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.
Reviewed by Gitte
What can I say..I picked this book up and it immediately hit me about the head with a tragic and heartbreaking impact. I wasn’t really prepared for that. What an intense tearjerker of a story told with such detail and emotion that it felt so real and literally gave me goosebumps.
“What I didn’t say” is told from Jake’s POV with such passion and depth that I “felt” him…Oh and his inner dialogue completely blew me away. It made this story real, intense, extremely emotional and quite frankly overwhelming at times! Jake took a piece of my heart and I wanted to pick him out the story and cuddle him!!
So…Jake has had a crush on Sam, who is adorable, resilient, beautiful and brave, ever since his freshman year but never really acted on it. Even when it grew into something so much more – love. It is not until the start of their senior year that he is adamant that Sam needs to know he loves her. His friends, Carter and Rain decide that they should take Jake to see Sam so he can tell her just how he feels.
Unfortunately, the night they decide to do this is the same night they have been drinking and partying.
They get into the car…Jake wakes up in a hospital…. “You’re not going to be able to talk again.” ….Jake’s first thought, “I never got to tell Sam that I love her” ….Then the knowledge that his love and dreams for flying, playing sports and joining the Air Force are all extinguished. He has lost all but his love for Sam…Sam who is haunted by a past and a present which marks her – almost breaks her..until Jake….
And this is where the heart-wrenching journey of Jake and Sam begins….
I LOVED the way Jake told his story by counting down the days to specific events or the reverse…so poignant!!! And his personal written emotional “venting” in his notebooks alongside his inner dialogue of feelings…I am welling up here just thinking about them!!!
The only thing I would have loved to have had would be an epilogue…but then I LOVE and NEED epilogues..a personal thing!!
Oh and please make sure you read the Author’s note at the end..that made this story THAT much more!!!