Review - How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

Sunday, November 13, 2016

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Title: How to Say I love You Out Loud
Author: Karole Cozzo
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Published: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Swoon Reads


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?


This book has been sitting on my TBR shelves for quite a while and I decided that the catchy title would be my curl up read for the night. 

What started off as a few lines of words quickly turned into a 3am read. I just couldn't put it down. It's hard to put my thoughts into words because I had a love/hate relationship with this book - on one hand, I hated Jordyn for her attitude towards her autistic brother; On the other, on some twisted level I was able to understand where she was coming from. Plus, the whole book focused more on the family aspect and not the budding romance with Alex, which coming from a romance addict like myself, this counted for a huge something. 

Growing up, Jordyn was forced to become an adult at an early age when her family discovered that her younger brother, Phillip was autistic. Hypersensitive to his surroundings, Phillip often threw a massive fit whenever he was out in public and depended on his headphones as a "block" for the outside world - in which Jordyn regarded as an embarrassment. Throughout her younger days, she was often associated as "Phillip's sister", as if having an autistic brother was a social crime. Left out and alone, all she wanted was to fit in, unfortunately, in her mind, Phillip was the piece of puzzle that did not fit into the bigger picture. 

Some may think Jordyn was irritable (yes, I did too initially), but do not be too quick to judge her. At such a naive age, I can relate to why she feels and thinks a certain way. Would I push away my autistic brother? No, I definitely would not, but that doesn't mean that I won't wonder what it would be like if my brother was normal. In my opinion, that's the thing that has been plaguing Jordyn all her life, Phillip's incapability of loving back. 

"It's hard to give my heart to my brother. It's really hard to say the words I love you when you know you'll likely never hear them back." 

Sure, Jordyn made some bad choices, may have even yelled at her mother who has the greatest patience and biggest heart, but for every time she apologizes, I feel that she matured a little more. Jordyn may not be the best role model, but her imperfections were what attracted me more. 

The only person that saw through her exterior was Alex. While he may seem a little too perfect, his presence in the book was significant in helping Jordyn to realize who she really is. Alex was the push Jordyn needed to break out of her silence and I enjoyed every moment of it. Besides, Alex was such a positive character, his passion was infectious. 

I have to say my favorite part of the book was the speech. I just had tears brimming in my eyes every time I think of it! I loved that it was not done in an overly-dramatic manner, which combined with Cozzo's realistic writing was the perfect recipe for a coming of age story.


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