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What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't Say (edition 2012)

by Keary Taylor

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12724135,629 (3.91)1
Title:What I Didn't Say
Authors:Keary Taylor

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What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor



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This one had me reaching for the tissues. It's very difficult to learn a lesson the hard way, especially when you have to live with that lesson everyday. It can be even more difficult when you are the lesson for others, although, Jake did handle that part maturely and graciously. Jake Hayes was a typical teenager, loves sports and hanging out with friends, an overhaul good kid, a good kid who made a one time mistake of getting into a car with someone under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and using a cell phone at the same time. It was the trifecta of stupid mistakes. Jake's accident left him without the use of his voice, he will never be able to talk again for the rest of his life.

When Jake wakes to hear how in one night his life will be changed forever, he tries to come to terms with the idea that his biggest dreams and deepest desires might not ever be realized. He has to make a decision on either to be strong or wallow. He knows how easy it would be to choose the latter. He had big dreams of the future and struggled with the idea he has to alter them but of all his dreams his biggest regret was not telling Samantha Shay how he felt about her since the first day he met her. He has been smitten with Sam since the first day of freshman year and had felt too intimidated to tell her.

Jake's eyes were opened after his accident and he was able to really see Sam, and how much she has changed in the past months where before he didn't take much notice. Samantha wasn't the same girl he's been in love with, her appearance and social life has had a drastic change. Samantha herself was going through a dark time in her life and getting close to her made Jake realize that he still has a lot to be thankful for in his life. Samantha became a rock for Jake and in turn he became a rock for her. They both had to learn how to make it through the tribulations life has thrown their way.

Jake had a lot to deal with as well as some disfigurement to his psychical appearance and some health issues. But for the most part after the initial sympathy, pity, and disappointment in the eyes of his family and friends, and the regret and anger he felt towards himself, Jake was fortunate. He had the support of his entire community and the normalcy his family and close friends brought to his situation also helped him cope a lot. Through his relationship with Samantha he gained strength and a friend that made him see that he still has his life, his family and their love.

It was very brave of Keary Taylor to write a very bold story on such a difficult topic. She wasn't afraid to go there, she didn't take the easy way out and make Jake have a broken arm that he would recover from and say lesson learned. The truth is that more often than not people don't tend to come back whole or at all from drunk driving accidents. She was able to show through her writing the after effects such a tragedy can have on the individual and his family and friends. So cudos Keary Taylor for taking on a risky topic for a story that was written so compellingly, and beautifully. ( )
  ItsBookishMe | Apr 20, 2016 |
I tried to read this novel ... I really did but by the time I got a little over halfway through it I just felt like it was very redundant and was taking way to long to get through, so I gave up on reading it.

I wish those of you who decide on reading it good luck and I hope you'll get into it more so then I did. ( )
  fromjesstoyou | Mar 21, 2016 |
This wasn't a bad book but I felt something was missing especially near the end. I liked both Jake and Sam - they were nice, down-to-earth characters and the relationship between them was sweet. I also liked Jake's big, loving family but I thought having seven kids with names all starting with J a bit corny. Also, there were parts of the book that were rather unrealistic and I didn't like how the focus changed about halfway through. An okay read, but could have been so much better. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
A senior in high school, Jake is involved in a serious car accident following a drunken party, leaving him mute and unable to speak for the rest of his life. He had been on his way to tell the girl of his dreams, Samantha Hayes, that he had loved her for years when the accident occurred.

After the accident, Jake sinks into depression, but he slowly grows closer to Sam and learns that she is carrying a heavy burden and that his life could be much worse. Sam and Jake soon become a couple, but can their relationship survive when Samantha insists she doesn't believe in love? Will their relationship be jeopardized by the revelation of Sam's secret?

This book could use a good proofread as there were typos (heal for heel, here for hear, its for it's, etc.), but it wasn't enough to ruin the story for me. I also would have liked to know what exactly Jake planned to pursue once his dreams of joining the Air Force were taken away by his muteness. He does get accepted into college at the end of the story, but as far as future career goals go, he suddenly doesn't have any, and it's not really brought up again. I did appreciate the overall message of the book, including the author's personal note following the story. Right now, I am at a difficult point in my own life, and it's easy to wallow in self-pity. Appreciating family and what you do have helps to define you instead of stagnating in depression. ( )
  cln1812 | Sep 30, 2014 |
See the full review on Short & Sweet Reviews.

This book was a very quick read. You get sucked into the story and Jake's narration very quickly. The author does a great job at keeping the pace moving forward, even when Jake is sinking down into depression after his life drastically changes. I liked having the change of pace of seeing a male narrator. It was nice to hear a different voice for once, especially in what is mostly a teen romance novel. Usually it's the girl who is doing the pining over a boy she doesn't think will ever care about her, and the situations are reversed here. The location, a small island off the coast of Washington, makes for an interesting setting. The community is tight-knight and really bands together after Jake's accident. After reading several books where it seems like the main character is abandoned after bad things happen, it was great to read about people supporting someone in their time of need, even if that person doesn't really want their help.

I thought the romance blossoming between Jake and Sam was very sweet and realistic. I like the fact that it wasn't a book about people wanting to change someone else -- Jake loves Sam because she's the smartest girl in school and doesn't try to change that or take her away from her studies. Of course, their relationship is fraught with miscommunication. It's realistic for teenagers but was frustrating to read sometimes. I kind of wanted to shake the book (well, my Kindle) and ask them what they were doing. As a reader, I had a lot of ideas for how the characters should have handled some of the situations that came up, but then again, I don't know that I would have done things any differently as a 17/18 year old. But still, you spend a lot of time going just ask for help, come on! which can be a bit of a distraction. ( )
  goorgoahead | Dec 4, 2013 |
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