What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
ebook, 326 pages
Published April 30th, 2012 by the author
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.
I first posted this review at Novels, News & Notes From Your Northwest Neighbors.
There's so much awesome and beauty in this book it's hard to know where to start. First of all, Jake was a fantastic main character. Jake felt real to me. He had fears about telling Samantha how he felt, he was afraid of everyone judging him after the accident, he was embarrassed about standing out because of his scar and being unable to speak. He was also a nice guy. He wasn't the bad boy, but he wasn't a goody two shoes either. He was the perfect medium and I liked that.
Family was an important part of the story. His parents and brothers and sisters were very much a part of the story. They were there for him and were the kind of family anyone would want. I just loved how integral they were to the story because that's hard to find in YA.
Besides Jake getting in the accident and losing his vocal cords and then regretting not telling Samantha his feelings, there is more going on in the book. Samantha has some secrets of her own and it was heartbreaking standing by and watching all she went through. But it added another element to the story and I thought it was fabulous.
The romance in this one was sweet. There's no insta-love and it develops slowly. It was great watching them discover so much together and how important they were to each other. Every moment they spent together I felt the vibe between them.
This is a self published title and the editing was done well. It wasn't perfect, I did see a few errors, but nothing took away from the story. The flow was pretty good, there were just a few spots that felt a bit slow to me but I still managed to read the book in a day so it wasn't real slow. And it may have just been me.
Overall this was a fantastic young adult contemporary read that I most certainly do recommend you check out!
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
This book fits the YA Contemporary Challenge 2012. Click the button for more information.