What I Didn’t Say
author : keary taylor
pages : [paperback] 336
favorite characters : sam & jacob
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 was really, really interested in the entire concept of this book because I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to take something for granted and have it abruptly taken away one day. Luckily I haven’t experienced this thus far (though I think I’m getting more appreciative of little, everyday things!) but Jake does when he makes a few bad decisions and wakes up in the hospital, told that he’ll never be able to speak again. And what would it really be like to have all those words to say and have to sign or spell them out? It’d be incredibly frustrating trying to have even a simple conversation.
Jake deals with this, trying to figure out how to handle his friends-especially those who were in the car with him that night-the girl he went to tell that he loved, and his entire family. Relationships change, people treat him differently, and life can never be the same. I liked how this book didn’t make anything too extreme. Jake isn’t completely optimistic, but he isn’t down on himself at every part of the book either. There are people who are stiff and awkward around him, staring at his scars, and the ones who act completely normal. I liked how he had to learn how to deal with either situation.
He was a strong character and I enjoyed seeing him grow and change throughout the story. The supporting characters apart from Sam appeared only briefly for the most part and thus seemed very underdeveloped. But aside from that, and a few nitpicky problems with the writing style, I really loved this book and would recommend it for anyone.