The plot for this book grabbed my attention the very first time I heard about it. It is a fantastic idea for a story, and it is absolutely heartwarming.
The story starts off with our main character, Jordyn, beginning another school year after summer vacation. She immediately runs into her friend (and crush), Alex. Alex has been the object of Jordyn’s desire for quite some time now, and despite a moment together at a staff party at the summer camp where they both worked, Jordyn has decided to keep her distance and just think of Alex as a friend.
So when school starts up again, and she finds out Alex has begun dating the field hockey captain and popular girl Leighton, she is pretty much heartbroken. She still has feelings for Alex, but she also doesn’t want to get too close, because there is a part of her life that she doesn’t want anyone to know about.
That part of her life is her brother, Phillip. Phillip has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and attends a special school that fits his needs. Jordyn loves her brother, but an incident with a friend when she was a child caused her to want to keep her home and school life separate – she doesn’t want to relive those moments again.
When Phillip’s school closes down and he temporarily needs to attend the Autism support classes at the school Jordyn goes to, she panics and does everything she can to keep the fact that Phillip is her brother a secret.
How to Say I Love You Out Loud is a book about acceptance, self-discovery, and figuring out what’s important in life. The amount of character development found in this book is incredible – and watching Jordyn grow as a person makes the whole novel even better. She goes from being a little self-centered in the beginning of this book, to a selfless individual who wants to the best for her brother and her family.
This book is perfect if you’re looking for a cute high school romance with a deeper plot than your typical teenage drama. This book feels real, because it is. There’s nothing fluffy about this book, because it is heartfelt, and a good look into a family who is raising a child on the Autism Spectrum. I honestly cannot give this one less than 5 stars, nor can I recommend it enough.
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.