Rating: 5/5 stars.
What They Always Tell Us is about two brothers, James and Alex, who are unlike each other in many ways – James is outgoing and popular, while Alex is compassionate and reserved. After Alex attempts to take his life at a party, James is left wondering what went wrong. Then, Alex meets James’s friend Nathan, and the two form a friendship that could grown into something more.
This book is simple and stunning. As of May 2011, even after two years, it remains one of the best books I’ve ever read and my favorite young-adult novel that includes gay characters. The writing moved me to tears at one point – every time I pick up another book for teens with glbt themes I can’t help but think I hope this is as good as What They Always Tell Us…
Not only did this novel provide a great read, it also helped me with personal struggles in my life. I am forever grateful to Barnes and Nobles, where this book happened to be on display as I walked by the young-adult section, and Martin Wilson, for writing such a quiet, uplifting story.
(read around January 2009, review updated May 2011)