Hadley-Hadley Benson by Jody Wind Durfee
When Maddi Benson moves in next door to Jaxon Quayle, neither of them knows how much life is about to change. Jaxon knows he should date only girls who share his faith, but as he gets to know Maddi he wants his new neighbor to be more than a friend. To make things even more complicated, there’s Maddi’s twin brother Hadley (or Hadley-Hadley, as he calls himself), who has special needs and always seems to be hanging around, and Jaxon’s pal Tanner, who feels more than a little left out. Jaxon feels hopeful when the Bensons begin to consider joining the Church, which would solve at least one of his problems. But just when things seem to be working out, a horrible prank seems to make everything fall apart, leaving Maddi and Jaxon caught in the middle of doubt and faith, hurt and forgiveness, friendship and love.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Hadley-Hadley Benson when I received the copy for review. I liked the cover, but found the title to be a little strange. However, once you start reading it, the title makes perfect sense, and is really a good fit for the book.
Jody Wind Durfee's debut novel is very good YA Fiction. The main character (and many others) are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Religion takes a big enough part in the story that readers not familiar with the Church and its beliefs might be a little confused at times, but it is an excellent story that could tug at any reader's heart.
The characters are excellent! Though some of the story has lighter teen issues, there are some serious situations that really pull a reader in. Having a character with Autism was somewhat unique, and in some ways Hadley's actions were eye opening.
Hadley-Hadley Benson is a touching story with good lessons. Congrats to Jody Wind Durfee on her debut novel. I look forward to reading more of her work!
About Author Jody Wind Durfee:
Jody Wind Durfee is happy Mrs. Chavez, her third grade teacher, smiled when she caught her writing poetry instead of working on her math worksheet. Jody often hikes the craggy mountains near her home, where she lives with her husband, children and three red hens. She’s been known to randomly break out in song and has an enduring love for chocolate chip cookies. When she’s not enjoying her favorite book of the day, she coaches Special Olympics and enjoys impromptu concerts given by her children and their friends. Hadley-Hadley Benson is her debut novel.