Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: May 11, 2012
Received via 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.
I finished this book on Friday night. It is now Sunday morning. I've been thinking a lot about what I want to write in this review and I'm struggling. It was a good book. A great book. I read it pretty quickly. The messages and themes were all really touching which makes it hard to talk about the negative points of the novel though.
The description of this book had me in that "I must read it" "I must have it" state of mind and I was thrilled when I got a review copy. Not long after I received it I devoured it. I stayed up late to finish it (I would not be surprised if sleep deprivation has affected my judgement). I had high expectations, but they were of the "It's probably too smart for me" "It probably deals with some crazy emotional struggles that I won't be able to handle". I was glad that this wasn't the case. The book was actually quite easy to read (hence my reading it so quickly) and it was emotional, but not nearly as much as I was expecting.
This book was a wake up call. The main character Jake cannot talk. Yet, he chooses not to feel sorry for himself and he still manages to get out what he wants to say in one form or another. He chose to believe that it could have been worse. It's inspirational and it also makes me want to kick myself and a few other people in the shins for being so down in the dumps all the time.
There were some very unexpected things that popped up in this novel too. Samantha had some issues of her own. The book turned out to be a lot more about Samantha than I originally thought. I'm not going to reveal the issues because that will give away the story, but it definitely shows that everyone has their own problems.
There were a few things in the novel that I thought were a little cheesy. I don't really know how else to put it. There was this sentimental significance over lipgloss and every time the characters kissed I learned about what flavour she was wearing. It bothered me a little bit. It seemed a little silly. It was the only thing I could really find wrong with the novel though.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. I smiled, I cried and I even giggled a few times. It was worth 4.5/5 stars. This is definitely a must read and a great book to recommend to someone who enjoys films about life changing incidents. I really appreciated that the author shared her inspiration for 'What I Didn't Say' in the 'Author's Note'. I'd love to read more books by this author in the future.