‘I am Daniel Tahi’ is a companion novella to the Telesa series. It is a collection of first person narratives from Daniel, Leila’s boyfriend and a key character in the books. It should be read after or in conjunction with ‘Telesa: The Covenant Keeper’.
Daniel Tahi has just returned to school after taking a year off due to his grandfather’s illness. Young, handsome, and very talented, he intends to focus solely on his education and sporting career. But everything changes when she appears in front of the SamCo. A new girl, looking angry and so furiously mad. She doesn’t seem impressed by Daniel. She doesn’t seem impressed by anything at all.
This strange behaviour grabs Daniel’s attention as he becomes more and more fascinated by his new co-student. Leila is unlike any other girl he knows. She is full of secrets. She is a mystery he’d like to uncover.
As time goes by, the two develop a strong friendship that gradually turns into love. Leila is not angry anymore. She is happy, and so is Daniel. With this beautiful girl by his side, he feels complete. But happiness doesn’t last forever and the young Samoan man fears that he may lose the one he loves. He is, however, desperate to fight and doesn’t want to give up until the very end.
The concept of this book is absolutely fantastic! One can say that it is just a revised version of the first novel in the Telesa series, but honestly, it is so much more.
First and foremost, this novella tells the story of Daniel. You get to see him in a whole new light. His personality, his thoughts, and his emotions are finally fully revealed. You start to understand why he did the things he did, and what made him behave in a certain way. You learn a little bit more about his family and his past. His interactions with Leila are shown from his point of view, which, let me tell you, is quite interesting.
What can be easily noticed is that in this volume Daniel’s character is much more mature. Even though he sometimes acts like a typical young man, he demonstrates a very sensible approach to life. He is strong, both physically and mentally, and not afraid to take the risk. He is devoted to his girlfriend – he respects, admires, and loves her beyond words. Despite his raging hormones and various sexual temptations, he remains a true gentleman.
But there is also a different side to Daniel: funny, light-hearted, and playful. His great sense of humour really shines through. I would even say he is almost as amusing as Simone. And this is a huge compliment.
Now, this book is written in a completely different style compared to the novels in the actual Telesa series. With its jargon, slang, and abbreviations, it is much more casual and very informal. It is also quite ‘manly’, especially in the descriptions of hot and steamy make out sessions between the two lovers.
All in all, ‘I am Daniel Tahi’ is a great story. And I really mean great! It is such an enjoyable read; gripping and captivating. It contains some mature content so I am not sure if it’s appropriate for very young teenagers. But if you are, let’s say over the age of 16, go for it!