SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com):
“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”
At first, Jude and her twin brother are NoahandJude; inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them.
Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways . . . but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor.
The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world.
This radiant, award-winning novel from the acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.
Goodreads Rating: 4.14/5 Stars
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
As most of you can see from my reading trend, I tend to not read a lot of contemporary novels these days. I’ve been on a fantasy kick lately – I hope I don’t feel burned out from this genre like I do with dystopian and science fiction – which means that I haven’t had a taste for other genres for the most part. However, I was surprised by how quickly I ate up this novel (although it was a book from my summer reading challenge) and wanted more pages.
The writing style was what really drew me into these pages. Nelson writes in a similar way to me – using out-of-the-ordinary words and phrases to develop description and imagery. One would think that descriptions of that caliber would be distracting and difficult to adjust to, but I found no issue in flying through the pages and wanting more after the story had ended.
Furthermore, I connected strongly with the characters of Noah and Jude. One of the factors into this was definitely their artistic tendencies. Not only that, but their sibling relationship is something that was easy to connect with. The lies, the antagonizing, the challenges – these were all snapshots into everyday sibling relationships that added a layer of realness to the tale as a whole. Watching their story of healing wasn’t what I was expecting from this novel, but it was the perfect story for these twins. In addition, I enjoyed how Nelson brought in undertones of mental illness, without truly making a big ordeal of it all. (Although, I would love to see a sequel dealing with those undertones.)
The plot and pacing of the novel were beautifully done, as well. These two things working in tandem made it easy to fly through the pages and get deeper into the tale of Noah and Jude. My favorite part of the story was the creative use of sliding between Noah in the past and Jude in the present. (Going in, I believed the story would be told like The Last Five Years, but the way it was shaped chronologically worked a lot better instead.) It was a weird balance of foreshadowing what was to come in Noah’s chapters of the past – ruining the suspense slightly – and complementing the unfolding story.
Overall, this was a heartwarming story of healing, finding your way back to your family, and ultimately discovering your identity. I am so thankful that I was finally able to read this enlightening tale and I hope to pick up Jandy Nelson’s debut novel soon!