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.Published in US: Apr. 30th 2012
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.
Wow, I am on a roll with good contemporaries this month. This one is really an eye opener about being grateful for what you have, especially a loving family, because no matter how bad things might be for you, there is someone else who wishes that they had your life.
It was quite a ride to be in Jake's head. It has so be so frustrating to all of the sudden be mute, and have things you want to say, but can't. Sure he can write things down, but I honestly can't imagine.
The dynamic between Jake and Sam was so very well written. I loved their interactions, and often wondered about Samantha's motivations, and when I found out, it was totally heartbreaking and unexpected. As much as I can't imagine being in Jake's shoes, hers is so unthinkable. The sweetest part of the story is really watching them lift each other up, and seeing their selflessness (for the most part anyways) when it comes to the other.
The connection with Jake and his family is really well written. I could totally see myself wanting to call his mom "mom" right along with the rest of the island. His brothers and sisters showed such support while at the same time being realistic, teasing, joking and sometimes too much in his business.
It was also neat to read about the Island culture, small town and even more. I think that she did a good job explaining how it was different, and showing the sense of togetherness while still having it believable.
I liked the ending, how it tied things together, and I can't really think of how I'd want their story to end any differently.
Have you ever known anyone who was mute or deaf?