Hello and welcome to my stop for Thing we couldn’t say by Jay Coles! Thank you, CP tour, for the chance to read this amazing book and for the free copy.
TW: racism, homophobia, parental abandonment, parental abuse, side character’s death, suicide (prior to the story), depression, trauma
I love reading Things we couldn’t say. With incredible sensitity, the author deals with themes like grief, parental abandoment, homophobia and racism, telling Gio’s story in his complexity, struggles and hopes. I loved the way the author talks about depression and anxiety, in a very relatable way and his writing style is absolutely amazing, I was really in love since the beginning.
The story is told by Gio’s POV and he’s a fantastic main character, complex and intricate, brave and scared, upset and willing to fight for himself, to be who he is. In his life there always have been an hole, ever since his birth mother left him, his bother and father, when he was nine years old. Gio struggled and struggles with depression, anxiety and, thanks to his therapy, is trying to get his life back together, when his mother suddenly came back, crashing into his life and upsetting everything and everyone. Things are even more complicated since the basketball team has a new member, Gio’s new neighbour, David and when they start to hang together, Gio is even more confused about his feelings, what he wants from life and for himself.
Things we couldn’t say is a powerful and moving book, written beautifully and I felt really involved in Gio’s story, following his struggles, fears, desires and hopes. He’s a very relatable character in his feelings, thoughts and actions and it was incredible following his journey towards accepting and loving himself, learning more about love, family and forgiviness.
Gio’s life isn’t easy. At home he struggles with his drinking and preacher father, who doesn’t want to accept his bisexuality and wants to impose his ideas and thoughts on Gio. He battles with his anxiety and depression, his feelings of unworthiness, ever since he was abandoned, fighting against nightmares and bad thoughts. His mother’s return upsets his already messy life, forcing him to deal with his feelings, fears and hopes. At the same time, while dealing with themes like abandoment, depression, homophobia and abuse, the story stands out for its hope and love, because it’s clear, right away, how Gio is surrounded by people who loves him, from the beautiful and strong bond with his best friends, Olly and Ayesha, his relationship with his brother Theo, with his stepmother Karina and, also, with David, his new friend and, maybe, something more.
I loved reading Gio’s journey, his friendship with Olly and Ayesha, the sweet and intense story with David, how they meet, fit together and love one other in a wonderful and brilliant relationship, made of love, understanding and support.
In Things we couldn’t say Gio tackles relationships and love, between friends, siblings, lovers and parents, grief, rage, identity, struggling to accept and love himself for who he is in all his parts, fighting against those who wants only some of him, learning what love and family means, learning to accept and forgive. It was moving and interesting reading how much Gio grows in this book, realizing how is worthy of love, what family means, the importance of being oneself in all his parts. I loved the importance of talking and therapy in this book, how much people can change and grow, how it’s vital to fight for one’s happiness and freedom.
I totally recommed this book to those who are looking for a cute love story, a journey to love and accept oneself and amazing friendships!
“Lately I’ve felt so much like all my emotions are exposed to the world and I feel like I’ve got no place to hide.”
“Loss fucks you up, but it doesn’t change who you are. I have to believe that. It forces you to be brave and strong so you can hold your life together, and the lives of the people you love together- the ones who are still here.”
“It’s like grief is a backpack we wear through life and we’re costantly putting hard things inside it. Not to ignore those things, but to carry them with us as we go on.”
“The most powerful and insanely beautiful thing you can be is yourself.”
“Memories can be recycled and forgotten, but feelings cannot.”
“When I look into your eyes, I see constellations.”
“You make me brave.”
“And I’m tired of feeling like a prisoner in my own body every damn day. I guess sometimes we meet people who remind us of all the reasons why we exist.”
“This world can be so dark and cold and cruel and lonely. I’m so glad that we can face it all together.”