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This Is What I Want to Tell You Paperback – March 8, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Flux (March 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073871450X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738714509
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,131,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This compelling first novel is structured as a confessional, with 15-year-old Noelle and her twin brother, Nadio, alternately telling their sides of a story. When their best friend, Keeley, returns from a summer abroad, the twins view her differently. Noelle has become resentful of the opportunities awarded to her wealthier, strikingly beautiful friend; Nadio now finds himself attracted to Keely. He and Keely soon become involved in a secret romance while Noelle strikes up an unlikely relationship with archetypal-bad-boy Parker, a cook she meets at a party. The story's appeal lies mainly in its unveiling of secrets, but Stone also offers insight into feelings of jealousy and lust. Noelle's growing bitterness is clearly defined, as is Nadio's chilling realization that he possesses the same animal instinct as a boy who sexually assaulted Keely in England (Just for one second, I knew what he felt like. That's the part I can't get rid of). Readers will likely guess that poor judgments made by both siblings will lead to explosive confrontations, but that won't lessen the story's dramatic impact. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Nadio and Noelle are 15-year-old twins; Noelle’s best friend has always been Keeley; now Keeley has feelings for Nadio. Seem simple? It is. Fortunately, Stone’s central triangle of relationships is both strong and universal, and her details are authentic. As the new school semester is beginning, Keeley is just returning from a summer in England. “I couldn’t figure out why I was mad at her,” Noelle says, but it becomes clear that these are the fitful growing pains of two friends drifting apart. While Keeley and Nadio begin secretly seeing each other, Noelle furthers her relationship with Parker, an older guy who works at a restaurant. It’s these scenes with the more experienced Parker that feel the most painfully realistic; other sections become overwrought and spill over into melodrama. Thankfully, Stone is a sharp writer; here she alternates between the twins’ viewpoints and eschews quotation marks in paragraphs that sometimes read as poetry. Often impressive is the amount of hope and anguish contained within single words of dialogue—“Hey” has rarely felt so heavy. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

More About the Author

My novel, This Is What I Want to Tell You, will be published by Flux in March 2009. Take a look!

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
I recommend this book and you should really check it out.
Sarah Woodard
It is a great book and I found myself reading certain passages aloud to friends in the same room.
Jennifer A. Winberry
Characters who are real and identifiable with vivid and realistic voices.
Johanna Denley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shon on June 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Noelle and Nadio are twins. Noelle and Keeley are best friends. Keeley spends the summer in Europe with her family. This story is what happens after Keeley returns.

Upon her return, Keeley knows something is different with Noelle. Their friendship is not smooth anymore. There's too much space between them and no words can be used to bring them together. Noelle finds a new friend, Jessica, while Keeley is away. It's because of this friendship she meets Parker.

Parker is Noelle's secret. She doesn't speak of him with Nadio and certainly not with Keeley. As her feelings for Parker intensifies, Nadio and Keeley are starting a new love themselves. Keeley is conflicted with keeping their relationship a secret from Noelle. She's also struggling with an event that occurred during the summer that can negatively impact her relationship with Nadio.
When Noelle discovers their relationship, she reacts in such a volatile way, that all parties will begin to question the closeness of their friendship.

I have to say, I wasn't sure if I liked Noelle or not. She kept her relationship with Parker a secret, but yet was angry with Nadio and Keeley for keeping their relationship a secret. It wasn't until I saw how scared she was of not having a chance to live, that I started to warm up to her.

Nadio has an interesting role in the story. Not only is he the twin brother and the best friend's brother, he's the man of the house. Nadio's father left the family and Nadio isn't sure how to be. He questions his feelings, he isn't sure what to do and blames his father for this. He begins to write letters to his father as a way to figure out who he is as a son, a brother, a boyfriend and an individual. Nadio is conflicted with his new feelings for Keeley and his loyalty to his sister.

This Is What I Want to Tell You illustrates the repercussions on a relationship that is strained by jealousy and secrets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LEE on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was hesitant at first to read this novel because I thought maybe I would be too old for it, though I do remember being a teenager and I work with teenagers. So I opened with the expectation that I would enjoy it maybe, but not be particularly emotionally invested. But the minute I started reading, I was completely hooked by the plot, the characters and the depictions of friendship, romantic relationships and family. This novel captures the anxiety and the intensity of being an adolescent so well, it made me remember things I haven't thought about in years and also made me re-empathize with the students I work with everyday.

Heather Duffy-Stone writes in a way that reflects the way people really talk and really think -- she is very skilled at making the inner lives of the characters visceral and relatable. This book could be read by people of any age, but any teenager in your life would benefit from this story and the thoughtfulness with which these heavy themes are addressed. In Duffy-Stone's careful hands, the novel is impossible to put down, but also important in its insights about the process of becoming an adult and figuring out who you are.
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By Laura R. on January 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
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By Galleysmith VINE VOICE on August 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Navigating precarious relationships is the name of this book's game. Family, friends and romantic interactions are all showcased with a dynamic realism. The most forceful portrayal being Noelle's relationships with everyone she encounters. At the tender age of sixteen she runs the gambit of emotions from blind euphoria to obsession, rage, betrayal and depression -- ultimately culminating in an act of self-realization that will shock and sadden the reader.

On the other hand there is the more muted tone of her brother Nadio and best friend Keeley. The two and their love story play and underlying roll in the story but one that ultimately spurns the culmination of events in Noelle's life. So for that one moment they too become as dynamic as she.

I found myself wishing that more of the twin dynamic was explored and that we got to see the inner workings of Noelle's relationship with Nadio. Seeing how that played into Noelle's decision making process (or didn't as it were) as she navigated her relationships may have added more emotion to Nadio's story. It certainly would have lent more power to her discovery of the blooming romance between he and her best friend. It would have made that betrayal more tragic in the readers eyes.

As is the case with much young adult fiction the parent as friend factor played into the story here. While in many cases this element of a story doesn't quite jibe it really worked well here. A father that had abandoned his family and a mother who compensated for that by being "cool, hip and understanding" and allowing the teens more freedom went a long way in facilitating Noelle's ultimate decent.

The events leading to Keeley's personality shift during her time in Oxford seemed to hang out there in nowhere.
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