Book Review | What I Couldn’t Tell You by Faye Bird


Title: What I Couldn’t Tell You
Author: Faye Bird
Publication: May 1st 2016 by Usborne Publishing
Format: Finished copy in Paperback
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9781474903073
Are You Still There

When love turns to jealousy, when jealousy turns to rage, when rage turns to destruction…
Laura was head over heels in love with Joe. But now Laura lies in a coma and Joe has gone missing. Was he the one who attacked her?
Laura’s sister Tessie is selectively mute. She can’t talk but she can listen. And as people tell her their secrets, she thinks she’s getting close to understanding what happened on that fateful night.


I received a finished copy of this book from Usborne in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
What I Couldn’t Tell You is as straightforward as its synopsis when it comes to telling what you’re about to read when you pick up this book. From love to jealousy that turned into rage that eventually lead to destruction, What I Couldn’t Tell You is a book that will keep you turning the pages with its magnetic storytelling.
The book immediately jumps in to the night of Laura’s attack. Although the chapters for Laura and Joe were kept short, it was already enough to create a build up for where the story will be heading. Then the story follows through with Tessie, Laura’s sister who is selectively mute.
Tessie’s disorder is what made me interested in reading this book. Aside from the fact that it’s a mystery/thriller story, I’ve never read anything where a character is selectively mute and to have that play a big part in the story made everything a lot more gripping.
The mystery was depicted effectively making sure that it’s readers won’t put the book down until you reach the end but personally, I was expecting a lot more with the reveal. I already saw it coming so it wasn’t mind blowing for me but it’s still surprising in a way since it’s not really about the who did what but more of the “why” it happened. But aside from the mystery, What I Couldn’t Tell You is a lot of many things. It’s about coping and the struggle of having to live normally at a time of crisis. It also dealt with bullying. Tessie is an easy target, with her condition, she’s put into a place where it’s difficult to stand up for herself.
It also talked a lot more about “love” or the characters perception of it. I just don’t get Tessie’s feelings for Billy. It strike me as “insta-love” and blind love. I can’t say much but I’m really not buying whatever Tessie feels for him. #sorrynotsorry  But all in all, What I Couldn’t Tell You is an effective thriller book that will keep you on your toes and a definite pick-me-up book for those who are looking for a quick, intense read.



  • The Cover – I don’t know why but I just love the cover of this book. It’s not something that I really find attractive at first glance but you wouldn’t really notice the details if you don’t scrutinize. But anyway, I like how there are 2 people in the cover that I guess represents Laura and Joe. I just love books that incorporate their covers with the story. Not to mention that it already gives off the thriller vibe.
  • Selective Mutism – I don’t remember where I first heard of Selective Mutism but I’m aware that there are really people who are selectively mute. What I didn’t know about it are the things that they go through. It’s not like they just chose not to speak; it’s an actual disorder. And the fact that the book’s major POV is in the shoes of Tessie who suffers from the condition is really eye-opening.
  • Narration – The narration was effortless. It was easy to read and understand, and the transition is thoroughly fluid.






Book description and cover image from Goodreads

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