Title: How to Say I Love You Out Loud
Author: Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
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?
Books that take me by surprise are the best kind of books. Sadly, following closely what is said about books I have my eye on makes it difficult for books to surprise me. One book that succeeded in surprising me, was Karole Cozzo’s How to Say I Love You Out Loud.
Jordyn is finally finding her stride at her elite school. She has friends, she’s on the field hockey team and she’s hoping to move her relationship with Alex from friendship to something more. But just as the school year is starting, Jordyn’s autistic brother has to transfer to her school, and she becomes afraid that everything will change. That once again she will become the autistic kid’s sister. Jordyn’s solution is to cut herself off from everyone. But Jordyn can’t keep pushing everyone away forever. Eventually she’s going to have to find the courage to let someone in.
I had been looking forward to reading Karole Cozzo’s How to Say I Love You Out Loud for quite some time. But right before I started reading it, I was on Goodreads and saw that people were either loving the book, or not liking it at all. And that made me kind of nervous. All of a sudden, I was worried that this book I had been excited to read wouldn’t end up being as enjoyable as I had hoped or thought it would be. But I really didn’t have anything to worry about. I ended up falling on the loving side of things where How to Say I Love You Out Loud was concerned. To be completely honest, I didn’t expect this book to make me feel so many things. Because it totally did. It kinda crept up on me. I was getting caught up in the story, but by the end there were actual tears falling down my face. I just couldn’t help it. The story in How to Say I Love You Out Loud ended up going a lot deeper than I thought it would and it was a lot more touching than I thought it was going to be. Reading it, I could tell that Karole Cozzo has experience working with children with autism, portraying how the autism affects not just the person who suffers from the disorder, but also everyone around them. It felt real, and it made for a touching and moving story.
I’ll admit that at first I had some issues with Jordyn. As much as I could understand not wanting to be defined by the fact that her brother is autistic, I didn’t always agree with some of her behaviour. But at the same time, not having ever been in a situation like she was, it’s hard to say how I would react or behave if I were in her shoes. But as I kept reading the story, I started to understand better why Jordyn behaved and thought the way she did. Once I found out the whole story about what happened in the past, I started being a whole lot more sympathetic towards her. And those tears I mentioned earlier, she was totally the one who was responsible for them happening. In the grand scheme of things, what I wanted for Jordyn was for her to finally open up to someone, so that she wouldn’t be alone all the time. And you can bet that I was rooting for that person to be Alex. If there was one person who would understand what she was going through and would stand by her it was him. Even if it just stayed at the friendship level, I still loved the relationship between Jordyn and Alex. But being the romance lover than I am, I couldn’t help but hope for more.
Karole Cozzo’s How to Say I Love You Out Loud surprised me in all the ways that matter. This story was both fun and touching and I would highly recommend it.