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This Is What I Want to Tell You

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  681 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Friendship,love,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,
Paperback, 233 pages
Published March 8th 2009 by Flux (first published March 1st 2009)
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  681 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Steph (Reviewer X)
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Older readers - it deals with some themes that wouldn't appeal to tweens and such.
Cross-posted from my blog review .

Woo, long review. Skip first three paragraphs (not counting this one) if you don't want a detailed description.

Nadio and Noelle are twins, but when it comes to their friend Keeley, the trio are more like triplets--inseparable since forever. But then Keeley goes to Oxford with her parents for an entire summer and for some reason, everything between the three changes. Noelle wants nothing to do with Keeley and even though they promised each other they'd talk eve
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This Is What I Want to Tell You is a heartbreaking novel that stole my breath away as I read on through the night, the characters compelling me to finish their story without pause. At so many points in the novel I felt my chest constricting, my throat hurting like I wanted to cry but just couldn't. I was sad. I was angry. I was shocked. I was... butterflies. I found myself re-reading passages and pages just to take in the simultaneous pain and beauty of Heather Duffy Stone's words again and agai ...more
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Although I was fortunate enough to read an ARC of this book some time ago, I couldn't jump right in to give it a review. It made such an impression on me that I was afraid, am still afraid, that anything I say won't possibly do it justice.

That said, I can't NOT review it, because it's a book that you could easily pass by. It looks like a lot of the YA books already out there. When you read the back, it even sounds like a lot of the YA books already out there. But trust me, this is a book unlike
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those novels that, when I was finished, I wanted to hold it close and savor the little door it had opened for me. It's one of those books that makes me want to wait a long while before I open up another book because I don't want to lose the glow from this one. Some time back, I read a book called All Rivers Flow to the Sea by Alison McGhee and I felt the same way. That book has lodged itself deep inside me and THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU is doing the same thing.

I don't know wh
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
A most unusual novel. Quiet and intense, two qualities enhanced by its stylistic silence, this is a book that grows, expands, by a millionfold from first page to last.
Jasmine Diaz
Apr 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ari Noth
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teens
Recommended to Ari by: N/A
Oh god, this book was just devastating. Its like the book should have a big red sticker that says, "DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE A. SUICIDAL B. DEPRESSED C. ETC." I mean really. I didnt cry granted but I was like, "OMFG WHY!" Yeah, so not for those who are any of the listed above. Its a beautiful story. The dialog became a bit confusing here and there do to its unusual set up but all in all the book was just amazing. Okay so I did want to punch a few characters (hmm that seems to be a trend...) but I ...more
Sab H.  (YA Bliss)
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was really interesting. It really explores the confusion we feel in our teen years and the problem with the secrets we keep in moments of confusion. I really enjoyed reading from Nadio's point of view, he was private, mysterious and fascinating. The story got to me because they were all so confused and uncertain, that I could relate. And we all tend to keep things inside us, unsaid.

The writing was different, that felt nice. She uses dialog in an interesting way, but it did feel confusi
May 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Reading this reminded me a bit of Francesca Lia Block's The Hanged Man, minus the magical elements. Stone explores how relationships change because of jealousy, secrets, and just plain growing up in easy-to-read prose. Something dark tints everything as the plot unfolds and the characters present their version of Junior Year. Decisions about sex are explicit in the book, but I liked the way Stone made these momentous choices more about the way physicality changes - or doesn't change - the underl ...more
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this one, but I felt like it was lots of style but even more cliché. Not entirely comfortable with how the sexual assault was handled either.

Also for being two sides of the same story, why did it basically sound like one big story, just hearing two POVs that basically supported the same facts? One twin said Keeley was different depending; Keeley seemed pretty much the same to me regardless. God, if you're going to use this style at least give me some unreliable narration
Rants and Bants

This was probably one of the most disappointing, anti-climatic books I've read.

I guess I partly have myself to blame, because I picked it up at random. I tried this thing where I literally picked up a book at the library without even looking at the description. I just thought the title, cover, and quote on the front sounded interesting. I started reading it, and then I finally looked at the description--it really hyped it up making it sound like it was going to be something really serious t
Shy Bradford
Feb 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
not what i had expected and didn't finish. i am sure this would be a good read for someone else but not I
Gina Baldyga
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quick young adult read. Engaging and hard to put down. A little confusing with the lack of quotations when characters were speaking.
Dec 28, 2010 rated it liked it
This first part is just a rant, so you can skip to down the review if you'd like. Note: It will contain spoilers.

Okay *deep breath* quotation marks? Seriously? I googled it to make sure it wasn't just my copy, like there must be some mistake, but alas, it was just a very confusing attempt to do something different. That bugged the shit out of me during the first half of the book, and although I kind of got used to it, it adds nothing to the story and can only damage it. A great story that I
Nov 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010
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
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009
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
Steph Su
May 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: debs09, lgbtq
THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU was a so-so attempt at expressing the significance of a particular period in life for three friends. What it fails to do in terms of catching one’s attention, it makes up for in the blunt and often brutal writing style.

