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Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories

Lifelong Texan, love reading from many genres thanks to early childhood readalongs with my Dad, love cooking for my family, working in my yard, playing with my cats and since being diagnosed in late 2012 with RRMS finding ways to keep body and mind active is even more important.
What I Didn't Say - Keary Taylor BOOK SYNOPSISGetting 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.My ThoughtsGrowing up in a small South Texas town with population of less than 5,000 taught me that quite a few of the statements in this story are true. In a small town everyone knows everyone else's business, if they do not they think they do. In a small town people help each out when they can and if they cannot they generally know someone who can help and send them around to take care of whatever problem crops up. In a small town it is easy to fall victim to boredom which leads to teens and young adults, as well as older adults, to making spur of the moment decisions which cause a life changing events and sometimes even a lifetime of heartache.Jake Hayes and his 2 best friends made one of those ill fated decisions, in one night the future dreamed and planned for since a young child was over and the new future Jake faced was one he was not sure he could handle. From the principal of Jake's school, his teachers, his family and his friends there was nothing but support and well wishes for Jake. The turning point came though when he was put in a class every day to learn sign language from Samantha. Spending time with her day after day became his greatest pleasure as they grew closer together through the notes they exchanged in a special notebook Jake used just for the two of them. Revealing more and more about her life Samantha makes Jake slowly realize just how blessed he is to have his family at his back to give him strength and help when he needs it.(Believe me when I tell you once you find out just what Samantha is going through it puts Jake's problem in a whole different light, not that his tragedy is not something to laugh off but her life is totally not what it appears on the surface.)For quite a while Jake did not "handle" his new circumstances well, than the gallant teen rallied and in spite of all the obstacles that stood in his way life became easier day by day. Finding that he has the means to help Samantha gives Jake the boost he needs to keep from turning to alcohol or drugs to ease his misery over losing his dream of going in the Air Force, the loss of being able to fly a plane was the hardest blow after the accident which took his voice away.The story of Jake and Samantha is very intense, each of the characters have such heavy burdens to bear at such a young age. The grace and courage shown by these two teens that they use to keep themselves from sinking beneath the weight is nothing short of mind boggling as it is hard for a person twice their age to not crater under the pressures of life. I found the ways in which the characters helped each other to be very heartwarming. In the middle of everything that Samantha is going through she still wants so desperately to help Jake, and Jake in turn finds that he would give anything to make things better for Sam!There is so much to learn from the events that take place in What I Didn't Say, from the main characters down to the ones who appear the least amount of time in the book you will find that they all have quite a bit "to say"! This is a very easy story to read, the author has a style that lends itself well to making everything flow smoothly and easily. The layering of Jake and Samantha's stories comes together seamlessly, the way everything ties together in the end is very nicely done and in keeping with what could happen in such a community as that on the island where they take care of their own.I hope that others will discover this book and take it to heart the same as many of us who have read it did, the story has so much to offer in the way of making us realize that no matter how bad we think our lives are there is always someone out there who would love to change places with us. In reading all the other reviews it was brought home to me time and again just how much the message the author was sending was hitting home with readers that drinking and driving was not cool, not smart and most of all usually leads to deadly consequences. (Case in point my Senior year my best friend was in a car wreck that killed the driver and 2 passengers in the vehicle, crippled my friend for life and it was all because of a head on collision with a drunk driver as they were leaving a restaurant on their way home from a football game.) [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review.]