At first, Jude and her twin brother Noah, are 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.
“Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”
When twins Noah and Jude were 13 years old, they were inseparable. They were NoahandJude, they were always smushed together, they were always there for each other. Now, at age 16, their lives couldn’t be more different, and they are pretty much strangers to each other.
The story is told in dual points of view between Noah and Jude, with Noah telling the earlier years when the twins were around 13, and Jude telling the later years when they were around 16. Their sections of narration and woven together with each other, with 100 pages or so of Noah, then 100 of Jude, and back to Noah, and so on. This was fairly annoying at times, as I could be getting really into one twin’s story, only to have to read 100 pages of another. However, I think that the writing style did work very well, as towards the end of the story, it became more and more clear how the events from earlier in life had a gigantic impact on those from later in life.
I really did like reading from both of their POVs, though. It really showed that the way someone acts can hide so much about what they really feel, and we can easily misinterpret the situation. I think having Noah tell the earlier years and Jude tell the later ones worked really well, especially when Jude reflected back to the earlier years and what she was thinking in situations where Noah thought she was thinking something else.
All of the characters in this story were very complex. They all had so much more going on than it appeared like on the outside, and all really felt like fully fleshed out people. Some people I formed judgement about earlier on, and then completely changed later, and then changed back, and so on.
Nelson has a very unique writing style, with all sorts of metaphors and events happening that aren’t really happening, and the reader has to figure out what is really real and what isn’t. On one level, it can feel poetic, and reflect how much of a mess the twins’ lives have become. However, after a little while, it started to annoy me as I wasn’t really sure what was real and what wasn’t, and had to often go back and reread parts because I was confused. By the end of the book, the writing style was really annoying me and seriously hindered my enjoyment.
I thought that the ending was the strongest part of the book. It was amazing how some parts and small things from earlier all came together. It was fairly predictable, and there were things that I guessed would happen, but it was still really satisfying to see it all play out.
3.5 out of 5 golden sun stars
You can also read my review on Goodreads here.