Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
Pages: 326
Release Date:  April 30th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, May 6th-7th
Received:  ARC from NetGalley
Rating:  4/5 stars
Recommended to:  16+

Jake is not the type of kid who would get drunk on homecoming night with his friends...or drive with them afterward.  But one choice - one simple mistake - changes everything when Jake's friend crashes...and a t-post through Jake's neck takes away one of life's most important tools - the gift of speech.  Now Jake has to reevaluate everything:  his life, his passions, love - everything - and find a way to tell the girl he loves, "I love you" before she, too, is taken away.

While I'm not typically a contemporary girl, I have recently been drawn to a few titles.  This one, at the very very top of my list.  When I was accepted to review this on NetGalley, I was ecstatic, and the book did not disappoint!

Maybe there could have been more editing.  Things could have changed to make the story better.  Sometimes the pace felt a bit too fast, when I wanted to revel in the moment.  These, however, are minor flaws.

Because, really.  This story is beautiful.

I loved Jake from page one and on.  I still look back at my experience of living through his perspective, and I think, "What a guy!"  His reactions to the accident, his recovery - it's all realistic and so moving.  He really inspired me.  He made a stupid decision, but what he makes of the consequences is so respectable.

Samantha is an intriguing character.  She has secrets, a hidden life, and she has a lot of love to give, even if she doesn't know it yet.  She adds a strange and very neat dynamic to the story.  While not a favorite character, I still wanted her to succeed and really loved the change wrought in her through Jake's friendship and care and love.

Jake's parents, I must say, are rad.  They are so supportive, filled with faith, and loving even when things are really hard.  Their awesome relationship with their kids, especially Jake, is so nice to see, especially in YA lit.  Plus, there are all of Jake's siblings, who really bring a lot to the table and definitely made me laugh a few times.

I stayed up so late reading this and finished it the next morning.  Fast-paced, intense, and totally engrossing.

The accident and the first part of Jake's recovery hardly take up any of the story...  The rest is full of romance, hardship and healing (in other areas of Jake's life).  His journey is just stunningly beautiful.

I love what Jake's school does for him and what the students choose to do.  Jake's accident inspires them to take action in their own homes and to stay away from underage/illegal activities.  I love this small-town/one-bit-family aspect of the story.

The romance develops very nicely, to insta-love here!  Jake and Sam's love develops so sweetly; Jake's longing to be able to speak Sam and tell her how he loves her translates into him having to show her.  Sam, who doesn't believe in love, is fascinated by this devotion.  I ached for Jake, though...  Not being able to say the important things.  Wow.  Just - hard.

I loved how everyone had a part in speaking into Jake's life.  Again - his parents were AWESOME.

The climax of the story is beautiful, realistic, and gut-wrenching.  I loved it.  Everything fell together and brought What I Didn't Say to a magnificent close.

Delightful.  Real.  i'm going to read more of Keary Taylor now I know how awesome she is.  And you should, too - you will be moved!

For the Parents -
A few intense make out scenes...  I think one or two almost lead to sex.  It is mentioned that both want to.  Some details...the scenes are definitely very passionate.  Sam buys lingerie and models for Jake.  I'd say 16+  (My sister is 15, so I'm gauging based on that it wouldn't be the most appropriate for her right now.)


  1. I'm so glad I found your blog! I love blogs that give content ratings/ "For the Parents". It is so helpful for me since I prefer to read "clean" books. 

  2. You and me the same, Sierra -- I'm not much of a contemporary girl either! (I prefer my heroines kicking demon butt over getting through high school LOL) But lately, it seems that there are so many beautiful contemporary books and this is one of them! I love how we actually get to meet and care for Jake's parents too -- I always wonder when we encounter the Missing Parent Syndrome in books!

    Beautiful review, Sierra! :) <3

  3. Thanks so much Mimi! :)  Hope you enjoy this one like I did! :D

  4. Yay!!  I'm so glad you found my blog too :)  I'm officially following yours and very excited that we can bounce off each other's reviews content-wise.  I love when reviewers do that! :D

    Thanks for the comment! :D

  5. I <3 contemps and this one sounds like an interesting one! I'm glad the romance was great and develops nicely! I think I would enjoy that aspect of the book. Great review!

  6. Ooooo I love when books keep me up way too late reading! Those are always the best ones - the ones you can't bear to tear yourself away from despite how much your going to pay for it the next day when you can't keep you eyes open:) I hadn't really paid much attention to this one before, but you have me wanting to read it now Sierra. Thank you!

  7. I don't know why I keep shying away from serious contemporary novels because this sounds pretty awesome. 

  8. Hope you enjoy it like I did! :D

  9. Yes, seriously, those are the BEST!! :D I hope you enjoy this one, too! :D

  10. Oh you so should!  I think you'll enjoy it... :D
    Thanks for the comment!

  11. I really reeeeeeeeally like Contemps, they're my fave, but I am still not sure about this one:

    "Sam buys lingerie and models for Jake" EEEEEHHHHH D:

  12. I've been curious about this one. After reading your review, I may have to check it out! I'm glad the parents were present and likable in this book. Great review!

  13. LOL well, do you like Sarah Dessen?  It was no more content than one of her books.  But I totally get it...that scene was kind of just...awkward. LOL The book is worth it, though, so if you get a chance, definitely try it out! :D

  14. Yay!  So glad you're going to look into it!  It's such a beautiful book - definitely worth a shot! :)

  15. Hmm, I might. the summer's long and I'm finishing my stock of books at neckbreaking speed so who knows...

    and I love Sarah Dessen so if it's like that then I'm up for it :)

  16. I don't normally read contemporaries either but this book sounds like it it beautifully written. I think it sounds like a heartbreaking read and I am always looking for books that can convey strong emotions in me, so I will definitely read this. :)

  17. It is definitely a "strong emotions" type of book. Maybe not as strong as, say, "Delirium" or "Insurgent" but tooootally touching and slightly heartbreaking and completely and utterly worth the read!