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.
“This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.”
This book is emotional in a way that kind of chokes you, but you might not necessarily cry. It just puts a huge weight on your chest and lifts it off, then does it again.
The story is told from Noah’s POV when he and his twin sister Jude, are 13, and from Jude’s POV when they’re 16, 3 years later. I put this on my to-read shelf due to it featuring an LGBT character but I think in the end I actually gravitated more towards Jude than Noah. That said, I would reach the end of a Noah chapter and be slightly resentful at having to switch over to Jude. Then I’d get to the end of Jude’s and have the same feelings about switching to Noah. I guess that means I was just really captivated by whatever was going on “in the moment”. Even though Noah was gay and exploring his sexuality with a bit more angst than Jude, the author wrote about both characters’ experiences with boys and growing up. I think it would have been really easy to only focus on the LGBT aspect of that, because it is more difficult, but I’m glad she didn’t.
This isn’t a mystery by any means but each chapter does pose a lot of questions about the twins and their family dynamic. These are usually answered within the next chapter so it’s not painful, and more are constantly popping up to keep you intrigued. As the book goes on you realize it really isn’t about the characters’ relationships with outside people as much as it’s about their family. As the book goes on you also stop wishing it was more about the love interests. This seems like it would have been a really hard book to write, in a good way. It’s not easy to explore disintegrating families, and the author does it with such consistently colourful writing.
Throughout the book are short words of wisdom from the twins’ dead grandmother which are completely loony, as well as ideas for portraits listed in brackets such as: (Portrait: Jude Braiding Boy After Boy Into Her Hair). I loved these little snippets to punctuate Jude and Noah’s thoughts. Overall I had a lot of fun reading this, and felt more than a little bit of heartache.
Also just read that they’re currently working on the screenplay for the movie!
4.5 Ships- Loved it