Heather Duffy Stone’s Character Debut Party

Heather Duffy Stone - This Is What I Want To Tell YouHere’s another 2009 title I’m really looking forward to—THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU. I met Heather in NYC last summer during our first Debs Brunch and also got to hear her read an excerpt of her debut novel in March at the New York Public Library’s Teen Reading Night. I was captivated by her reading—especially with the voice and intensity of Noelle, the first narrator of this dually narrated story.


The stories people tell are always about the things we left behind, and about the things we wish we could do again. The real story isn’t about what you know; it’s about what you wish you knew then. When my brother and my best friend fell in love—that was the end of everything I knew.

Fraternal twins Nadio and Noelle share a close connection—and as Noelle’s best friend since they were five, Keeley Shipley fit perfectly into their world. But everything changes after Keeley spends the summer before junior year at Oxford. When Keeley returns, Nadio falls in love with her. Noelle, ripped apart by resentment, sees her as an ungrateful rich girl. But Keeley has a painful story that she can’t tell yet. As Nadio and Keeley hide their romance, Noelle dives into something of her own—a destructive affair with an older boy.

Beautifully presented by dual narrators in a haunting stream of memories, this is the deeply moving story of how secrets can consume a friendship—and how love can heal it.

Noelle’s 2009 Debut Party

Heather took a new approach with this party. She quotes from her book, giving us a direct sneak peak inside. Enjoy!

The Guest List

There were people everywhere—people in thick soled boots and white tank tops and stringy black hair and dirty jeans and tattoos.

The Party

When we arrived at the house it was spilling people onto the crooked front porch and the dead, brown lawn. It wasn’t even Parker’s house. Jessica thought maybe it was someone he worked with.

We were alone in the room and the lights seemed to be swimming at the ceiling, above a curtain of smoke.

I took the joint from his fingers, touching the course skin of his thumb, I took a hit and held it in, my throat burned but I held the cough deep in my chest.

The Guest of Honor: Noelle

Just wear something sexy, Jessica told me. I had no idea what that was. I stared at my closet. I tried to think what she would wear. Finally I wore jeans and a black t-shirt. The t-shirt was old, it was Lace’s and faded thin and sort of sheer looking in the right light.

I heard music from rooms, slow and mourning from one doorway and fast and sad from another door.

Heather’s Advice for Noelle on Her Big Debut

And it’s really hard for me to talk about food and work when all I want to do is kiss you. Ok, I say.

Wow. Well, if you’re still reading this, it means you haven’t gotten out of your chair to pick up this book yet. What are you waiting for?

Congratulations on your debut, Heather. I am truly excited to read this book!

THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU is available in book stores now, and also online through Indiebound.

Heather Duffy Stone writes stories and essays that are mostly inspired by high school—either her own or someone else’s. This Is What I Want to Tell You is her first novel. She has lived in Vermont, England, Los Angeles, rural New York and Rome, Italy. For now she cooks, sleeps, explores, writes and teaches in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her online.