Friday, June 19, 2015

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

Rating (Out of 5): ~1.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published/CreateSpace
Release Date: 2012
Spoilers?: Not really.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble.

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.

The Cover:

I think the cover is super cute. The color, the close up on the faces, the notebook reference. I think it works for the book, and it's very cute and eye-catching. And since the book focuses so much on the romance, I suppose it fits.


I expected to like this book. I expected to like it a lot, once I started it. Which makes my disappointment that much more.
This is about Jake, who goes out with friends one night, gets drunk and one of them drives, and they crash. Jake loses his vocal chords from it, and can never speak again. And his biggest regret is that he didn’t tell the girl he liked how he felt.
I don’t even know where to start, honestly.
I guess, first of all, the technicalities of so much… There was just a lack of logic or research. One, with that the medical possibilities were much bigger than even mentioned. He’s given no choice but to be mute for the rest of his life, when he would actually have other options nowadays. It sounded vague to me, but even another reviewer mentioned several other options. Then there were a few things mentioned… like that he couldn’t learn Spanish now that he’s mute, because that’s only a spoken language? Then the mention that, when it’s snowing outside and Sam’s (the girl’s) pipes in her trailer aren’t frozen, just cause. There were a lot of mentions of how small the town he lived in was, and that everyone was really close and caring, and yet I didn’t really believe that when he got hurt, not to mention how no one noticed what was going on with Sam.
Then there’s the entire Sam thing.
Almost this entire book is focused on Jake’s love for Sam. And he’s been in love with her ever since he first saw her, even though he’s barely spoken a word to her the entire time, and I honestly didn’t feel any chemistry between them. I didn’t believe everything he did for her, how he felt, none of it. And I hated that his biggest regret was not telling a girl he’s barely said two words to in like three years, that he never told her that he loved her. His biggest regret should have been something a lot bigger than that.
Plus there’s the fact that most of the plot turns to Sam, instead of what Jake’s going through. Sam is going through something bad, definitely, but the entire focus turned to her. And I didn’t believe the way she let Jake take care of her so easily; usually a person in her situation would be more stubborn, try to take care of herself, and would also find an actual job, I would think, since she only has her own income now?
I also didn’t really believe Jake’s struggle. For a guy who got depressed over his state of living, I didn’t really feel it. He mentioned it every once in a while, but I didn’t actually see or feel any moping.
The writing was pretty tell and not show, though. It would mention a lot of things but I never actually felt them. The characters were all pretty one-dimensional. Jake and Sam, definitely, but there’s also at least a dozen side characters that don’t stand out at all. Jake’s friends, but also his older sister, who supposedly got close to Sam, only I never saw any of that happen.
I would say that this would have helped hugely being from both Jake and Sam’s point of view, but it was still very one-dimensional, and the writing was plain and boring.
I did not enjoy this book, sadly, and I’m glad it’s over. I’m disappointed I spent as much money and time on it as I did.

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