Words We Don't Say by K.J. Reilly

Words We Don't Say

Joel Higgins has 901 unsent text messages saved on his phone.Ever since the thing that happened, there are certain people he hasn't been able to talk to in person. Sure, he shows up at school, does his mandatory volunteer hours at the soup kitchen, and spends pretty much every moment thinking about Eli, the most amazing girl in the world. But that doesn't mean he's keeping it together, or even that he has any friends.So instead of hanging out wit...

Details Words We Don't Say

TitleWords We Don't Say
Release DateOct 2nd, 2018
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Reviews Words We Don't Say

  • Tziggy
    I had this tabbed as 3 stars half way through. But then so much came together pulling social awareness of so many things into the story. Ending in something more than just a basic YA novel.
  • Dianne
    Joel Higgins undergoes a coming of age and social awakening while doing mandatory volunteer hours at a soup kitchen. Between pining for the girl he loves, communicating his thoughts through unsent text messages and building connections with the people served at the soup kitchen, Joel’s world shrinks into perspective in comparison with the world around him.Dramatic, comedic, heart aching and sincere, WORDS WE DON’T SAY by K.J. Reilly is a chao...
  • Judy Beetem
    Words We Don't Say is my favorite book of all those I read and reviewed this summer. I wish I could give it more that 5 stars. K. J. Reilly does a fantastic job of capturing the language and technology of modern high school students. Joel is an angry seventeen-year-old. His best friend Andy is no longer in the picture - we find out why as the story progresses. Joel is working at the local soup kitchen accompanied by Eli , a girl he's loved since ...
  • B220
    I think I might secretly be Joel Higgins! Joel writes, but doesn't send, text messages to people (alive and dead) because he just can never come right out and say the things he's thinking. He texts his beautiful friend Eli, his principal, and his recently deceased best friend Andy. Joel is just trying to make it through high school after his best friend has died. Those words, though left unsaid, may be what saves Joel.Joel volunteers at a soup ki...
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    This book begins in the middle of a shift at a soup kitchen. We are introduced to Joel and his many, MANY rambling thoughts and we are never taken out of his head space. Ever since "the thing that happened", he's been unable to talk to certain people. Instead, he drafts text messages to them and never sends them. (I actually tried and can't do this on my phone!)I'll be honest, I am not the reader for this book. I like the unique premise and the u...
  • Jessica
    Thanks to Netgalkey for the ARC! Joel Higgins is an interesting character. He saves most of his text messages instead of sending them and thinks of replies in his head while he says what people want to hear. While you might say that’s probably typical of a lot of teenagers, I say he’s still not typical. He thinks and feels so much as he is volunteering at a soup kitchen and struggling with the absence of his best friend and being a big brothe...
  • Rayleigh
    He was told that keeping a journal to vent out his feelings would help him get over the "thing" that happened, but why would he do something that "girly"? No, that absolutely IS NOT going to happen. So he sends text messages to people. Only, never sends them. So basically he types out the messages and saves them as "draft" to his phone. So basically, yeah, he keeps a journal.Words We Don't Say is packed full of easy laughs and heart wrenching con...
  • Amanda
    Part hilarious. Part mystery. Part drama. Part romance. Part learning opportunity. I entered to win this book so I could give it to my stepdaughter. I thought she might like it based on the synopsis. I read it before giving it to her, and I don't want to give it up! This book was so good! It has so many elements; it keeps it interesting! And what a great way to teach teenagers the world is bigger than them, and just because there are bad things i...
  • Sarah
    A really interesting read in an interesting style. I liked the character development and I liked the way it was written. I felt like it is a story that will grab some of my students who like things that are a bit different. I also feel like the topics brought up and how we handle those things we can't say will really resonate with some of my students. I waited a while to start this but I am glad that I did eventually read it. Joel's character is ...
  • Dani
    This book was absolutely PHENOMENAL. It was emotional and NEW and something I didn't think I'd ever read in a YA novel and everything I have come to appreciate. It was engaging and raw and so unique, I haven't read any other book like this one. So, so fantastic.
  • Scott Bartlett
    Joel Higgins has a phone full of unsent text messages. He has gone through some difficult experiences lately, and his phone is his personal journal. Whenever he has something to say, he writes it in a text, then saves the draft for later so he does not send something he might regret later. If only Joel could put his life on hold the same way, he might be able to change some of the choices he makes. Despite a lot of negative events in his life, Jo...
  • Jenn
    I received an ARC of this title from the publisher for an honest review.A terrible thing has happened in Joel Higgins life and he's left feeling pretty alone. He constructs text messages that he saves, but never sends. He does his school's mandatory volunteer service at a local soup kitchen. And he tries to make it through high school. But in his volunteer work and in his English class, he gets to hang out with Eli, the most perfect girl in the w...
  • Eli Celata
    This was an advanced reader copy for the October 2018 publication. There are minor spoilers ahead - I got this book as part of its ARC program.---All the bad gets interest, but good compounds too, and Reilly's point, throughout this whole book, is that we have the ability to work toward ensuring the compounding of the good outpaces the bad.Reilly's main character, Joel, struggles with his friend's death, love for a girl he thinks is out of his le...
  • Cheryl
    This is a terrific YA book! The characters are wonderful and have the depth required for the reader to care about them. The premise is lovely and the story moves quickly. Fans of YA novels and teens, both male and female, will enjoy this wonderful story of friendship, love and healing.
  • Mitch
