I've said it countless times that I'm not big on reading books told from a male's perspective, and I think I'm preparing to eat my words considering some of the books I've reviewed lately. What I Didn't Say is just one more book that makes me realize that reading from a guy's point of view isn't a bad thing.
Jake Hayes is a typical small town guy with dreams of leaving home after high school and becoming a pilot in the Air Force. He secretly pines for Samantha Shay and just when he has finally gathered some liquid courage he is left facing a life without talking. I was wondering how this book would read, with a main character that can't talk, but Taylor does an amazing job with dialogue and how Jake is forced to communicate. Jake's actual reaction to his sudden disability felt realistic. He sways back and forth between anger, depression, and acceptance in a swiftness and depth that was genuine.
Although from the blurb Sam seems to be in a role of supporting Jake through his acceptance, she has a life of her own and it quickly becomes part of the main plot. I like that Taylor doesn't have Sam's life completely revolving around Jake. The troubles she is having, that she struggles to keep hidden, give her depth and allow Jake to have something other than his disability to focus on. Sam is smart, pretty, nice, and though she's not 'popular' she is well liked. But her family life is far from perfect and it makes her a more sympathetic character.
The romantic angle of the story comes through as very natural. We get to see a few flashbacks that allow us to see their relationship building over years, and that give the reader a reason to believe that these two people belong together. I definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a sweet romance.
Check out more of my reviews on my blog Turning the Pages