This Is What I Want To Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone
and unexpected secrets
Nadio and his twin sister, Noelle, always had a unique bond. And somehow, Keeley Shipley fit perfectly into their world. But when Keeley spends the summer in England, she comes home changed, haunted by a dark memory. As she and Nadio fall in love, they try to hide it from Noelle, who's jealously guarding a secret of her own. Slowly, a life-long friendship begins to crack under the crushing weight of past trauma, guarded secrets, jealousy, obsession . . . and an unexpected love that could destroy them.
This is What I Want to Tell You is an emotionally charged read. It’s not just an everyday teenage book. The characters are excellent and really seem like teenagers- I really think they are able speak to readers and are very relatable.
The format of the writing is unusual. It’s more like how one write on the internet, in blocks and chunks, with the dialogue simply indented, no quotation marks. It’s different, but it works. It seems more informal, more jagged and unstructured compared to the usual format. It suits the storyline and the characters though. It suits the book, really.
The narration switches between Noelle and Nadio, the two twins. What I really wonder is why parents (or parent in this case, as there’s only the mom; the dad ditched before they were born) name twins with similar names. I would think that would get confusing and be easier to mess up, but it seems to happen all the time… It’s cuter I guess?
Anyway, I wasn’t all too fond of Noelle, but I could understand why she did things, and I could sympathise for her. She withdraws from her family and her best friend, Keeley, the beginning of her junior year, at the start of the book. She becomes wild and a little crazy, falling for an older guy.
Nadio falls in love with Keeley. Keeley has a past that isn’t revealed until towards the end. I didn’t think it was very original, her trauma, but whatever. Both Nadio and Keeley are complex characters that have strengths and weaknesses, as does Noelle.
I cried a lot, I won’t lie. At first I didn’t find the novel very engaging, but about 60 pages in, I couldn’t put it down. I read most of the book in less than two hours. My left ear went numb since I was pretty much just laying down for two hours on it, flipping page after page, completely absorbed in reading. While tears ran down my cheeks. And snot. Eventually I had to get up and wipe my face since I couldn’t stand it. But it’s that kind of book.
It’s emotional. The characters. The book. The feelings it evokes. Bottom line: It’s great- especially for a debut author. I’ll be looking forward to more by Heather Duffy Stone.
1 day ago