    I loved this book. It's a unique story of a teenager, Joel, who has suffered a traumatic experience and has bottled up his emotions and responses, except for the hundreds of text messages he has written and saved unsent on his phone to three indivuals: his principal, his best friend and his secret love. He's a troubled but noble young man who makes mistakes and struggles with guilt, some of which he needs to learn to set aside.
  • Jen
    ARC provided by the publisher, Disney Book Group, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I'm honestly sitting here staring at this blank screen and I'm not even sure what I want to rate this book. There were so many great things about this book, and a lot of them I didn't even see coming. It was way more of a heartbreaking book than I thought it would be, and I definitely did not prepare myself.WHAT I LOVED:The main characters. This is a ...
  • Tara Weiss
    Holden Caulfield with a conscience . . . the internal monologue of Joel made this story come alive and humanize the issues of food insecurity, PTSD, veterans affairs, depression, loss, anger, gun control, religion . . . wow! There are so many levels to this story and it is woven together with the dialogue of Joel who thinks one thing and says another, who writes text messages and doesn't send them, who has both a heart and a sense of humor. The s...
  • Shelley
    Definitely not close to anything I've ever read before. I loved this book. I loved the way the author brought up taboo topics rarely discussed in books, and I loved the voices of the youth the author used.
  • Arlen
    Book Review: Words We Don't Say by K.J. ReillyPub Date: 02 Oct 2018Read courtesy of netgalley.comGuilty admission... I skipped the "rambling monologues." I know, I know. They were part of and points of the story, but I guess I 'got it' by just skimming them. Otherwise, I enjoyed the characters and the 'message' of the book. It's a good message: Learn from your mistakes... or start your life from here 'cause you can't go back... or look for the go...
  • Mandy Peterson
    I went into this book thinking it would be somewhat like "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" by Jenny Han. I'm not sure why. Maybe the unsent letters/text premise?Boy, I could not have been more off! "Words We Don't Say" first kind of seems to meander around the soup kitchen and Joel and then we find out about Eli and then his deceased friend, etc. All of the wandering DOES have a purpose though as we reaching about half-way through. That's when ...
  • Emily
    Words We Don't Say took me by surprise. I assumed it was going to be just another lighthearted contemporary, but it was so much more. The story follows Joel, a seventeen-year-old whose best friends Andy is no longer around. Joel volunteers at a local soup kitchen with his friend Eli, who he's been in love with for like ever. And of course, she has no idea about his feelings because that's just how these stories go.Joel has this habit of typing ou...
  • Jenni Frencham
    Reilly, K.J. Words We Don't Say. Disney-Hyperion, 2018Joel doesn't talk anymore. He drafts text messages that he never sends, but just spends his time keeping his head down and not getting involved with anything. During his mandatory soup kitchen volunteer time, he gets to know some of his classmates as well as some of the guests at the soup kitchen and then learns about how the world is bigger than his problems. I think there is a reader somewhe...
  • Kara
    I want to start off saying I went into this book blind, like I do all books. The voice K.J. gave Joel read like a teenager. His voice was genuine and his random, anxious thinking was realistic for his age. I loved the concept of saving drafts of his text messages. I empathized with him that at times he felt he shouldn’t share his true voice. The secondary characters were also spot on: Eli, Benj, Jacey, Alex B. And of course, Joel’s parents. T...
  • Elly
    Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of K.J.Reilly's forthcoming young adult novel,Words We Don't Say, hitting bookstores in October. I rated this 4/5 Stars...More like 3.5 stars, but I’ll round up this time because Joel’s struggle and character development worked for me. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to love this book but I felt compelled to see it through and I am glad it did. I appreciated Joel’s evolution fro...
  • Holly Brumback
    When I started reading Words We Don't Say, I just didn't like it. I didn't like Joel's rambling thoughts; it really just made my head hurt. I didn't like that nothing seemed to be happening, but for some reason, I really felt like I needed to keep reading. I'm glad that I did.Things totally do happen in this book, and they are both thought provoking and frustrating. Of course, there is some joy thrown in. Joel is complicated because life is compl...
  • Ab
    A somewhat solemn book about a boy, Joel, who has experienced something tragic in losing a best friend. He keeps unsent text messages to his friend, a girl he likes (Eli), and his school principal, which range from random observations to diary-like confessions of emotion. Joel works at a soup kitchen, mostly because he likes a girl there, but also he ends up being pretty connected/concerned about the folks who pass through. He's always thinking b...
  • Tara
    Joel is trying to figure out how to put his life back together. He misses his best friend Andy, and is in love with a girl who doesn't know how he feels. Joel spends his time taking care of his little brother and helping Eli at the soup kitchen so he can spend as much time as possible with her. Through Joel's interactions with a homeless man at the shelter, maybe he can figure out where he's going in life.I really wanted to like Words We Don't Sa...
  • Laura ( Latteandbooks )
    When I read the synopsis of this book I thought that it was interesting. Joel is an interesting character he saves most of his text messages, he doesn’t hit send. He bottles up his emotions.  He’s also volunteering at a soup kitchen and struggling with not having his best friend Andy died. He’s just trying to make it though high school.One of the things that I enjoyed with Joel was that he was sarcastic and yet honest with himself. I loved...
  • Ceh131973
    Have you ever thought of everything we don't say and how that effects us? This is what this book seems to address dealing with loss, anger, love, and self doubt. It has a unique voice in Joel and his use of unsent text messeges. The issues this book raises and the discussions that could/should be had are important. Perhaps one day we will all be able to speak even if the words are unpleasent but not hate filled, without trigger warnings.
  • Sonja
    Told with a laugh-out-loud, stream of consciousness style voice and quirky, unsent texts, this story touches on grief, unexpected friendship, community responsibility, faith, and long-suppressed crushes. It is sweet and adorable and heart-rending - just like I like my realistic fiction.