I received You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I give it 5/5 stars.
Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.
But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.
When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.
These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving? (Goodreads)
There is not a single thing I dislike about You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon except that bad things happen to the characters. I want all the best things to happen to them and, sadly, only some good things happen. Despite that, I absolutely love this book.
The journey Adina and Tovah go through is filled with complexities, raw emotions, and realistic heartbreak. This book will most likely make you cry, or at least tear up, with its beautiful writing and intense story line. It's full of unapologetic, passionate girls; feminism; Judaism!!!; a mental and emotional rivalry for the ages; and lyrical prose.
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone features a great family dynamic with struggles, love, and unique bonds. The way Judaism becomes a comfort for Tovah and something to rebel against for Adina is a breath of fresh air in the YA book world. I've started reading more #OwnVoices stories with casual (not the main focus) Judaism and I'm learning without having anything shoved down my throat. I enjoyed the Hebrew in the book, the struggle with beliefs in a world where medicine rules, and overall, it was just a delightful mix.
Highlights of the dual POV:
Adina: musical, lyrical writing, intense, confident, unapologetic, rebellious
Tovah: clinical writing, driven, sweet, heartfelt, timid, faithful
Content warnings: student/teacher (kind of) relationship, suicidal idealizations, mental health struggles re: illness........I do want to point out that these are addressed and "resolved." This is not a book devoid of hope and the morality of all is discussed delicately.