I wanted to read this book because it was a sister-story. When you have a sister and you're growing up together, sometimes you feel like the two of you are really one person. You know your sister. You can read her face and her tone of voice, and you know when she needs you. You know when she's being her authentic self and when she's faking it. At the same time, you are two separate individuals, and so you can hide from each other. You can deceive each other. You can hurt alone.
"Never Said" captures all of these sister dynamics. Shifting back and forth between Annie's rush of thoughts and Sarah's more careful narration, "Never Said" is a fast-moving read. Sixteen year-old Sarah is all twisted up inside, struggling with anxiety and an unfinished relationship while worried sick over her twin sister Annie. Annie was the beauty pageant winner, the outgoing show-stopper, the life of the party, the confident and commanding presence. Now, Sarah doesn't know what think. Annie has deliberately and methodically undone every aspect of her former self.
This is a book about shame and renewal and identity and friendship and acceptance and family and cruelty and ignorance. It's how we hide and how we heal.
I thank Blink YA Publishers for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my opinion.