How to Say I Love You Out Loud
Author: Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 4 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Words are strong. Love is stronger.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?
The synopsis of this book really doesn’t do it justice. It makes it sound like this is all about the romance between Jordyn and Alex when really this story is about so much more. It’s not a cutesy, fluffy love story. I mean it is. But it has a depth that I wasn’t expecting. A depth that surprised and touched me.
This story is about a girl who is living behind walls of steel. She doesn’t let anyone in because she doesn’t want to be hurt. She hides who she truly is behind these walls and refuses to reveal the truth to anyone. Especially about her autistic brother, Phillip, who can be super embarrassing. I imagine that going through high school with a brother that is severely autistic would be extremely difficult. Kids are mean. They’re nasty. And even when they shouldn’t they still make fun. And at first, I was really mad that Jordyn wanted to keep her brother hidden from everyone at her school. Because I’m the type of person who defends her siblings to the death. So I didn’t understand how she could sit around while people called her brother a freak and say nothing. But I don’t really understand what she was going through not being in her situation myself.
So what this story really focuses on, more so than the romance, is Jordyn’s ability to accept herself for who she is. To learn how to love herself. Love her brother. And how to admit that to the world around her. She has to learn how to stop caring what other people think. She has to learn how to say I love you out loud. And her character growth was beautiful. There were several passages I highlighted in my Kindle because the writing was so gorgeous and there were just so many lessons to take from this book.
Lessons on giving everybody the same opportunities regardless of their situation. Lessons on the importance of accepting your family, flaws and all. Accepting yourself. Being open and honest no matter what people may say. Letting people in even when it’s terrifying. I want this book to be in classrooms because I think teens can learn a lot from it. An amazing story of acceptance, equality, tolerance, self-esteem, honesty and love.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think?