C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Things I Didn't Say

The Things I Didn't Say by Kylie Fornasier
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really liked it
bookshelves: aussie-authors, contemporary, mental-illness, read-2016, young-adult

Well, FINALLY, I have found a book that accurately and wonderfully represents social anxiety disorders. And, bonus, features the cutest characters of ever and incredible writing aND IS AUSTRALIAN and had several feels punching moments. I mean; wow. And thankyou. THANKYOU THAT THIS BOOK EXISTS.

Okay, I shall calm.

The story is about Piper who has selective mutism. Which I (A) don't know much about, and (B) hadn't ever read a book about. Piper hasn't stopped speaking because of a traumatic event. It's social anxiety that's stopping her talking. She can talk. And she does around her family and with any friends she's super close to. But she never talks in public and she has SUPER high levels of anxiety. And you know what?!? It was just so well written. As someone who has social anxiety and has been paralysed needing to say something but not being able to...I related hard. I can count on one hand how many characters I've really felt like I related to. PIPER IS ONE OF THEM. And this just almost makes me want to cry. THIS BOOK GETS ME.

(I actually expected the author to say she had social anxiety at the end in the acknowledgements because she wrote it so perfectly...but she didn't! PROOF THAT YOU CAN RESEARCH AND GET THINGS RIGHT, OKAY?!? #writinggoals)

There is romance! Which was actaully really well done. It's slow-burn and it's super sweet. West is just downright adorable. He does push a little at Piper, because she won't speak to him but clearly likes him. They exchange notes and she tutors him and it's ADORABLE basically. Every time he does something sucky he actually apologies. Like, dude. This dude. I like. Plus West likes to cook (!!!!!) so who knows about Piper, bUT HEY I'M IN LOVE HERE.

Although I gotta admit...I did wonder at how far Piper went when she does have social anxiety. Like YES people with SAD can have relationships and things, of course, duh. But Piper is still struggling monstrously with her mutism but yet she and West (view spoiler) I just wondered if it was too soon.

Also Piper had an AWESOME FAMILY. She has 3 siblings and 2 fantastically loving, joking, supportive parents! Like they don't 100% get her mutism, BUT THEY TRY. And they'll put her into expensive therapies if it'll help and they totally are there for her and don't force her into doing anything and AFJDASKLD THEY HAVE FAMILY GAME NIGHTS AND THEY'RE JUST ADORABLE AND I LOVE THEM.

Aaaand, being a contemporary: um, hello drama llamas. The ending was nearly CHEESY which disappointed me a lot. Like the book has so many fabulous elements! Cooking! Emailing trees! Mutism! Glorious happy family dynamics! Frozen references! Photography! And then the ending just had to go and be SO VERY DRAMATIC, it nearly felt over-the-top. And predictable. Lemme predict all the things. Omg. pls no.

All in all: this book was super fantastic, and I can basically look past the predictable ending. It was equal parts meaningful discussions (and accurate ones!!) about anxiety disorders and a bit o' fluff and happy times. A FEW JOKES. People singing let it go. And Piper just trying really hard not to be beaten down by her disability. (And yes, mental illness is a disability.) I'm super pleased this book exists. And super pleased it had no "cure all" sessions. It just showed what support and love and acceptance can do for someone with anxiety.

ALSO THERE WERE TRUFFLES and as an avid fan of mushrooms, I feel the need to mention that I want to eat a truffle someday and thankyou, dear book, for having truffles and igniting my need once more.

**** QUOTES ****

I have a sign on my door that says: Do not disturb unless: a) you are Thor b) the zombie apocalypse has started c) you have pizza. So I cannot believe it when I get disturbed not once but multiple times from ten to four on Sunday, especially when I warned my family that I'm studying for the trial exams that start on Tuesday.
First it's Dad asking if I want pancakes. I forgive him for his intrusion since pizza and pancakes can be easily confused. And I do actually want pancakes. Then it's Mum wanting to know who sings the song 'How to Save A Life'. I tell her the answer is Google and she walks out asking herself whether Google is a guy or a girl.

It's thought SM is linked with social anxiety. For me they're more than linked, they're like flotsam and jetsam. The only people I can speak to are my immediate family, Dr. Hayes, and, until that night forced us apart, Cassie. Whether I'm being greeted by the bus driver, being asked a question by a teacher or standing at the counter at McDonald's, the words goodmorning, x = 14, a Big Mac please, are always on my tongue but that's where they stay.
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Reading Progress

October 8, 2015 – Shelved
October 8, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
July 18, 2016 – Started Reading
July 18, 2016 –
page 27
8.68% "I know it's early to call it...but so far...DO I SPY ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF ANXIETY?!!!"
July 18, 2016 –
page 143
45.98% "This is so so so good. And just, aHHH FINALLY! I've had like 15 low-starred books in a row and then THIS BOOK BLESSES MY EYEBALLS."
July 18, 2016 –
page 245
78.78% "Oh please please please don't turn into a drama llama.\n I'M LITERALLY ON MY KNEES BEGGING YOU."
July 19, 2016 – Shelved as: aussie-authors
July 19, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 19, 2016 – Shelved as: mental-illness
July 19, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
July 19, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 19, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Annie-JoElizabeth Aw, that's so great that you enjoyed this! Its also cool that the mental illness representation is accurate! Honestly my favourite part was the road trip at the end ... probably the most unpredictable thing of the ending. ; )

Kim at Divergent Gryffindor Wow, I now need this book in my life!

message 3: by Sage (new)

Sage Knightly Great review!:)

C.G. Drews @Annie-JoElizabeth: haha, YES the roadtrip was unpredictable. I think it was pretty rushed though?!


message 5: by Katie (new)

Katie  Hanna Wow, this sounds pretty fantastic!

message 6: by Sumedha (new) - added it

Sumedha (the wordy habitat) I've read one book about selective mutism. It's called "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson.
I'll have to read this book! Sounds interesting

message 7: by Abigayle (new) - added it

Abigayle Claire This sounds so incredibly interesting! And truffles?! YES!

message 8: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe And don't forget the cronuts!

message 9: by Annie-JoElizabeth (last edited Jul 19, 2016 01:29PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Annie-JoElizabeth @ Cait(Paper Fury): That's true. I so wanted more of it!

message 10: by C.G. (last edited Jul 19, 2016 02:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Iridescence: Omg I didn't realise that's what Speak is about! I NEED TO READ IT.


message 11: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Fantastic & thanks Cait! Another one for my TBR.

Sarah Bakri Wonderful review Cait !! I ended up reading this book because of your review and absolutely loved it. Although I have to admit the ending was a huge let-down

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