Title: What I Didn’t Say
Author: Keary Taylor
Publishing Date: April 30th 2012
Genre: YA Coming of Age, Realistic Fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Digital ARC
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 wanted to read this book from the moment I read the summary. It sounded so powerful, and it was. I was blown away but this book. It took me a bit after that last page to fully soak it in. It was one of those books that really dug into me. There are so many different issues going on in this book it was very overwhelming.
The story …. teens drink then drive, they wreck and their lives are changed forever. The book screamed tough issues ahead and I just knew, I am going to cry in this book… And of course I did (a lot)
Jake is in his last year of school, he’s a good boy. He plays football in a small town, has loads of good friends, great family, does well in school, and has a dream of joining the Air Force. He makes a stupid decisoion one night and his entire life is changed because of the choice he made. The book is about Jake’s struggle with losing his voice. In his struggle he discovers the things in his life he always took for granted. He also begins to really see people he thought he knew, for who they are really are. It takes a while but Jake finally sees his life and his future clearer than he did before his accident. Jake may have lost his voice but he never lost his words, he just had to find the right ones.
Jake and Samantha found a place in my heart very quickly. Jake started off as the all American boy that was the great kid, great son, great brother, but he was clueless about life outside of his own. Samantha is a smart, confident, caring girl and is more than she first appears. Both characters arelacking something in their life and together they find it. The relationship that forms between the two felt honest and real. I felt privileged to be a part of their lives just for a bit and watch something amazing happen.
This book really went beyond the story for me. I found so many things to be encouraging in this book. The family aspect in this story is amazing and is something that I find missing in so many YA books these days. The parents were very involved in Jake’s life. The siblings have loyalty to one another, and the family members are all very loving, supportive and desired to help others even when their own family suffered. It gave me great joy to see this and that it was woven in so carefully so that it didn’t feel preaching or cheesy. The writing was sensational and I know I will find myself thinking about this book far into the future.