Review: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't SayGetting 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 don't know why I chose to read this book since I'm not usually a big fan of hard hitting contemporary novels but I think that I knew from the synopsis that this was going to be something special and original, and it was.

I loved this book but I didn't start to like it until Jake has the accident because up until then it was slow, and even then I didn't love it, the love didn't come until we started to learn more about Sam's life and the book turned into something much more than a love story. I loved watching Jake deal with his own issues, he starts out selfish, hating everyone for pitying him and feeling like the accident means the end of everything for him and by the end he has learned to live with his disability. Sam herself has issues to deal with and I admired her strength and the support that she gave Jake, I was rooting for them as a couple all of the way through.

The storyline was well developed and engaging. I really liked the way that Taylor dealt with the disability as a back-seat to Sam and Jake's relationship, if it had been the absolute central focus of the book I would have found it overbearing. Pacing wise it was good but not gripping but this is definitely a book that relies on the storyline and not action and pacing to keep readers engaged and it does that well.

There isn't really much that I dislikes about this book. It did at times seem a bit unrealistic in the way that people spoke and acted and some things seemed out of place but this was only at times, I think these were things that could have been ironed out with a bit of professional editing but overall I really did like Taylor's writing style.

This was definitely one of the best 'serious' contemporarys that I have read in a while. There were a few bits of unrealistic dialogue and behaviour but I loved the story and the characters, i found them so realistic and I was rooting for them all the way.

Overall rating: A-

Book released May 11th 2012
Book received as an eBook for review through netGalley

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