Author: Jandy Nelson
Provided Synopsis: Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them.
But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life.
The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
Review: If I could ask the author a question, it would go as follows: Why did you not have the last chapter in the book be from the perspective of Noah?
I understand that Jude’s voice had the responsibility of telling the story once they were sixteen, and I liked her fine enough. The problem is that when she spoke of Noah’s personal plot, she was able to resolve it with a few sentences and a glance in her brother’s direction. Is this not a disservice to the reader? As we followed Noah from age thirteen to fourteen, as we witnessed and felt his relationship with his best friend grow, we became invested in their story. Jandy Nelson devoted a lot of time to the story of Noah and Brian; therefore, I would have liked to be there with them in the end. While the rest of the story had moments that were good, I consider the romance between these two characters to be the strength of the book. The reminder to be true to yourself and your heart is prevalent, always.
Please understand that this three and a half star rating should in no way discourage you from reading this book. For the first half of it, I was completely absorbed in the story being told, particularly Noah’s. I think many readers will fall in love with the way he sees the world through color and portraits — always art! — and his ability to be who he is. Jude, too, went on to have her moments towards the end of the book. But the end of the book was still a problem for me, even beyond what I mentioned in the beginning of this review.
Were the secrets meant to be so obvious? Was everything meant to tie together in such a pretty bow of familiarity and destiny? Was I meant to feel so much distance from the characters as things unraveled to their climax? With the exception of one guilt-harbored secret, I knew what was going to happen before it did, and that is never something that I want from a story.