Author: Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Year Published: 2015
Jordyn Michaelson has never been the center of attention in her family; it has always been her younger brother, Phillip, who is autistic. Not that Jordyn envies Phillip. In fact, she really loves her brother. It's just that sometimes, being together with Phillip is too much to handle.
In her old school, everybody knew Jordyn as Phillip's older sister and there were times when the kids were very mean to her because of that. Now, in her new school, when finally she's able to go to different school with Phillip, Jordyn finally gets what she has always wanted: being known as herself. She's never talked to anyone about her brother, including to Alex, her crush who is also her boy friend.
It was last year's summer when Jordyn and Alex became close and finally shared a romantic kiss. But the fact that Jordyn has a secret, pulled her from him. After that, they decided that they would be nothing more but friends--which is quite nice until... Alex suddenly hooks up with the school's most popular and the bitchiest girl, Leighton, and makes Jordyn suffers. And what makes her suffer more is the fact that the special school Phillips has been attended to is closing and now, Phillip has to temporary go to Jordyn's high school until the government finds the new place for him. Jordyn is afraid that people at school would find out who Phillip is and destroy Jordyn's life as before. Counting the days until Phillip finally moves to his new school, Jordyn tries hard to cover the fact about her family.
How to Say I Love You Out Loud is one of very few reads I have read so far in 2015 that succeeded making me cry so hard. Haha. Really, I didn't expect the story would be this good when I decided to buy it using my credit card discount (so I could buy it with pretty cheap price) and read it while waiting for my friends at Pacific Place. I was only looking for cute quick read to kill time. But what I've got is so much better than that!
Jordyn is actually not a main character you'd be falling in love with when you first read her story. At the beginning, she seems so embarrassed with this autistic brother and only sees him as burden. And her negligence toward him at school really made me like "WTH??" But when I think more of her life, and as she told her experience more, I became sympathize to her. Her life definitely is not easy. At her young age, she has given so much for her brother and her family. Her parents were so focus to Phillip so that they have never paid attention to what happened to Jordyn at school and what Jordyn actually wanted. And her past experience formed her as what she is now. She didn't handle things as we expected, but she had her reason and it is totally acceptable.
However, as the story went on, Jordyn learned more and more about herself and gradually changed her attitude. And thats where the story went better and better. I really like how the author developed Jordyn's character. It feels realistic and relatable.
I love Jordyn's family too, especially her mother, who obviously tries her best to be a good mother for both her son and daughter. She's wise and understanding, especially when Jordyn hurt her feeling. I think she is a good example for parents with autistic and normal children. Philip is also a great character. You have to read it yourself to find cute side of him. And Alex... Well, he's kinda too good to be true, actually. I mean, he's very handsome, a jock, and also a philanthropist. And he obviously loves Jordyn. Can he be any more perfect than that? However, he's still also a human, with his frustration and admiration to Jordyn and I find in quite cute.
Finally, I have to say that this one is a MUST READ. Although it's a YA, I think it would be a great choice for parents dealing with autistic and normal kids. From Jordyn's mother, you definitely can learn how to deal with both kids, and from Jordyn, you can learn a perspective from your normal kid. The writer definitely knows what she has written since she's a school psychologist and has experience in dealing with special needs kids so that what she wrote must be based on her experience and expertise.