by Jandy Nelson
Published September 16th 2014 by Dial Books
“People die, I think, but your relationship with them doesn’t. It continues and is ever-changing.”
I expected to absolutely love this book but I just did not. This has to be the first hyped up book that I didn’t love. Wait, that’s a lie. Eleanor and Park takes the crown there. That’s the thing with many YA books, it’s always a bit too much or just amazing making you happy that all these kids have access to some literature that is relatable to them. This one felt a bit too much. Yes, I know people have been saying it’s a poetic novel about life but I just was not feeling it as much as I thought I would.
I didn’t dislike all of it, there were many things I loved about it. The author tackles teen sexuality in a good way and he developed his characters well which is commendable. But it just felt like it was trying too hard to be poetic. The lyrical writing style, the endless metaphors and all the attempts to be deep while sounding a bit too much like a magical realism book just put me off. The only reason I kept on turning the pages was because I was trying to find what everyone was going on about. Is this how some people felt when reading my favorites like All the Bright Places and The Fault in Our Stars? Now I know how it feels to be on the other side.
“Reality is crushing. The world is a wrong-sized shoe. How can anyone stand it?”
Noah and Jude are twins and both are artists. Noah draws and he is very passionate about it but Jude on the other hand is not the best at drawing although she has a gift in another artistic form, sculptures. Where Noah is passionate, Jill is not even though her talent is beyond amazing. Their mother is an artist and wishes for them to pursue a future in it but Jude is really not into it, she feels like it’s not too cool to be in an art school but Noah is excited about it. Their mother can see the talent in Noah’s work and this drives Jude crazy with envy which puts a strain in their relationship. They were very close until this point because for once Noah was better than her in something.
“It’s time for second chances. It’s time to remake the world.”
The story is told in two POVs, Jude at 16 and Noah at 13 with an aim to explain what happened in their relationship and why they no longer speak to each other. Noah’s part was honestly the good one in the book but it would have been a lot better without the colorful talk. I wanted to find out more but I kept on cringing because something so off would appear on the page. Those metaphors, chill with them please. Just stop it. It wasn’t working. I really wanted to connect with Noah but that would always stop me. All the time! I mean he was robbed of a chance to pursue his passion and someone who wanted nothing to do with it gets it? Heartbreaking. Then his relationship with Brian was another part of it I wanted to immerse myself in but again the writing made it difficult.
“Jude barfs bright blue fluorescent barf all over the table, but I’m the only one who notices.”
That stuff is distracting. And then the ending. I mean, it was just meh. No medal at the end of it to commemorate what could have been a wonderful book. I should have stayed away but I did this to myself. Honesty, it had a lot of potential but it just was not for me. Would I recommend it? Nope. But if you’re like me, you’ll pick it up just to form your own opinion. That’s how I ended up reading and loving All the Bright Places and The Fault in Our Stars, this one just didn’t go as well as they did.
“Mom picks up a knife and thrusts it into his gut, twists. Dad forges on, oblivious.”