knew that there was no way that I would not be reading this book.  It sounded unique, intriguing, it was a male point of view (which I love) and I couldn't wait to start.

“It felt like this was never going to end.  The world wasn't going to stop crashing down until there was nothing left of me but dust.”

Jake.  I simply adored him.  He was believable and very much real.  I was curious to see how Jake would handle the life altering change that he has been forced upon him.  It would be easy to curl into a ball and let life pass you by.  What makes Jake so believable are his actions.  I not only understood, but I felt every emotion as he was feeling it.  Nothing felt forced, or out of place, and I never felt like it was made over the top dramatic for creative purposes.  So yeah, he just felt real.

And swoonworthy is not even starting to cover it.  He is so very sweet, and it would be impossible not to fall for him.  I have always said that the male point of view is my favorite, and this is yet another prime example as to why that is the case.  The writing draws you in, and it was a joy to be inside Jake's head.

“Once you start down the slippery slope of depression, it's hard to climb off of it.  And sometimes you don't want to climb off of it.”

Samantha/Sam.  Loved her.  She handled Jake's situation perfectly.  She never let him dwell on what happened, and she always pushed him further than what he thought should be allowed in his type of situation.  She challenged him and that is exactly what he needed.  She also made him realize that there are worse things than never being able to speak again.

“But I had become a different person.  One who looked at things in a new way.  I appreciated life a whole lot more than I had last year.”

Jake's family was perfect.  I loved that he had so many brothers and sisters, and his parents were kind and affectionate.  So many Young Adult novels now a days have the dysfunctional family unit.  It is almost as if that is a prerequisite for the genre.  It was a breath of fresh air to read this story and to see a loving and caring family that stuck together through everything.

“Reality hasn't really sunk in yet, I knew that.  I didn't want to know what life was going to feel like when it finally did.”

Another thing that made me love What I Didn't Say, is that it is not only about Jake and his accident.  Sam is going through something herself, and I loved that.  It brought a further depth to the story, and one that I wasn't expecting.  The setting of the story is also a huge positive.  They live on Orcas Island, which is in the Pacific Northwest.  Before my husband and I moved to England, we had been wanting to relocate to the Seattle area.  As I was reading, I kept pulling up photos of the island, and it truly made me jealous.  Keary Taylor made me want to pack up and move there tomorrow.  It looks and sounds a magnificent place.

So, if you haven't guessed by now, I would strongly recommend What I Didn't Say.  There is a real story to be told here, and it would be a shame for you to miss it.  You come away really thinking about your actions, and questioning the importance placed on certain aspects of your life.  I also recommend that you read the notes from the author at the end of the book.  You can see what difficulties she herself has had to live through, I found it very touching.

“It was perfect moments like that that made all the bad ones worth living through.”


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