The Things I Didn’t Say / Kylie Fornasier / Penguin Teen Australia / ISBN 9780143573630 / 311 pages / Young Adult
After losing her best friend that night, Piper Rhodes changes school, determined that her final year will be different. She will be different. Then she meets West: school captain, star soccer player, the boy everyone talks about. Despite her fear of losing everything all over again, they fall in love without Piper ever speaking one word to West. But can a love mapped by silence last?
This is the first book by Kylie Fornasier that I have read and I think that it is a great young adult novel. The story follows a girl called Piper as she struggles with teenage life, school, friendship and her own personal issue of Selective Mutism. Not being able to talk in public to people she doesn’t really know or have a relationship with makes life for Piper just a little bit more challenging than her fellow class mates. After unintentionally hurting her best friend, Piper makes the decision to move schools. In moving schools Piper is opened to new challenges, including falling in love with the schools most liked and popular boy. Falling in love with West, without speaking brings up more insecurities and challenges for Piper who doesn’t know if what she has with West is going to last.
I finished this book in four days. When I started it I knew that I was going to love it. I thought that a certain thing would happen in the book and I am glad that it did not, because I think it would have ruined it. You will be able to guess what I thought was going to happen at the end of the book when you read it for yourself, because it feels like it is going to be predictable, but I will tell you right now that The Things I Didn’t Say is anything but predictable. It is cleaver, it is smart, and it is everything I wanted in a love storied teenage romance young adult books and more. There are great elements of photography and nature that really round out the book. The different yet so connectable family that Piper has is great and a welcome relief after reading lot of young adult books with dysfunctional families. The element of Selective Mutism and how much detail and research that has gone into it makes it feel real, it makes you feel for Piper but also root for Piper. Kylie has done a great deal of work on it and it has really paid off. The love story between Piper and West is so down to earth, so realistic, it had me cry out for more in the hopes of living through their relationship for just a little bit longer.
The level of realism and truth in this book is enlightening. The way Kylie Fornasier writes allows anyone with the ability to read to be able to connect with the story that is trying to be told. The structure of the story to the sentence structure is great. The themes, the characters, the events that take place are so well picked and placed that I cannot talk about this book anymore. It is great, it is awesome, it will make you cry and laugh and more than anything else, make you at least empathic towards people you do or even don’t know properly. Go out and read this book, you will regret it if you miss out on this story.
I give this book 4.8 out of 5 booky stars!