Friday, June 8, 2012

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

SUMMARY: 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.


Softly charming though not quite holding the emotional depth and intensity I had hoped for, What I Didn’t Say is a cute romance with a twist thrown in. With an overall sweet and nice main character, despite the major mistake he makes, this one is easy to fall into and get behind. Navigating things after a major life altering event, and holding a strong family component to it, there is something compelling about this one despite the ways it left me wanting more.

Jake is a caring guy, and one with a strong drive in him to keep going. Devastated after the accident, and angry almost more at himself than anything, he finds the will to keep going pretty quickly. Though I did feel like he settled into his new life almost too quickly, he has such an intense support system that it does make sense to some extent. Still, he had his moments of self pity and depression, but also reminded himself of all the things he still has. Guilty about what he’s put his family through, and leaning on them in the ways that really count, Jake pushes past the whole no longer able to talk thing pretty quickly and focuses back on what’s important to him, namely figuring things out with the girl he’s loved for so long. He goes through some great change in his mindset towards things, not only because of what’s happened to him but due to other things thrown at him as well, and there is something endearing about him that will warm readers.

Admittedly, I didn’t feel like there was anything too specific driving this book. The pacing fell off more than once for me, and things seemed to just amble along. Ultimately, it’s a romance, despite the way the blurb makes you think there’s a lot more to it. This book is about Jake trying to figure out things with Sam, taking into account the situations they are both in individually, and then together, but keeping the primary focus on their budding relationship. Truthfully, I felt like actually losing his ability to talk wasn't too big of a factor in the book, beyond giving Jake more of a reason to want to talk to Sam in any way he can. There are some very wrenching moments to this book, but they are few and far outweighed by the sweet ones. Though some of those sweet moments were a little too, well, sweet, for my liking, and kind of corny at times, there is still a lot of heart in this book.

This one is well written, although I felt like the voice lacked a little for a male character. The setting for this one is very well described, bringing it to life in a great way. The impact living on a close knit island has had on Jake is shown throughout the book, and Taylor does a good job of doing this without it being forced or obvious. While there wasn’t quite enough drive in this plot for me, and I went in wanting much more emotional turmoil and depth, this was still a feel good and cute read that fans of romance will enjoy.

Source: Netgalley 
Paperback: 326 pages 
Publisher: CreateSpace/Keary Taylor
Publication Date: April 30, 2012

1 comment:

  1. Great review - very honest, thanks for sharing! It's a shame that this one didn't work more for you. I think for the most part it does sound like my kind of thing, so I will have to see how I find it. :)

    New to your blog! :)
    Steph @ Stepping Out of the Page