by Karole Cozzo
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Publication Date: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
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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? (Goodreads)
I have to admit, it was kind of hard to like Jordyn in the beginning of the book. She came across as very selfish and self-absorbed. I’m not sure if I felt this way because I have firsthand experience with autism, and it made me kind of angry about how she felt about her brother. Over the course of the story, we start to understand her reasoning for the way she feels, and you’re definitely able to empathize for her because of it, but she still came across as really selfish throughout most of the story. She does have moments, however, where we get to see the ‘real’ Jordyn, and these are the moments where she shines, and I really like her in those moments.
There are SO many secondary characters in the story that I really love. Jordyn’s mom was amazing, the woman definitely had the patience of a saint, and I loved her so much for that. Her brother, Phillip, was so well characterized, and so very much autistic, and you can’t help but love him. Jordyn also has a really great best friend, Erin, as well as another best friend-turned-love interest, Alex, who was all kinds of swoon-worthy. Also, the romance in the book was very swoon-worthy as well. Wink.
I’m always a little weary when I start reading a book that deals with autism. I have an autistic niece, so I know all the little things that make an autistic child perfect and special, and I’m always worried how an author is going to portray the disorder. Cozzo did a wonderful job describing not only the characteristics of an autistic person, but also described perfectly what parents and other family members endure as well. I was pleasantly surprised by this, and it made me enjoy the book so much more.
Overall; I really enjoyed How to Say I Love You Out Loud! I’m so glad to see more and more of these books being published, as I think it really to help people understand more about the disorder, and just like the book says, the Autism Awareness really helps!! I really enjoyed the book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Cozzo’s next book, How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, out in 2016!!