Monday, December 24, 2012

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

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 30, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
336 Pages

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.



What I Didn't Say was an okay novel. The plot was very different from most contemporary young adult romances, but it was also very unrealistic.  I had a lot of trouble getting through it because I found myself bored by the overwhelming number of events.

Our main character, Jake Hayes, was in a car accident with his two best friends after they had done some drinking. He was on his way to confess to the girl he was in love with, Samantha Shay, that he was, in fact, in love with her. Then they got into a car accident. (This is why we don't drink and drive, kids.) His friends came out with scraps and bruise and he came out with a pole in his neck. 

You can tell that this didn't give me that much of an effect on me because I had to look up the names of the characters to remember them. I feel awful about that, but that just makes it clear that in my opinion this book was nothing to write home about. It could've been. I'll say what I say all the time: This book had a lot of potential. It just wasn't executed well. (It also was in serious need of an editor.)

The plot was so weird. Everything just kept piling up! The fact that this boy had to learn sign language because he would never be able to talk wasn't enough? I thought the author could've written a better story if that, along with the romance, had been the main focus. Everything else just got ridiculous, not to mention completely unrealistic. And not only was the plot strange, but the time frame was unbelievable. If I remember correctly, Jake got out of the hospital in like two weeks… Uh… What? I really doubt that he would've had such a short stay after such a major injury. Plus he went back to school just a few days after he returned home. Like I said, unbelievable.

I liked Jake's family. They were sweet and I've always wanted a large family, so I was more than a bit envious. I did not, however, like Samantha, or Sam as she is often called. I just did not understand the attraction… She got annoying very quickly. None of the other characters really made a lasting impression. I can't remember anyone's name for the life of me. All I remember is that all of Jake's siblings had names that started with the letter "J."

While I'm really enjoying this male perspective kick that's going around the young adult novel community, What I Didn't Say was obviously written by a woman. The character's thoughts and ideas seemed very forced. It was very uncomfortable to read. Depending on the point-of-view, in which her other books are written, I'd like to give Ms. Taylor's work another chance. Hopefully, she can pull me into her writing with another story. Otherwise, I just don't think this author is for me.

I received and e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

1 comment :

  1. Wow! Your review is exactly the opposite of mine, Emily!
    I absolutely ADORED this novel, and this expresses different tastes. I loved the characters, I found Jake really believable and Samantha was such a broken, adorable character with her fruit-flavored lip balms.
    I really liked the idea of this and I think it taught a very moral subject. "Don't drive while you are drunk"
    Thanks for the honest review, though.
    Your reader,


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