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Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell

Don't Tell, Don't Tell, Don't Tell
Liane Shaw
Second Story Press
April 5, 2016

Frederick has a lot of rules for himself—like if someone calls him Freddy, he doesn't have to answer them, and he only wears shirts with buttons. But when his friend Angel—his only friend—goes missing and he is questioned by the police, he doesn't have a rule for that. Friendship is a new concept for Frederick, so when Angel asked him to keep a secret no matter what, he agreed. But do the rules of friendship apply when your friend is missing?



I can’t say that “Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell” is a bad book.  In fact, I enjoyed most of it quite a bit.  There were a couple of problems that kept it from being a four star book, though.

The story centers around Frederick, who has Asperger’s, and Angel, who is only his second friend.  Frederick and his wandering stream-of-consciousness voice may be difficult for some to follow, but it’s an accurate portrayal of how many with Asperger’s (or add, adhd, etc.) think.  One caveat with this is that people remember: If you’ve met one person with Asperger’s, you’ve met one person with Asperger’s.  Think of this as a general view, not necessarily a specific one.  Anyway, the situation in which he finds himself is complex for anyone, let alone someone with a different way of processing the world, and the portrayal of how he works through it is fascinating.

Angel is a mystery to him, but his observations do develop her character well.  However, there is an abrupt shift to her point-of-view that irritated me.  Here is a wonderfully refreshing story told by someone with a different way of looking at the world, and it suddenly shifted from his story to hers.  We have more than enough books about the neurotypical, and I would have liked to see this one remain Frederick’s.

Granted, there is quite a significant event that happens (one I cannot elaborate on because it is a spoiler), so I can understand why the author may have thought it important to switch to Angel, but that event could have been tackled using Frederick.  In fact, the handling of it seemed a bit rushed.  It was a good thing to include, but I believe more exploration of the aftermath would have been more beneficial.

Overall, I can neither recommend nor not recommend “Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell.”  If it seems interesting to you, give it a try.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Content Warning:

Suggestive Dialogue, Sexual Situations