"If one twin is cut, the other will bleed."
Nelson's novel is a fragmented account told by fraternal twins Noah and Jude. Noah explores his sexuality and refines his skills as an accomplished artist. He accounts the early years when the twins are 13. Jude is responsible for telling about the later years when the twins are 16. She's a beyond-beautiful-surfer-girl also blessed with a gift of art. Jude's superstitions, obsession with acquiring medical ailments, and unpredictability make her both lovable and laughable.
A tragic event shatters the twins and they work hard to pick up the broken pieces in an attempt to become whole again. The novel is groundbreaking for teens who never quite feel comfortable in their own skin.
Readers not familiar with contemporary YA literature will be in for a shock. Readers who drown themselves in YA literature will be in for a shock. Jandy Nelson's writing style breaks all the rules and is nothing short of brilliant. It's unlike any other book - in both content and format.
This whimsical story is infused with hints of magical realism that are disguised as incredibly descriptive writing. The novel explores love, loss, forgiveness, failure, jealously, sexuality, and emphasizes that we are all perfectly imperfect.