It’s quite rare for a book series to have two instalments released within a year, but on the back of Maskame’s debut 'Did I Mention I Love You?' (released in the UK in July), I’m not at all surprised that such has happened here with the publication of 'Did I Mention I Need You?'
The story picks up a year on from Tyler and Eden calling time on their illicit relationship for the sake of their family, but I think it was pretty obvious from the end of DIMILY, that just because they called it ‘quits’, it didn’t mean that’d be the end of it. Instead, that’s far from the case and when Tyler invites Eden to New York for the summer, she (as I think anyone would, c’mon, it’s NEW YORK!) jumps at the chance to see him again.
She is however apprehensive about how she’ll feel around him, especially now as she has a boyfriend, Dean, who she ultimately abandons when she opts to head off to the Big Apple – I couldn’t help but feel a little bad for him, I have to admit.
After being reunited with Tyler as he picks her up in the airport in his rather flashy car, what follows is a whirlwind of sightseeing, parties. introductions to new friends, stolen moments and glances; there is plenty of build up to what readers want to and hope will happen, but that’s what makes this book so damn readable – the anticipation that surrounds the pair of them as they reflect on their feelings about one another and the situations they find themselves in.
As much as I loved and identified with Tyler in DIMILY, he really stood out for me in this book. The struggles he admits to and his openness about his past, what he wants and how he feels is something I feel has often been lacking in YA fiction’s male characters lately, but Maskame brings said issue to the forefront in this book and she should be praised and admired for doing so.
I love it when I find a quote or a statement in a book that I can relate to and that I can reflect on. I found one in DIMILY and I've done the same here. On page 365, as this chapter of Tyler and Eden's story draws to a close, Maskame writes:
'..accept the truth and build up the courage to admit it to those who matter most.'
There are often situations that each of us fear and worry about finding ourselves in, need it be alone or with others, and often they are ones we don't want to admit to family and friends. Reading this statement however made me realise that I myself have often shied away from opening up to those around me, but also that, in telling them the truth, I may find I don't have to be secretive about what I want or how I feel, and that is motivational and inspiring.
Maskame writes with the emotional depth of someone far older than her years, and I think that ultimately is what readers are drawn to - yes, she is young, but she is able to write so well about issues that affect all of us at sometime or another - family, love, jealousy; chances are you've felt and dealt with them, I know I have - but for someone to put those thoughts and feelings down on a page as clearly as she does is incredibly impressive.
With one final instalment, 'Did I Mention I Miss You' due out next year, I am overwhelmingly excited to see where Eden and Tyler's story will go, but even more so to see how Maskame's career as such a gifted writer continues long into the future.
DIMINY will be available on October 19 from all good bookshops and on Amazon.