Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy from NetGalley

What I Didn't Say

YA Contemporary Romance

Publication Date
May 11th, 2012


Available At


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.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!

Jake Hayes is a stand-out character. His voice is injected with a raw honesty, his words are genuine in a way that is often hard to bring forth, but Keary Taylor does this with such perfection in a writing style that reveals the true voice of this character as it reads as if it comes from Jakes very own mind. 

" . . .came back with a stack of fifteen notebooks, a rainbow of colored covers.
I just shook my head when she set them down.
My paper voice."

The characters in What I Didn't Say are real. Real characters with little details that make them that much more real. The anti-tourist attitude of the populating teens, the way they start some sentences with 'k', the blunt honesty of Jakes little brother, the red notebook that is solely Sam's and Jake's. Those little things make a story complete, they are necessary, but often over-looked. I relish those little details that turn a story of words into a story of people, even if they are fictous.

"I'm okay, Mom, I wrote. You don't have to stay.
'No sweetie,' she said. 'You're not okay. And I'm not going anywhere.'"

What I Didn't Say is powerful, tear-jerking, thought-provoking, and eye-opening. It's emotional and intense, yes. But it's done in a way that doesn't focus on the tragedies, it's about overcoming those tragedies that life can and will throw at you, some of your own doing and others completely out of your control. The story is about the decision of choosing what are you going to let prevail. The clawing darkness or the lifting light. That's why What I Didn't Say is brilliantly awesome. There's hope. A tiny sliver of light that keeps growing as the pages grow fewer and fewer.

"My screwed up little life felt pretty perfect"

This is a story that will be going into my favorites pile. A must read for teens, a must read for ALL readers, regardless of gender. A beautifully captivating story that not only needed to be told, but NEEDS to be read. Keary Taylor bravely shares a little piece of her life that she was hesitant to share in her at the end in her Author's Note. I commend her for her bravery and will share a statement that will always stick with me.

"So when life seems impossible, when it seems so bad that you can't go on, just stop for a second to take a look at all the things that you do have. I bet the list will grow pretty fast. And even if it doesn't you have the power to decide if you're going to let the bad or the good take control of your life."

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