Monday, August 6, 2012

What I Didn't Say

What I Didn't Say, by Keary Taylor.

As I walked through the halls of Orcas High School, I could tell you the name of every single face that passed by. I could tell you that Christie Rose had lost her first tooth biting into a spoonful of macaroni and cheese in first grade. I could tell you that Henry Asher had peed his pants the first day of kindergarten. I knew that Miss Pence who taught ancient world history attended hippy dance parties regularly in the buff. I'd rather not say how I knew that one. And then Principal Hill was a die-hard Star Wars fan and had half a garage full of action figures, posters, costumes, and way too real looking light sabers.

On an island this size, with its whopping 5,000 residents, there are no secrets.

This novel was interesting because although it had some cliches, as YA novels sometimes have, the story was unlike one I had read before. Jake is a senior on the football team and life is pretty good for him; he has a loving family, great classmates and teammates, and has had a crush on Samantha Shay for a while now. One night at a party, he and his friends get drunk and he decides to go proclaim his love for her in person. On the way there, they swerve to avoid a deer, and get in an accident, where a T-post skewers Jake's vocal cords. To save his life, the doctors must remove the vocal cords, which means he will never speak again, for the rest of his life.

Jake is devastated by this, but determined to still tell Sam he loves her. She actually ends up being a great help to him, since she knows ASL (American Sign Language) and teaches it to him, and they start getting closer. But Sam has secrets, too, and once she lets Jake in on them he must help her survive until she turns 18 and is a "legal adult."

People are always going on about the dangers of drunk driving, especially with teens, and in this story Jake suffers the consequences of his actions. I found What I Didn't Say to be very well-written and a fast read, too, with teens having to face exceptional situations that might not usually occur in YA books, at least in others I have read.

4 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received a galley of this book from NetGalley to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


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