Rating: PG-13 (probably 10-12 F-words in this book, but very little other swearing.)
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.
My Thoughts: I really love this author. She is just so so amazing with words! I don't even know how she thinks up the things she says, but they make complete sense, even if it's something I never in a million years would have thought to say. For example, towards the beginning, Noah talks about how walking around in the art museum makes him feel like his skin fits, how "it didn't once bunch up at my ankles or squeeze my head into a pin." What great imagery! What an artistic way to explain how he felt free to be himself! I just love the way she writes.
All that aside, I also loved the story. I have never actually read a book where one of the main characters was gay. It just isn't something that interested me/it kind of made me uncomfortable. But Nelson does an amazing job of writing Noah. Noah is gay, but he's kind of afraid of it, as I'm sure most kids in his position feel. He wishes he wasn't like this, he's afraid of what his family will think if they ever find out, but he can't stop what he feels. Seriously, just such a great novel to create understanding towards kids who are struggling with their sexual identity.
Another thing I love is in the end, Noah and Jude both realize that they never really knew their parents as well as they thought they did. They made assumptions, made too much out of innocent comments. Noah believes for years that his dad dislikes him and that they have nothing in common. He has completely forgotten the things they used to enjoy doing together, the amazing things they DO share. It's eye opening, for sure.
This book was not predictable. I wasn't sure where it was all going to end up or what was going to happen, and there was a twist towards the end that totally surprised me. This book was definitely worth reading. I hope Nelson writes more books because she is really incredible!