Book: You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Published January 2018 by Simon Pulse|384 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library
Genre: YA Contemporary
A moving, lyrical debut novel about twins who navigate first love, their Jewish identity, and opposite results from a genetic test that determines their fate—whether they inherited their mother’s Huntington’s disease.
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?
From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.
I really liked this book! I especially liked the relationship between Adina and Tovah, and how much Huntington’s changed their families and their lives, and especially the relationship with each other.
I can’t imagine having a twin and then finding out one of us had no risk at contracting a genetic disease, while the other one of us would. Adina really struggled with it, and while she took it seriously, knowing that the results have completely changed her life, she also went down this very destructive path. I can understand that maybe she doesn’t want to deal with it, and to a degree, she pretends like everything is fine. But I still can’t imagine reacting the way she does. Everyone’s different, of course, but she took it to a completely different level.
Adina has people who care about her, but she doesn’t seem interested in seeking help until the very end of the book. Maybe she had to hit rock bottom to realize she needed more help than she wanted to admit. Still, you never know how you would react to the type of news she receives, and I don’t want to judge her too harshly just because I don’t think I’d react the same way.
The book does make you think, not just how you’d react, but if you’d even go in the for the testing. Some people want to know, and some people don’t. Even I’m not sure if I’d want to know, but at the same time, part of me would. Also, I think it’s important to know what runs in your family and to make sure you’re following up on things. Like getting your yearly physical or mammogram, or following up on diabetes or whatever it is. Seriously, though, it is important to follow up on stuff like that.
I did have a harder time relating to Adina, and I felt like Tovah and I were more similar. And they have a really difficult relationship- they definitely drifted apart, and part of me hopes that they are able to work it out. As an only child, I do not get the relationship between siblings at all, and I had a hard time relating to how much they seemed to dislike each other.
Still, we do see how they’re both dealing with everything, and this is one of the few times I actually like the dual POV. It worked for this book, because you’re following two very different people dealing with a lot of different things.
4 stars. I really liked You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, and there were a lot of things I was thinking about while reading it and even after finishing it.