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Reading Under the Willow Tree

Environmental Science student, book reader, big dreamer, Sailing/Kayak/Surf instructor, Film buff, Adventurer, Girl.

Currently reading

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What I Didn't Say - Keary Taylor
What I Didn't Say
Keary Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Format: ARC e-book, 336 pages
Expected publication: May 11th 2012
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.   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.
Well, what a surprise!! I was expecting to have to flounce this, it is not my favourite genre and it is a self-publish (which is either hit or miss) but What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor turned out to be by far the cutest book I have read so far this year. It was sweet, heart-warming and touching.
What I really liked about this book was that it wasn’t overdone.  Taylor could have filled this story with pain and anguish but she didn’t.  Sure, it had its moments but for the most part I found this book to be more about hope.  The characters go through so much but they handle everything realistically.  Even the romance was not over done or over the top. It manages to show what it is like to fall in love for the first time.  It captures the ups and downs, the good and the bad, the lust and the complicated feelings about intimacy. 
Another thing I loved about this book was the characters.  Jake is adorable, I loved the way he handles everything.  At the end of the day he is a good guy who makes a stupid mistake, which leads to something terrible happening.  He goes through moments of feeling down and being miserable.  He goes through patches of being angry and sulking but he doesn’t wallow in these feelings.  He pulls himself out of them quickly.  He is smart, funny and amazingly hopeful and the love he has for Sam Is just beautiful.  Jake may be the school jock but he has none of the clichéd characteristics which is something else I love about this book.
I absolutely love Samantha; I just think she is amazing.  She is smart, charming and at times selfless.  What she goes through is awful, truly terrible, but not once did she come across as self-pitying.  She works hard to change her life and her future.  She is strong and self-sufficient, yet, if she is offered help she takes it. She isn’t all ‘I’m an island’ which is great.  Despite all she is going through she is amazingly considerate and goes out of her way to help others.  Reading her as she slowly falls in love with Jake was lovely. 
Generally speaking the writing is good.  It is easy to get lost in Jake’s world.  There are a few moments where the writing felt a little sparse but it doesn’t happen often.  Another small problem I had was with Norah.  I felt like she was such a stereotypical ‘bitch’ when she can’t get the guy she sets out to destroy his girlfriend.  She read like she had just walked straight out of a fan-fiction.  I just found her to be an out of place cliché in a book that does really well at avoiding them.
The complaints I have about this book are tiny and in the end I loved it.  I highly recommend this book.  It was cute, moving, realistic and a million times better than I thought it would be.  It is well worth the few hours it takes to read it.


4 out of 5 stars


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