What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

Jake Hayes has a bright future ahead of him. He is a senior, an athlete, and plans to join the Air Force after graduation. Jake has also been in love with Samantha Shay since freshman year, although he has never had the guts to tell her. Jake's life takes an unexpected turn after he gets drunk at a homecoming party and is involved in a car accident that leaves him mute. Now Jake's biggest regret is that he will never be able to tell Samantha how he really feels.

Samantha Shay doesn't believe in love and her life has been anything but easy. Her father abandoned her and her mother, and her mother's job required her to travel frequently. However when Samantha's mother dies of cancer, she must hide the fact that she is not living on her own so that she can graduate and get a college scholarship.

After Jake returns to school, his friendship with Sam grows and the two realize that they need each other. Jake finds himself falling even more in love with Sam and is desperate to tell her how he feels, but Sam won't let him. Together the two of them will discover the strength to overcome the hardships of their circumstances, learn to not wallow in self-pity and to be thankful for the good things in life.

This was a really sweet story and I enjoyed it. It is really a story about focusing on the good things in life. Sam and Jake both could have easily given up and descended into self-pity, depression and self-destruction, but they both chose to focus on the good. I think that this is a good lesson for us all to remember. It is so easy to lose sight of all the things to be thankful for, especially in the face of hardship. I believe that things happen for a reason. I think that often the worst thing that ever happens to you, turns out to be the best thing because it gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself, your inner strength, and makes you realize what is truly important in life.

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