Jake Hayes life changes forever when he stupidly decides to get into a car with his friend when they are all drunk. Four days later her wakes up in the hospital with limited memory of a car accident that hast literally left him speechless. During the crash, a T post skewed him through the throat and damaged his vocal cords to the point that what was left had to be removed during the surgery’s that saved his life. Angry at life and trying to deal with is new disability, Jake withdraws from everyone until Samantha, his dream girl, starts tutoring him in ASL (American Sign Language). Once he learns that things could have been much worse, he starts to live again and learn more about Sam than he ever thought he could.
I was hooked into this book from the first moment of Jake’s accident. I am fascinated by sign language and I found myself franticly scouring the internet looking for the symbols for the words Jake was learning, wishing that the eARC I received from netgalley would have came with a small glossary of simple sign language. It’s hard to see the story take place in your head when you have no idea what kind of motions Jake, Sam, and the rest of the cast are performing. This angsty novel quickly turned thoughtful and poignant as Jake and Sam grow closer and Jake truly sees that he isn’t the only one who has a hard time in life. I felt like Jake’s frustration with his muteness was very well portrayed. His frustrations when he couldn’t even defend himself in arguments or when for a moment he would forget and try to speak before he realized he was no longer able.
Sam was, by far, the most interesting character. She’s smart and pretty and so fucking determined to get a scholarship that she won’t let anyone stand in her way. She’s also sweet and caring. Oh, and she doesn’t believe in love. I found this idea both intriguing and hard to follow. She doesn’t believe in love? Any kind of love? I get that having an alcoholic father who bails on you early in life can cause issues, but how can you not believe in love? Especially when it is very apparent that you love your mother very much?
My only issue with this novel isn’t a major one. Jake didn’t read like a guy to me. I have a hard time believing a guy uses no foul language or crude descriptions of women in their inner thoughts. Is that sexist? Probably, but since I’m a girl and occasionally think of guys in a crass manner, I assume they do as well. Plus, I’ve read several YA’s lately that have parts through the male perspective that felt very truly male (like Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry). Like I said, not a big deal, I just wanted to put that out there.
This novel definitely had a unique premise and the writing lives up to the idea. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a peak behind what it’s like to be mute or just wants a touching love story that will make you grateful for all you have.
****Thank you to Keary Taylor for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****