We are so proud to announce Writopia teacher Heather Duffy-Stone's first novel, This Is What I Want to Tell You, received a great review in Publishers Weekly magazine last week. Celebrate her success by reading the review (below) and of course her book, which is available now at Amazon.com! Enjoy!
This Is What I Want to Tell You.
Stone, Heather Duffy (author).
Mar. 2009. 240p. Flux, paperback, $9.95 (9780738714509). Grades 9-12.
REVIEW. First published January 1, 2009 (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.
— Daniel Kraus
This Is What I Want to Tell You Heather Duffy Stone. Llewellyn/Flux, $9.95 paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-7387-1450-9
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.)