Nov 4, 2012

Book Review: What I Didn't Say - Keary Taylor

Title: What I Didn't Say
Author: Keary Taylor
Release Date: May 6th 2012
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 326 (Kindle Edition)
Source: NetGalley
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.
When I started reading What I Didn't Say, I expected a light YA contemporary romance novel - even though I knew the protag would be struggling with speech loss - but what I got was a brilliant, thought-provoking, and inspirational story.

Jake Hayes had been in love with Sam Shay since he first saw her (freshman year, if my memory serves me right), but he kept it in him for years. Now in their senior year and drunk at a party, he finally decided to go tell her how he felt, so he and his two best friends began driving to Sam's house. Unfortunately, on their way there, they got in a car accident and when Jake woke up in the hospital, he had already lost his vocal chords, along with the chance to say everything he hadn't.

All of the characters in here were likable - well, except the antagonists. Jake had his low moments, but he actually handled his disability really well, looking at it more rationally than emotionally. I think at times when you can't really do anything to change the situation, you should just accept and live the best way you can with it, rather than look away and avoid it. His family was a big help, too; they were all loving, understanding, and supportive.

But what I didn't expect was Sam. I can't say anything without being spoiler-y, but I really didn't think she'd be in the story much other than being the main character's love interest. Anyway, I loved how brave and determined she was to live her life the way she wanted to. I also loved her "naughty moments" that made her even more real.

Like all the few other books I've read that were written in first person from a guy's POV, it was really fun to be in Jake's head. Despite the drunk driving bout, he was actually quite the good boy, involved in sports and careful about his grades, with solid plans for the future that, sadly, had to be trashed away because of the horrible accident.

I think the main lesson we can all learn from this book - heck, from the title alone - is to not put off the important things, that we should live everyday as if it were our last so we won't have anything to regret. And I surely don't regret reading What I Didn't Say.

MY FAVORITE PART was the uber sweet scene after their prom. Ah, love <3

(photo and summary from

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