Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I Didn't Say

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
4/5 stars
CreateSpace, 2012
184 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Received an e-copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this purely because I saw that it was contemporary and I always like to demonstrate support for my favorite genre. I didn't read the summary very closely so I was surprised to read the synopsis with Jake losing his ability to speak. I thought it was just about regret but that regret is also compounded by his physical condition.

This is a super intense story that goes some places I was not expecting and does not shy away from portraying some dark situations. It is not just about Jake like I expected. As the book progresses, his crush Sam's life becomes evenly spotlighted with his, upping the stakes. But before that, Jake is a pretty popular guy, crushing on Sam, the smartest girl in school on track to be valedictorian. One night he gets drunk (they live on a small island in Washington and apparently there isn't much else to do) and foolishly goes driving with his friends. A tragic accident causes a t-post to go through his throat and destroy his vocal cords, ensuring he will never speak again. As he adjusts to his new life, he also manages to befriend and woo Sam whose own life has been tragically disrupted in details that are carefully doled out.

I ended up being surprised by how much the book focused on Sam's life but she is so significant to Jake that of course her life has to become as important. This book also features a great YA family; Jake has a bunch of siblings and really awesome parents as well as a large extended family. They really care and while their personalities are not much distinguished, they are a comfortable presence supporting him throughout.

I was a little confused about the size of the island and its population. Sometimes it seemed very small and contained and other times there seemed to be more people present than one would expect given the tiny size. I was also bothered by the portrayal of one character called Norah the Whorah within the context of the story. She is predatory toward Jake and serves little purpose beyond her cruel nickname and one spectacularly cruel action; I was uncomfortable with her depiction.

Overall: An intense contemporary read with strong elements of romance and drama-definitely not on the lighter side.

Cover: Pretty good-I don't know if I like the yellow tones but it captures the romance as well as Jake's now necessary notepad.


  1. Despite the uncomfortable depiction of Norah, this sounds like a really powerful read. I wouldn't have guessed it was as intense as it sounds based on the cover, but I'm really interested in Jake and Sam's story. I love books with a darker edge to them!

  2. I need to get back on NetGalley and request some things! There's so much great stuff on there!

  3. Great review! I haven't heard of this. Sometimes the details can make or break a book, like the size of the island that you talked about. What's worse is inconsistencies in a series. Thanks for sharing your thoughts:)
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction

  4. Really loved it when you said, "An intense contemporary read with strong elements of romance and drama-definitely not on the lighter side." This basically conveys why I want to read this book. Even though you had a few minor issues with this book, What I Didn't Say sounds like a great addition to the contemporary genre. Books that deal with raw, gritty topics always interest me. Awesome review!


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