Jul 29, 2010

This is What I Want to Tell You by Heather Duffy-Stone

Twins Nadio & Noelle has lived in the gatehouse on the professor's property all their lives. As children, they befriended Keeley, the daughter of the professor, and have been inseparable ever since. Keeley and Noelle have always been like two halves of the same person with matching mannerisms and behavior. Nadio was always along for the ride, but never up front and center stage.

After spending a summer all separated, the trio come back together to find that nothing is as is was when they left. Nadio spent his summer running alone and writing imaginary letters to his absentee father. Noelle found a new friend into new things and managed to fall hard for tattoo-covered fry cook Parker. Keeley is still reeling from her summer at Oxford and has an awful burden from that experience.

Each of these three are hiding the truth from one of the others and everything culminates when Nadio and Keeley admit that their feelings for one another are no longer strictly platonic. What will they do to persevere, what will they have to sacrifice to be happy, and can they all be happy together?

Heather Duffy-Stone has done an incredible job with this novel. Told in the alternating view points of the twins, This is What I Want to Tell You is unparalleled. I can't think of another book that handles this common and yet complex a situation. There are at least three different stories told in the narrative, but if you include the smaller characters, there are a few more. Each story has its own attributes and complexities and at the same time they're all standard issues that teens face every day. There's drugs, issues at school, peer pressure, sex, and heart ache at every corner.

I really felt as though I related to each of the characters on some level and that they were all meant to be recognizable. I'm sure you could place someone from your high school in each of these roles and better understand their situation. The writing style really lent itself to an omnipotent presence because when one chapter left off, the next picked up from a different point of view. I know that many books can accomplish this, but (for lack of a better explanation) this was just different.

The situations were believable, the characters superb, & the writing was, in a work, magical. I truly hope to see more from this writer. She knows her stuff well and if she can pull it off again, I'd place her in the same AMAZING category as Simone Elkeles & Jennifer Echols. While my library didn't own this one, I was able to InterLibrary Loan it from another institution. Let me reiterate, it was well worth it. Find out if your local library can do the same for you!

I leave you with a fabulous teaser quote from the book:
Why don't people ever see the way other kinds of love can wreck you? What about the way being left out of love can wreck you? p.148

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