Title: How to Say I Love You Out Loud
Author: Karole Cozzo
Release Date: August 4
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group on NetGalley (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check this book out on 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? (Source: Goodreads)
Jordyn Michaelson is ashamed of her autistic brother. She hides him from the world and lies to everyone she knows so that they can’t find about about him. She’s also in love with Alex, her friend who she turned down because she didn’t want to be rejected by him because of her brother. Can Jordyn get over her own prejudice towards her brother’s autism and allow people into her life?
Something about this book just sort of bothered me. I couldn’t get into the story at all, it often felt nonsensical because Jordyn’s reactions to other people didn’t make any sense within the context of her life or the specific situations. On top of that Jordyn is such a wholly unlikeable character I just wanted the experience of reading this book to end as quickly as possible. I think the content of the book is important, discussing autism is important, I just don’t know if I found Cozzo’s approach to be done well enough.
There are two main plot points to this book: Jordyn must learn to accept her brother and be proud of him instead of feeling ashamed, and she has to let Alex into her life after rejecting him the year before. They’re connected because she rejected Alex out of fear of being rejected because of her brother’s behavior. Alex also has a girlfriend now who publicly mocks Jordyn because of her brother – this is basically the only instance of Jordyn being made fun of for her brother’s behavior. Any other time its treated like something to be ashamed of is by Jordyn herself. Accepting her brother is something Jordyn really only does to prove herself to Alex so he knows she’s a good person. It seemed insincere to me, she still only accepted him in a private way without really showing the world that she is proud of her brother and loves him.
The relationship between Alex and Jordyn was kind of annoying. It swings back and forth constantly between madly in love and angry with each other. I found it so irritating because Jordyn was just being all secretive and judgemental all the time and Alex was supposed to be this “genuinely great guy” but was kind of a douchebag. I didn’t feel engaged by their relationship at all.
I also found Jordyn so unlikeable I couldn’t give a damn about anything she did. She was rude and angry and horrible to everyone in the book. She was ashamed of her brother and even when she “corrected” this behavior it felt insincere and too little too late. I didn’t feel for her at all.
I don’t recommend this book. I am increasingly disappointed with Swoon Reads releases after they had such a stellar start last year.
Have you read How to Say I Love You Out Loud? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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