(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Macmillan on August 4th 2015
Genres: Love & Romance, Social Issues, Special Needs, Young Adult
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When Jordyn Michaelson's autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she's determined not to let anyone know they're related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can't shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again. Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels--and the truth about her family--before he slips away forever?
Jordyn Michaelson doesn’t like to get too close to people, because they might learn too much about the life she tries to keep secret—the life that includes her autistic brother, Phillip. After a traumatic elementary school experience, her parents put Phillip in a special school. When that school shuts down, Jordyn slowly accepts that she will have to go to school with her brother for a few weeks before they can get him into another program. Besides, it’s not like anyone has to know he’s her brother. The thought of losing her friends is enough to scare her away from accepting who she really is, especially if one of those friends is Alex, the boy whose heart she broke last summer. They both pretend like nothing ever happened, but all of Jordyn’s lies are about to come rushing up on her, and only thinking something and actually saying it out loud are two completely different things.
I learned about SwoonReads a while ago, a website where writers can post their manuscripts with the possibility of becoming published. They have a wonderful social media presence and promote each of the books they choose to publish really well. Even though How to Say I Love You Out Loud’s book birthday is August 4, I have already seen a lot about this book.
I quickly found myself getting lost in the story. Not only did the author include a magnificent and unique love story, but she also ingratiated a tenuous family relationship. At first, from the title, I wasn’t sure what to think about the story that might have resided among the typed pages. I thought that the story might have been about a girl trying to tell the boy she loves how she really feels (obviously, I didn’t read the blurb and judged this book by the cover and SwoonReads’s Instagram account) or what the deeper meaning would be. The book slowly blossomed and revealed a magnificent story about loving those who don’t have the ability to reciprocate your feelings.
My absolute favorite part of the book was the ending. Jordyn, at the beginning of the novel, could be slightly irritating. Her journey and learning how to accept the challenges that life had thrown at her were what made her story interesting. There are a lot of novels in the Young Adult market that have a main character trying to find his or her true self, but I loved the extra twist Cozzo added: the reason Jordyn held back was because of her brother. Of course, there was the mean girl, who fit every single stereotype, and was the main reason behind Jordyn’s grief. Sometimes, I just wished she would go away, but she did add that extra oomph. The person Jordyn transformed into made reading her story even more worthwhile.
This book is perfect for anyone looking for a sweet love story or a deep theme. How to Say I Love You Out Loud perfectly balances serious everyday issues of real people and the worries of a teenage girl. SwoonReads picked a wonderful story to share with the world; Karole Cozzo’s debut novel will be flying off the shelves.
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