“5 Things I Love About…” is a blog series about what makes some of my recent reads stand out. While I do my best to avoid major spoilers, some of the details I list could be considered minor spoilers.
[Content warning: You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone contains some suicidal ideation and self-harm.]
Okay. I’m promising myself right now that the next few books I feature in this series will be light and fluffy and frothy. Between last month’s focus on The Hate U Give and today’s installment, I’ve been through the YA wringer.
It’s a glorious wringer, though.
Rachel Lynn Solomon’s debut, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, is about Adina and Tovah, twin sisters whose mother has Huntington’s. This means that the girls each have a 50% chance of developing the disease as well; their mother’s decline might mirror their own futures. When they go through genetic testing, one twin tests negative. The other tests positive. This adds another layer of conflict to the girls’ already strained relationship as they navigate the senior year of high school and wrestle with what’s to come.
I described this story as gorgeous and wrenching over on Instagram. You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone is beautiful. It’s heavy. It’s a brave, poetic punch to the gut.
Five things I love:
1. The divide between the twins. The conflict that drove Adina and Tovah apart is revealed gradually, which had my curiosity in overdrive, and it builds on itself through most of the book. Tovah touches on it early on in this quote, but the narrative dances around the details for several more chapters:
2. The split narrative. The story alternates between the twins’ points of view, which adds to the power of that gradual revelation. I enjoyed experiencing everything through both Tovah’s and Adina’s perspectives. Understanding their motives and emotions made the story more complex.
3. Adina’s flaws. I admit that I’m firmly Team Tovah, but Solomon’s depiction of Adina is brave and unflinching. Even when I didn’t like Adina much, I still found myself rooting for her. I wanted her to figure things out and find some balance, some happiness. (And as someone with tons of nervous habits, I related so much to her habit of picking at her tights.)
4. Pg. 306 in the hardcover. It gutted me. I think I snarled out loud. No spoilers here, but you’ll know it when you get to it. I AM NOT OVER IT YET.
5. The book design. Yeah, it’s totally shallow to end with this, but this book is so pretty. The blazing autumn leaves against those shades of turquoise and teal! The depiction of the twins as a reflection. Those boots (I want both pairs, please). The text dividers that change depending on which twin is narrating. I am making heart-eyes at this book.
. . . Dang it, now I’m out of numbers and I didn’t even touch on the Jewish representation! The voices are authentic and the religious details are skillfully woven into the narrative. ❤
And that’s that! Next time I’m bringing the fluff.