Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't Say
Good Reads Summary
What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

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.

My Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this. Sadly, WHAT I DIDN’T SAY just falls somewhere in the middle for me. The emotions in it didn’t quite pull me along despite the blurb. Still, it wasn’t a complete loss:

Jake tries his best, and I liked him for it. The change he undergoes is drastic, and there’s that aspect of seeing him go from what he was to what he was becoming. So, I followed along, simply because the guy made me like him (well, most of the time.) And there’s so many aspects to his story. An already good guy, you see him become better; try things out, falter, fall, then pick himself up again. He could have wallowed in it all, and it still would have been fine with me but that a different route is taken was what had me taken by him.

The introduction of Sam though dampened my enthusiasm for this a little. Additional drama, not connected to Jake, split my attention, and I found it unnecessary. His story already had me curious, but her story with him had me wondering if such an addition was at all necessary.

Not to say that the girl’s part in it was not sad. It was. I just felt that it added more emotion to what would have been fine without. Already it was shaping up to be a good sweet story of a good kid dealing with change he’d not seen coming, the love drama and us against the world, I simply didn’t enjoy quite as much.

See,  all those ‘Norah Whora’ snide remarks got on my nerves. And yes, at times him putting on a brave face felt false to me too, SO THAT it was his eventual cracking and letting go that felt more sad and real to me. The love aspect was OK(?) but I just didn’t connect WITH them. While the girl's issues made her less “girl-on-pedestal,” I still wondered if it was needed. (But come to think of it, may be it was her drama that reinforced the idea of her being different from the rest: stronger yet different.) Still, wouldn't it have sufficed to have the drama focus on his one thing then see how things progress from there?

Too much drama on both sides, so that I ended up not buying into either completely.

Thank you Net Galley!


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