Every Word You Never Said by Jordon Greene _ Book Review

Amazon | Goodreads

Jacob Walters’s dad has worked to make his son’s life a living hell. But when the cute new transfer student suffers his father’s wrath, Jacob must make the hardest decisions of his life.

Skylar Gray is adopted, nonverbal, and he feels most comfortable wearing skirts. Life has never been easy, but with a fresh start at a brand-new school, with new parents and in a new state, he just might finally make some friends. Maybe. Honestly it’s hard to focus on anything when gorgeous rocker boy Jacob is around. But it’s hard for Skylar to trust anyone when people have always been quick to ditch him at the first inconvenience; they always seem more than ready to judge him as defective. And the bullies love to confirm it. Skylar has only ever had himself, so why would anything be different this time? Especially for an anxious boy with literally no voice.

Jacob doesn’t give a damn, especially not since he came out over the summer. He expected the hate he got from his father, who mostly acts as if it never happened, but he refuses to let it hold him back. It doesn’t matter, Jacob’s over it. He’s going to paint his nails, dye his hair, and strike a heavy rift on his guitar if he wants to, even if it means being grounded most of senior year. But when the cute nonverbal transfer student, Skylar, wears a skirt to school, prompting a sexist new dress code proposal, Jacob decides it’s time to take a stand, no matter the risk to himself.

TW: Homophobia, Bullying, Sexism, Ableism

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While you wait, check out Jordon’s other books in the Noahverse:
A Mark on My Soul
Watching for Comets

 

[ I received an advance reader copy for an honest review]

Every Word You Never Said
 by Jordon Greene was a wonderful YA Queer Contemporary romance. It’s a well-rounded story that’s both extremely fluffy and heart heavy. Fluffy because the romance between the two main characters is precious, but the situations and hate they deal with are disheartening.

Skylar has so much on his plate for a 16-year-old. He’s adopted, non verbal and his clothing choices are outside the gender norm. New parents, new school, new friends and a new crush are a lot for anyone to handle. It’s made even harder for him by living in a town that is overrun with bigoted, small-minded, convservative people. Those who want to ban him from wearing skirts and make up and being proud of who he is. With the help of his new family, friends, and crush Jacob they stand up to those closed-minded people but will his own fears of being inadequate destroy the blossoming relationship Jacob.

“He’s like me. He’s broken, hurting. This, all of this, is not what I expected, it’s not the idea of him I had in my head. It makes him more real to me. And honestly, it makes him beautiful.”

Ahhh I absolutely loved the characters in this. Skyle=ar is an unforgettable main character who instantly steals your heart. With his love of reading (he has great book taste) and dinosaurs (who doesn’t love dinos?) . He comes across to everyone as confident and brave for wearing his skirts and painting his nails, but the boy is swimming in insecurities because of his upbringing, and it breaks your heart. He believes it’s too good to be true that he’s surrounded by supportive adoptive parents and friends. The way he handles the ‘conflict’ with Jacob is realistic for his situation and while he’s definitely stubborn, the whole situation seemed right for their ages without being annoyingly immature.

“And my mind is going full speed again. It’s Skylar. It needs to stop, but it’s all Skylar. His little short self, big hazel eyes that I think are more green than brown, and little hands. He’s just cute. Like, too cute.”

Jacob was a bit harder for me to connect with, but I felt for his struggles with walking the line between appeasing his strict horrible conservative sexist homophobic father 🤬 and being who he wanted to be. I loved that before he even got to know Skylar he had his back against the bullies of the school. He was a few years older than Skylar, so I felt like he should have maybe handled their ‘conflict’ better, but in the end he never gave up on him. He continued to support him, learns sign language, and his grand gesture will put a smile on your face.

“Hey , look at me . Sky,” I beg him, and raise our entwined fingers for him to see.” I’m not letting go.”

I have to mention the fantastic supporting characters. Skylar’s friends, Imani and Seth, both made me chuckle more than a few times. Skylar’s adopted parents are how all parents should be, but unfortunately aren’t. They supported Skylar in who he was and had rules and consequences that weren’t over bearing. They showed him he was loved and cared for in their actions and words.

Every Word You Never Said
 is a Queer YA romance between two boys navigating high school, their feelings and first relationship while dealing with negativity from small-minded people. Filled with loving parents, supportive friends, bookshop hangouts, corn maze kisses and figuring out life one step at a time.

P.S. – If you have read Jordon Greene’s previous book A Mark on My Soul be ready for a cameo that will straight up PUNCH you in the heart 😭

Rep: Gay MCs, pan side character, queer side characters
CW: Bullying, homophobic slurs, sexist and gender normality views

—Written by Amanda—

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