Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review: Said and Unsaid by Amanda Hamm

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Alexa Fenley has some complicated relationships in her life. With her mom, she’s trying to keep her temper. With her dad, she’s trying to avoid any subject more emotionally charged than what one would write on a postcard. And with her sister, she’s just trying.

Now Alexa has met someone new. She’s trying to get to know him, trying to stop herself from falling too hard too fast, and trying not to let him know what she thinks of his name. But it’s possible that this new relationship isn’t nearly as complicated as Alexa thinks it is.

My source for book: Review Copy
My Thoughts:
Oooh, this is a fun one! Alexa's "voice" feels genuine and real, and I found her inner thoughts and troubles amusing and also extremely easy to relate to...from the way she talks to her dog like he's a person, to her sticky family relationships. She has some OCD tendencies (though it's not specifically labeled that), and her noticing of things that aren't quite right or even--such as unlevel earrings or mismatched numbers on doors--are humorous and to a certain degree even reminded me of myself. I also really enjoyed how Alexa so badly wanted to further her relationship with Tracker but at the same time she was too afraid to make it known. That's just so real!

I loved how Tracker was kind of persistent--in a non-threatening way--about getting to know Alexa, but at the same time he also seemed a bit shy and unsure at times. (Great combination!) I really enjoyed the large amount of bantering dialogue between Alexa and Tracker as they got to know each other, often just asking random humorous questions to see what the other would say. Since the story is told in first person from Alexa's point of view we never get to see inside Tracker's head, but I actually like it this way as it keeps the interest alive by keeping some of his thoughts and motives a mystery, just like in real life.

The story ultimately shows how small miscommunications and mis-assumptions can easily alter a relationship and unknowingly give people a false impression of our motives. I really really enjoyed it, and there are even some good messages woven in as Alexa tries to deal with her sticky family situation (which is at times a bit comical). Some of Tracker's advice to Alexa actually came around and bit me in the back after I finished the story, and though I didn't appreciate it and it's hard to implement, Tracker really was right. The story leans more Catholic than straightforward Christian (basically they go to mass), but it's very light and nothing doctrinal is discussed so even if your beliefs are slightly different it should still be enjoyable, as it was for me.

I've read and enjoyed most of Amanda's books, but I really feel each one is getting progressively better. "Said and Unsaid" is right up there at the top of my favorites list, and I'm anxious to check out the rest of the Coffee and Donuts series as it becomes available.

My Rating: 5 stars

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy.

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