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.
The writing is at once messy and masterful, every character uniquely eccentric. Noah and Jude’s perspectives feel distinctly different and are littered with hints of their identity. Noah is quiet and geeky and thrumming with restrained energy, which is exciting to behold. He feels everything so thoroughly and vividly and this is reflected in the writing. Jude goes from this popular brash girl to a girl who speaks to ghosts and carries around onions in her pockets.
The present is told from Jude’s perspective as she struggles with breaking down walls she’s long built to keep people out. She falls in love with the clichéd mysterious broken bad boy and they whisper about fate and prophecies between kisses they share in the few weeks they know each other. I was ready to become entranced by their romance but simply felt cheated. Their musings on fate would have been more believable if they hadn’t met each other last week.
The past is told in Noah’s perspective. Noah falls in love with the wide-eyed big shot next door and if exploring your sexuality isn’t enough try throwing in unearthing all of your family’s secrets. Noah had no idea how to juggle the arrogance and immaturity of a young boy with the burden of growing up. Because of this I was more drawn to Noah’s storyline. The time lapse between both narratives makes it impossible to reconcile the past and present halves of Noah and Jude. But it was interesting to watch the past play out knowing what the future had in store for them and the way they had evolved and changed over time.
Both characters are extremely flawed. They continuously make mistake after mistake and we are privy to the whole chaotic ordeal and what leads them to such heart-stopping stupidity. I was enamoured with the characters but I kept waiting for some mind-blowing plot device to catapult the characters into action. It’s much more subtle then that. It’s the unwinding of lies and betrayal, which is honestly a little disappointing.
And suddenly we are sent careening to the finish line. I found myself closing the book and wondering how all that unresolved betrayal and family discord could have been settled in so little time. Don’t get me wrong I liked the novel but the ending was rushed and ill fitted to the eerily rhythmic storytelling.