Tuesday, 18 September 2012

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor **Review**

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
Series: None
Pages: 336
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: 30th April 2012
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US 

Goodreads synopsis:
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.
Having read the first in Keary's Fall of Angels series, Branded, and having rated it 4 stars, I had a pretty good feeling that I would end up enjoying this one too, despite the huge change in genre. Thankfully, I wasn't wrong.

When I started reading this, I'll admit that I was a little concerned, to begin with, that it wouldn't be quite what I was hoping it would be. I didn't get any kind of immediate connection to the main character, Jake (or any of the other characters, for that matter), and the story, although mildly interesting, wasn't as gripping as I thought it would be.
I also felt that some of the chapters were a bit odd. Some of them were very short, and it wasn't initially in chronological order (which usually wouldn't be a problem, but it felt a little bit fragmented in this). It jumped from the 'present' story, to a few months before the accident, and back again, and it just didn't quite feel like a 'natural' transition, to begin with. Once I got into the book though, I started to appreciate these 'past' scenes more - they really accentuated how much Jake's life and personality was changing, after his accident.
Eventually though, the chapters did follow on from each other, and this was no longer a problem anyway.

As I've already said, I did not initially connect with Jake's character, which was a bit of a problem, seeing as the book is told from his point of view. However, after his accident (as mean as this might sound), I began to like him more and more. Of course, there were moments of self-pity etc, but this didn't last long. I really admired that, instead of taking the easy way out, and just giving up, he decided to push himself, and do his best to make his situation into the best that it could possibly be, and just generally try to carry on with life as normally as possible.
This would obviously be a difficult thing for anyone who had suffered a traumatic event, but even more so for someone in Jake's position, so this is where my respect for his character really started to grow.
By the end of the book, I adored him. I love character development, and Jake had it in spades! He became so much more mature, and despite his own predicaments, he was determined to be there for Sam, the girl he loves, and for the rest of his family and friends.
Sam and Jake's relationship is definitely worth mentioning as well - it was such a beautiful one! I had wondered how they were going to make things work, with Jake being unable to speak, and Sam not only being unable to say those three little words that Jake wants to hear so badly, but she also harbours some secret troubles of her own.
Despite all of this, though, they are a wonderful couple, and I was cheering them on the whole way through!

The ending was also so beautiful that it genuinely gave me goosebumps and, as cliché as it may sound, bought more than just a single tear to my eyes. I will say nothing more on this, but if you decide to pick this one up (which I think you should), the ending is definitely worth it!

I was a little worried about how Keary was going to decide to write about Jake's condition. Mutism can be a fairly sensitive subject - as can many other disabilities - but then there is the issue of a lack of audible dialogue with the rest of the characters. They weren't all going to learn sign language in a fortnight, after all!
I thought that Keary dealt with all of this extremely well, though, and despite my worries, the book worked really well.

Although it took me a little while to get into the book, I ended up adoring it. The characters were incredibly well-written and, quite honestly, adorable, especially Jake, and it was easy to see all of them grow, as the story went on. And what a story! It was a brave subject to choose to write about, in my opinion, and presented plenty of problems (both to Keary, and to the characters in the book), but she dealt with it, with apparent ease.

Another great read, from a truly great author! I definitely recommend this to fans of YA contemporary fiction - especially if you love a good 'love conquers all' kind of story.


alwys4evr said...

This was the first book I had read by this author and I did a review on it also. I really liked it. Enough actually, that I may have to go buy a physical copy for my shelf!

Here's a link to my review of it!

Sierra Abrams said...

Great review! I totally enjoyed this book and will be reading more Taylor books in the future! :D

Sierra @ Yearning to Read

beccabooklover said...

Haven't read this book of Keary's as I'm not into contemporary fiction or stuff like this but her book Eden (sci-fi, dystopian) was amazing. I really did enjoy it and would definitely recommend it :) Great review!

Becca @ Lost in Thought

Angie F said...

I haven't read anything by this author yet, but I do have Branded on my Kindle. This book definitely sounds like a winner. I typically really like books with alternating POVs or time lines, and I've never read about a mute character before, so thanks for bringing this book to my attention!

Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

Maji Bookshelf said...

This novel sounds great, but I am not a fan of a novel not really being in chronological order. Still you seem to have gotten over that and your disconnection with Jake. I already have it on my TBR.

great review!!

- Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

Pen to Paper said...

Oh, Maji ... I definitely got over it. I had a major connection with Jake, by the end of the book. He's incredible... seriously! :)
I hope you decide to pick it up!

Dani x

Jackie Burris said...

I had no problems with the writing style or the characters, in fact this turned out to be one of my favorite reads of 2012. Surprising to me because my main love is and always has been paranormal genre reading, however this YA contemporary appealed so much when I discovered it's synopsis went straight to Netgalley to ask for a review copy and am now looking forward to more from Ms. Taylor.

Jaime Lester said...

I am so glad that this book picked up and became a good read. I have had my eye on it for a while, and yours is the first review I have read. At the beginning I was like "NOOOOO", and then kept reading and was like "Whew!" Thanks for the great review!

Gaby said...

Great review! This isn’t my typical read, but I do remember first reading the synopsis of it and thinking it sounded pretty good! Glad to see it is!

~Jennifer~ said...

I haven't read anything by this author either, but I've heard of this book and really want to read it. I couldn't imagine how horrible it would be to lose your voice. No longer be able to sing or tell people what you're thinking. That pulls at my heart already.

Bernard Atkinson said...

Thanks for this very useful info you have provided us.
business essays

Edward Dowdell said...

Your post is quite interesting and great research skills required for such type of post.
UK Dissertations

shehyag said...

In thinking about an archery design way of write a research paper for me an investigation papers, this component is similar to creating an arrow pertaining to ribbon looking.

loren said...

easily because several scholarship grants need career seekers to write down at the very least solitary article, It\'s very crucial that the on the custom essay writing uk an individual produce echoes for the grant idol judges. in addition to Just in case you fulfill his or her specific standards, but you need to make certain You will find not any punctuational or perhaps grammatical problems.

achma khatun said...

At most of the businesses, personnel tend to be more than happy to have his or her employers record all of the a long time many people do the job. That they appreciate that there are the automatic wall clock method in position that helps to ensure that his or her a long time are being tracked.watches

moran said...

Inside the modern world your area associated with essay or dissertation composing is transforming day-to-day plus the standards associated with composing are transforming very suddenly. On the other hand, more common propensity is almost all of the students remain unacquainted with this particular useful truth.best grad schools 2

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog - it is always appreciated!

Blog design installed by Sweet Dreams Design