Published by Swoon Reads on August 4th 2015
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?
I received a digital copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
After writing reviews for a little over 2 years, I’ve found that I struggle the most with writing ones for the books that really stick with me after finishing them. Especially the books that make me swoon & have me immediately giving it five stars are the ones I love to come across when I least expect it.
How to Say I Love You Out Loud is the book from SwoonReads that will make you do just that, swoon while reading. The entirety of the story had me turning the pages one after the other to see what would happen next. The characters are so complex and interesting and the story itself is one of acceptance & love.
Jordyn’s brother is autistic, but other than her family, no one knows. She’s become used to being in the background when it comes to her family and the decisions they have to make to make life easier for Phillip, but it’s left her feeling resentful. Luckily, Phillip goes to a special school that suits his needs, leaving Jordyn able to go about her high school years at her own high school. Unfortunately, when Phillip’s school must close down due to a lack of funding, Jordyn is horrified to learn that for now, the only option for her parents is to send him to her school. With the decision being out of her control, she makes the decision to do everything in her power to keep it hidden that Phillip is her brother, especially from her best friend turned crush, Alex.
Where do I even begin when it comes to talking about Alex?! He is the type of guy anyone would be lucky to have as a friend or boyfriend. He isn’t unrealistically dreamy, but genuine and so incredibly kind. I immediately fell in love with him and can’t blame Jordyn for crushing on him. How he cares about those who have disabilities and making life easier for them in general is such an admirable trait. I love the parts of the book that talk about how he takes care of his mom, who is wheelchair bound. It’s enough to make any girl swoon. Alex is also a popular football player, but he doesn’t let his popularity define him and doesn’t care what other’s think of him, he just wants to make a difference.
Now, Jordyn is a complicated character. There were times she frustrated me, but a lot of that comes from my teaching background and being around students like her brother, Phillip. As someone who understands the ups and downs that come with students who are autistic, it was very interesting to see how Jordyn struggled with acceptance and becoming more open to declaring her love for her brother. I truly did like the insider information that I got looking at an autistic sibling through the eyes of Jordyn. All of her emotions were genuine, especially for a teenager who may be struggling to understand the necessity for the decisions made by her parents. The growth Jordyn makes, personally, is something I really admired and at times, left me shedding a few tears.
Every element about this story is something I really loved and admired in regards to the writing style of Karole Cozzo. The relationship between mother and daughter, the friendship/love between Alex and Jordyn that wasn’t overpowering, but still important to the story line, and Phillip in general, I loved all of it.
There are so many wonderful things about this book that I could list off, but I really want others to read it and enjoy how magical and beautifully written that it is. This is most certainly one of my favorite reads this summer.
I give How to Say I Love You Out Loud…