You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon (378 Pages)
Overview: Tovah and Adina have one more year of high school; one year to answer all of their questions. The most pressing, though, is if one or both of the twins will contract Huntington's, the genetic disorder claiming their mother's life. What will the promise of a life with or without the disease mean for the girl's, and will it bring the twin's closer or tear them apart. Solomon delves into this as well as relationships, religion, and how knowing their fate will change their view of the world in this thought provoking novel. Overall: 4
Characters: 4 I enjoyed the duel prospectives and the twins here. They each brought their own prospectives to show almost the two extremes of people who've experienced similar situations. Tovah is a devout conservative Jew, just like her parents. She takes all APs and is prized for her intelligence. School, particularly the path to medical school, is her "thing."
But Adina, really, is the reason Tovah chose a "thing" because Adina is a viola virtuoso. Always prized for her beauty and her music, Adina grew to base much of her self worth on her physical abilities, leaving her on shakier ground than Tovah to take on the stressors and conflicts that life continually throw at them. The contrast is done very well.
Plot: 4 I loved how Solomon touched on so many parts of life to draw together the most full characters possible. Her conversations about Judaism and the push and pull Adina and Tovah feel with their faith is a discussion that is both important and absent from YA for the most part, even across all religion. The book discusses suicidal thoughts and the lengths people will go to to gain control when threatened with uncertainty.
Also, I found the conversation about body image to be a strong narrative line. While Tovah was never noted for her beauty, and, in turn, aimed to cover herself as much as possible, Adina was always told how pretty she was, almost to the point of being looked at as an object, even if the comments innocently came from friends and family. Watching the girls respond to these things was one of my favorite elements of the story.
Writing: 4 Solomon's style is very engaging. The story will hook you from the beginning as you get to know and understand Adina, Tovah, and their family. While I felt that the story was a little long overall with chapters that just seemed to reiterate previously stated feelings, the story kept me engaged and gave a lot to think about.