The most striking part of this book is the style in which it was written. It’s rather simple and blunt, and therefore evokes pain, secrets, and other appropriately dark qualities. The way it was written reminded me of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson,
Apr 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Heather Duffy Stone captures the voices of Nadio and Noelle extremely well (where it really sounded as if you are sitting in front of them), but I feel that this was more of Noelle's story of feeling left behind and unloved. She reminds me a little of Emily Black from I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, same rebellious nature, same desire to find her place in the world. I wish that Keeley also had a voice of her own, instead of hiding within the twins' POV. Her own troubles and secrets seem somewhat do ...more
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-shelf
Heather Duffy Stone’s Debut book is a mixture of both first loves and first heartbreak. When Noelle’s twin brother, Nadio, ends up dating Noelle’s best friend, Keeley. Each keeps their own secrets making falling in love destructive and painful.

When Noelle dives head first into a relationship with an older boy she is blinded by the consequences and the destructive pull of such an affair. Both Keeley and Nadio fail to share their relationship with Noelle and as a result pushes them further and fur
Jun 23, 2011 rated it liked it
In this YA, sixteen-year-old Nadio, his twin sister, Noelle, and their best friend, Keeley, delve into relationships with hopeful and disastrous results. That tells you nothing, but is pretty much the gist of it.

The writing is five star literary, hands down. It reminded me of early Chabon, everything phrased so freshly and with such confidence that I found myself running back to one sentence, then another, re-reading them, letting them soak into me. This is a book you have to slow your mind dow
Sarah Holmen
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This is What I Want to Tell You is told by twins Nadio and Noelle.From them telling their story in alternating view points, it starts at the end of summer when Keely gets back from england(with a secret) and goes to see Noelle but she's not there.Nadio is and so the romance starts there(but they keep it a secret from Noelle).With Noelle at the beginging of the summer after Keely left she became friends with Jessica and all the wrong friends and ignores Nadio and Keely when she gets back.(dun dun ...more
The BookWhisperer
Nov 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
There have always been the three Noelle, Nadia, and Kelley. Although, everything changes when Kelley leaves for a summer to go to England. Shortly after departure Noelle and Nadia find themselves drifting apart, and when Kelley returns she finds that not only has the scenery changes but so have the people. This is what I want to tell you, is told in alternating characters throughout the book. With the assistance of letters that Nadia is writing to his MIA father that has never been a part of his ...more
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A realistic tale of friendship, love, betrayal and unexpected secrets. Heather Duffy Stone created a beautiful and heart wrenching novel about the moment in life when everything turns upside down, that game changing moment. That moment you realize you're not the same. When you realize that you see things in a different way. When you realize what feelings are buried deep within you have Been There too long. Spontaneous and freeing, yet isolated and trapped, that's how I'd describe the book. You f ...more
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
The story of twin teens - Noelle and Nadio --told from each of their perspectives. Noelle's best friend Keeley comes back from England changed--her relationship with the twins changes in different ways. Noelle begins looking to a life outside of their triangle...It's a complicated teenage story.
The downside is the awkward no-quotes dialogue. I had this problem with Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier. I get that you, as an author, want to do something different or organic or natural...but it's
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
"I think we mess up somewhere between high school and career and get terrified and become another person, and then another person again."

This Is What I Want to Tell You is the story of family and friendship dynamics, depression, and growing up. I really enjoyed this one and I think my high-school self would have read this book over and over and over again. It is not the typical YA novel though. It deals with some pretty heavy stuff and isn't as quick of a read as I thought it would be. This book
Dec 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christy by: Blog
Shelves: young-adult
Twins Noelle and Nadio are about to start their junior year of high school with their best friend, Keeley. The three have been inseparable for years, but events in their lives cause them to withdraw from each other. After the girls have separate, but challenging experiences, Nadio feels he has to save everyone, yet not lose himself. This book deals with growing up, figuring out who you are and finding your true family – “Family happens in ways that have nothing to do with what we’re born into.” ...more
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow I started this book at 12:00 am and finished it at 2:03 am. This is an amazing book I could not put it down. I felt like I could really connect to this book because I am a twin and my twin and I were brought up by a single mom and we have one very close friend as well granted we are both girls but I felt like I knew how they felt and what Nadio said at the end was so true "you can't be a twin without a twin". Heather Duffy Stone did an amazing job I felt like I could emotionally connect to t ...more
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Heather is a counselor, a writer and a teacher and a traveler. Right now she is beginning an adventure across the country and writing at least one book. Her first novel, THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU, which is about falling in love for the first time and maybe getting a tattoo, was published by Flux in 2009.
“There is a certain strength in being alone.” 152 likes
“We come back to the same people to learn something about how we have changed. We want to be assured that we have changed. We so want our pictures to paint differently than they do.” 80 likes
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