What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor Review

Monday, May 28, 2012

Title: What I Didn't Say
Author: Keary Taylor
Publisher: Create Space
Publish Date: April 30, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 326
Source: Author
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.
Jake has it all. It’s his senior year of high school, the world is at his feet and the future lies ahead of him in an endless map of opportunity. Plus, there’s the girl in school that’s loved for eternity, and he thinks it might just be time for him to tell her. In an instant though, Jake’s entire future is thrown to the wind. In one rash decision, Jake gets drunk, gets in the car with a very drunk driver and they crash violently. In an instant, Jake’s future is one hundred percent different. His life is a gift, and while he’s lucky to be alive, he’s lost his voice forever. There are so many things he didn’t say while he had the chance though – including telling Sam he loves her – and now he never will.

Guys, I’ve been reading Keary Taylor’s novels for a while now, and I love her take on the paranormal. She has a rich, engaging writing style that is both emote and vivid, luring the reader into her web. So, naturally, I was thrilled to have the chance to try her take on contemporary. What I Didn’t Say is a powerhouse novel hidden in an overflowing genre. Rife with tension, this book will shatter your heart into a thousand little pieces then slowly piece it back together again. With careful, deliberate emotion and endless dramatic reality, we’re given two very broken characters and are allowed the opportunity to watch both put their lives back together again. 

Contemporary has always been a bit of a hit or miss thing for me. There has to be an absolutely seamless blend of drama, emotion, character growth and, heck, a little sweet love thrown in the mix. What I Didn’t Say promised me all of the above. Even better though? It delivered. Jake is the proverbial character who has everything he could ever want, including a girl he’s madly in love with but just can’t seem to find the words to tell her. Sam is the girl who, on the outside seems completely perfect, but inside her heart is breaking. In a single instant, Jake’s life falls to pieces, and we watch as he spirals into a pit of depression, but a very lost and sad girl helps pull him from the abyss and put his life back together. We’re privvied to extensive insight into the innermost thoughts of Jake after the accident as he dwells on everything he didn’t say or do while he had the chance. We’re not, however, allowed access into Sam’s struggles until the most poignant moment of all – a catalyst that tests their friendship, their bond and maybe even the potential for love blossoming between the two. What I Didn’t Say is heartbreakingly powerful. It certainly doesn’t skimp on the drama, but it’s never cloying or unreal. It’s painful, it’s tangible and it’s something that makes you feel real, true, gut-wrenching emotions. Most of all though, when you strip away the pretty words, we’re given two very basic characters who find the most pure and powerful connection of all.

To be honest, I was completely blown away by What I Didn’t Say. If you’re like me and are on the fence, I advise you to hop off and read this one. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA fiction, especially those who enjoy issue-driven contemporary fiction.

I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I definitely want to read this book. I have never read any of her books, but I think I may need to give her a try.

  2. This is by far the best I've ever read of her...she has a unique talent with contemporary!

  3. Wow, I haven't heard of this one, but I definitely need to read it! Sounds like a great story.

  4. What a beautiful review! I'll definitely being putting this on my Wishlist thanks to your writing. I'm always interested in stories with close-knit communities and realistic emotional tension.

  5. You convinced me! Your gorgeous review had me running to grab it! I really cant wait to read it!

  6. Your review gave me chills. I now desperately want this book for my collection even though I'm already swamped. It just sounds so beautiful and awe-inspiring. I must at least add it to my wishlist right now.

  7. Oh! Great review! I have this on my Nook and I was planning on reading it during my vacation. :) Glad to hear you liked it so much. I haven't read any of Taylor's work so this should be a fun experience for me.

  8. Your review is absolutely brilliant! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book and read it because I just know it'll blow me away.

  9. Sounds SO good. I loved Eden and like you, while I'm not big on contemps I would love to try this one. 

  10. I agree with Juju: this one sounds so good! I haven't read a book by Keary Taylor yet, but apparently, I need to start! I can't imagine being mute. I'm such a talker! I don't know how I'd survive! lol. 

  11. ooh, great review! I've heard a lot of great things about this one and at first dismissed it because it was self-published (I am so WARY of self-pubbed books!) but I am definitely going to have to get this one because of all the good reviews it's been getting!


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