What I Didn’t Say


Jake has loved Samantha for years, but has never had the courage to say it to her. Then, all chance of that is literally ripped away when he gets into a drunk driving accident causing a t-post to split through his neck and rip out his vocal chords.

Fans of Deb Caletti, Susan Colasanti, Sarah Dessen, and Elizabeth Scott will love this book. Like Judy Blume’s Forever, the book tells the story of two people falling and love and what comes before sex. This is not the case with most young adult books, and I was glad to read one where there was no sex to speak of, but still had lots of romance.

When Jake loses his ability to physically tell Samantha Shay he loves her, that allows their relationship to grow more intimate and meaningful. Sam teaches Jake sign language, but they also communicate through one of Jake’s notebooks. I loved reading through their communications, and I feel that having to write what they wanted to tell each other gave them a deeper and again, more meaningful relationship.

I also really appreciated that Jake and Sam’s love for one another was not based solely on looks, which is the case in many young adult romances I have read. Jake loves Sam for who she is. He admires her intelligence and her own personal strength. That is something one has trouble finding in every day life, not just young adult literature.

Sam and Jake’s relationship also seemed very realistic and relatable, though obviously Jake’s disability made parts of it a little different from the norm. The things they did and said to each other did seem like things teenagers today would do and say. The honesty, sweetness, and purity of their relationship gave me a lot of hope for romance in YA lit, and love for Keary Taylor for writing something real and true.

Special thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read this one!


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