This very highly-acclaimed young adult novel has an appealing premise and an intriguing structure. Jude and Noah are twins who are inseparable (though very different) at 13 and barely speaking to each other at 16. In alternating point-of-view chapters, Noah tells the story of what happened that summer three years ago to change the direction of both twins’ lives and tear their family apart, while Jude narrates what’s happening now, in their sixteenth year. Both voices are vivid and compellling though I did find the author’s attempts to make them quirky and distinctive went too far at times, particularly artist Noah’s habit of interpreting people’s emotional states in terms of visual images he could imagine painting. It’s intriguing and appropriate in small doses, but we often get it in large doses and it sometimes distracts from the story.
The story is good and well told — the desire to find out what happened in the past that was affecting everything the twins did in the present, kept me turning the pages. In some ways I thought the ending resolved things a little too neatly, but overall this was a quick and enjoyable YA read.