Never Said by Carol Lynch Williams takes on the perspective of teenaged twin girls, in the midst of secrets, social anxiety, families issues and school drama. The idea behind this book, as far as I can tell, is the story of how these twins lost their sisterhood, and how they come to find it again.
Though I love the idea of this novel, I did not think that this book made much sense. One twin, Sarah, has terrible social anxiety, she can barely speak to her teachers or other students in her class, this is very much represented in her diary entries, but the entries are so random and often times they don’t make sense, or contradict themselves, that I had a hard time following the story. I felt like the author was trying to say a specific thing, but would go off on a tangent, and the whole thought would get lost in translation. She also just broke up with a boyfriend, who she was extremely in love with, the whole thing felt contrived and it kept going back and forth between she loved him, and she wanted to forget about him.
On the other hand, Annie, the other twin, had diary entires that were written in poetry form. This would be a beautiful idea, if the poetry made sense as well. I can understand the grief and fear that was represented in her words, but if she had actual written out diary entries, it would have been much easier to understand where she was coming from, and the fears and worries she had about her family finding out her secret. I felt that this was too cryptic, like you had to go on a Where’s Waldo search to understand her side of the story.
The idea behind this book is realistic and is a serious topic, it could even be a momentous moment for YA novels, but instead it falls too short. It doesn’t live up to the hype, and it feels very disconnected. The story could have dove deeper into the lives of the family, and their behaviors as well. For example, why does the twins mom want Annie to lose weight so bad? Why is she so vapid? I also don’t understand why she does not have a connection with Sarah. Why is their father always busy? These things are not explained very well, if at all. It just seemed like everything was on the surface, and there could have been so much more to this book.
Not only that, but the secret was pushed on the reader (and Sarah) at the end of the book, which felt like it was just copy and pasted in there- there wasn’t any real explanation of the person who hurt Annie, before the secret was revealed, it was just thrown together at the last minute.
All in all, this book felt rushed, I didn’t get into it like I wanted to, and it’s not really worth a read. I give this one 2 out of 5 stars. Never Said is a book I wished I’d never read.