Words We Don't Say - Book Review and Giveaway

It's time for another Blog Tour Review & Giveaway! A Huge Thank You to Rockstar Book Tours for this FUNtastic book! Seriously, You. Must. Read. This. Book. I'm getting ahead of myself here, so let me tell you more about it first...

Pub. Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 288
Available at Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Joel Higgins has 901 unsent text messages saved on his phone.

Ever since the thing that happened, there are certain people he hasn't been able to talk to in person. Sure, he shows up at school, does his mandatory volunteer hours at the soup kitchen, and spends pretty much every moment thinking about Eli, the most amazing girl in the world. But that doesn't mean he's keeping it together, or even that he has any friends.

So instead of hanging out with people in real life, he drafts text messages. But he never presses send.

As dismal as sophomore year was for Joel, he doesn't see how junior year will be any better. For starters, Eli doesn't know how he feels about her, his best friend Andy's gone, and he basically bombed the SATs. But as Joel spends more time at the soup kitchen with Eli and Benj, the new kid whose mouth seems to be unconnected to his brain, he forms bonds with the people they serve there-including a veteran they call Rooster-and begins to understand that the world is bigger than his own pain.


OMG! I just Loved this book so much! I feel like I need to text all my friends and tell them that they need to read this book - although, unlike Joel Higgins, I will actually send all the texts.

The characters are so real. Our main character Joel is an anxious teenager, who happens to also be insecure and his thoughts fly at 100 miles a minute (oh, and he probably suffers from PTSD as well). We have Eli, the girl he's secretly in love with, but thinks that she's totally out of his league. There's Benj, the new boy that has no filter but turns out to have problems of his own (we all had a friend like that, right?). Alex, the genius that can't drive. Jacey, who is Joel's little brother and I just wish I could hug. Plus, the adults, parents and teachers who play an important part of the story and also felt amazingly authentic.

Joel made me laugh out loud and cry the next minute. Like any person that goes through trauma (teenager or not) he has difficulty accepting that not everything can be fixed. His dad tells him something like "it is what it is", which in Joel's mind, is just not fair. He tries to make sense of all the injustices in the world, while at the same time keeping all his emotions bottled up inside.

"We can feed them, but we can't fix them". The lady at the Soup Kitchen told him.

Joel was told that writing a journal would be a form of therapy to help him through this trauma. Nah, he writes texts that he saves as drafts and never sends. About 900 of them. To Eli, to his friend Andy and to the school principal.

The book deals with common problems going on in our society, such as banned books, PTSD, hunger, homeless, anxiety, depression and guns. You might ask, how can a story that deals with all of these issues be funny? Because of the dialogues, the ramblings and a lot of the situations are sarcastic and hilarious (you know, teenager style).

This is a beautiful coming of age story. Of how to move on after trauma. How to accept one's vulnerability and find hope. And finally, how to love.

Here's my final thought: Teenagers still have to read the same classic books that we all had to read back in High School. A teacher told me the other day that teenagers have lost interest in reading, but I have to disagree with that. I think that we need to give them books that they will connect with, instead of only classics. Words We Don't Say is a clear example of such a book. Please give a copy to a teenager. I know I will.

"The way I figured it, he was probably not a priest or minister but more like a brother or a monk or maybe an extraterrestrial emissary sent by a higher power to foster the spiritual evolution of young earthlings."

I am the author of the (contemporary social issue) Young Adult book, Words We Don't Say (Disney Hyperion Oct 2, 2018).


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Tour Schedule:

Week One:
10/8/2018- BookHounds YA- Excerpt
10/9/2018- Utopia State of Mind- Review
10/10/2018- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
10/11/2018- Abellafairytale- Review
10/12/2018- Do You Dog-ear?- Review

Week Two:
10/15/2018- YA Books Central- Excerpt
10/16/2018- The Pages In-Between- Review
10/17/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt
10/18/2018- Book-Keeping- Review
10/19/2018- Beware Of The Reader- Review

Week Three:
10/22/2018- Rainy Day Reviews- Excerpt
10/23/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous- Review
10/24/2018- The Cover Contessa- Review
10/25/2018- Jena Brown Writes- Review
10/26/2018- A Fictional Bookworm- Review

Week Four:
10/29/2018- PopTheButterfly Reads- Review
10/30/2018- Cindy's Love of Books- Review
10/31/2018- The Desert Bibliophile- Review
11/1/2018- Trendy Simple Life- Review
11/2/2018- Patriotic Bookaholic- Review

Week Five:
11/5/2018- Coffee, Books and Cakes- Review
11/6/2018- Savings in Seconds- Review
11/7/2018- Novel Novice- Excerpt
11/8/2018- For the Love of KidLit- Spotlight
11/9/2018- Two points of interest- Review


  1. I NEED to read this one now!!!! You sold me ;)

  2. This book sounds AMAZING! It sounds like the type of book I needed as a teenager, although better late than never, right? I'm definitely adding this to my TBR. Great review!

    Kelly | http://paperbackadventures.com

    1. Ohhh, let me know what you thought of it when you read it :-)

  3. Entered the giveaway. I don't YA but I like the sound of this one

  4. Great review! Glad that you loved it!

  5. Great review, I'd not heard of the book before but it looks so good. Going to add to my TBR list.

  6. Oh wow amazing review, this book and author are new to me I'm glad you fully enjoy this book. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.