Derreck visits the same coffee shop every morning. Sure he likes the caffeine fix, but he likes Alex, the barista, just as much. Alex doesn’t ever speak to him though and when Derreck finally gets up the courage to ask Alex out, he is met with silence.
Derreck is absolutely crushed, but his best friend encourages him to go back once again where Derreck learns that Alex has a paralyzed vocal cord that makes speaking extremely difficult. Alex communicates through sign language, which Derreck doesn’t have the first clue about. So Derreck asks Alex to teach him sign language. He will not only get to spend time with the object of his crush, but he will also learn how to communicate with him. Along the way, Derreck and Alex may discover that they may not even need words at all.
This book intrigued me due to the sign language aspect and how to make someone fall for you when you can’t communicate easily. The opening was interesting, but as the story went on, it lost focus and became scattered.
The story takes place in the here and now, as in we aren’t told much about either guy leading up their meeting. We are told what Derreck likes about Alex, but that’s all, and not much is shown. Since the book was told only through Derreck’s point of view, Alex remained elusive throughout the entire story.
The book focuses on Alex teaching Derreck sign language, but it never went into any depth with it and it was all fairly basic. We learn a bit about Alex’s struggles with not being able to speak, but twice he became overly emotional when Derreck was supportive of him and we weren’t given enough of his backstory to appreciate the emotion. Mixed in was the budding relationship between the men, but that too was basic. They have a few dates, five months go by, and in passing we are told they were considering moving in together and without more detail, it read as just being dropped in.
The book then moves to a storyline where Alex is teaching a co-worker to sign so he can communicate better with Alex. There is a lot of time spent with this and it didn’t add anything to the story or to the relationship for me and I would have preferred more time with Derreck and Alex directly.
The author is new to me and this story appears to be her debut. There were definitely areas that had potential, but also passages that read as overly written. It was ultimately an interesting premise that didn’t quite materialize for me