Hey, hi, hello! I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon, which was released THIS WEEK! (Go get it – and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!) This book was… I’m not even sure there’s one definitive word for what this book meant to me. This is a book I so desperately needed last week, when I read it. So yeah, let’s get into that, huh? 🙂
You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone is about a lot of things, but the main point of the book can be summarized with this: two twin sisters who are getting tested for the Huntington’s Disease gene. That premise alone is heart-shattering, if you know anything about Huntington’s and genetic disorders. Tovah and Adina’s mother has the disease and is dying from it slowly, right before their eyes, so the two sisters get tested just after their eighteenth birthday. One twin tests negative. One twin tests positive. Their worlds are turned upside down.
Both Tovah and Adina narrate the book in alternate chapters, and their voices are so unique, but also definitely sisterly. Adina is a viola prodigy who wants to be a soloist more than anything and regularly uses her body as power over older men; Tovah is bookish and has her sights set on Johns Hopkins, then med school, then a career in surgery. Before the test, Adina is living life to the fullest, and Tovah is too scared to do anything, out of fear of a positive result. The book swirls back and forth between the two stories, and it’s beautiful and heartbreaking as the girls find themselves and each other in their new reality – the world of knowing the future. Or, at least, one small part of it.
3 Things I Loved
- Tovah. I could relate to Tovah – she’s bookish, she’s ambitious, she has a small core group of friends and often feels overlooked. She was scared to get attached to anyone because of a fear of what her future might hold. She wanted to go to one prestigious school and had her whole heart set on it. She sounds like me. And I really really liked her, even when her character showed her ugly side, because that’s a lot like me too.
- Adina. I don’t know how else to describe Adina other than relatably unlikeable. She’s definitely not a traditional good character. She’s chaotic. She’s passionate. She uses people. But she’s also ambitious, and she also knows what she wants, and she’s been watching her mother die, which takes a toll on anyone. I liked how unlikeable she is. Even when I hated her, I loved her.
- The complicated sister relationship. Oh man, have I been looking for this relationship in a book. I needed it. I love my sister, but our relationship isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It’s complicated. It’s messy. It’s sometimes screaming at each other, saying awful things, and then slinking into her room later to try to stuff those things back in your mouth. That’s what this book has, and that’s what I needed to read. It was so perfect, so real, so gloriously not what people want out of a sibling relationship. But life isn’t always what people want.
Honestly, I don’t have any complaints about this book in terms of content and problems. I thought it was well-written, well-researched (I don’t think the author herself has Huntington’s), and diverse enough to capture the real world. For example, Adina’s viola teacher (and love interest) is from India, and Tovah’s love interest has two moms. Plus (PLUS PLUS PLUS) Tovah and Adina’s mother is Israeli and they are practicing Jews and there is Hebrew in the book and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I’ve read a lot of books, and this is the first time I’ve read Jewish narrators who practiced that wasn’t a Holocaust book. So good. SO GOOD.
I will say, though, there are some content warnings in this book that people haven’t been talking as much about. So, here are those: suicidal thoughts, self-harm, statutory rape (although it’s technically consensual, but it counted to me), sex on the page, a pregnancy scare, and of course, Huntington’s Disease. All of these things are talked about and handled, but they are there, and they could trigger readers. So be careful. Take care of yourself. Read this book, but only if you’re ready.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
This book was so so good, and I’ll be recommending it to everyone who I think would need this sister relationship. Therefore, I am giving You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone a BLUE rating. Be aware of the content warnings, but it’s so so good. ❤
About the Author
Rachel Lynn Solomon is a Pacific Northwest native who loves rainy days, tap dancing, red lipstick, and new wave music. Her debut contemporary YA novel, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, will be out from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse in spring 2018, with a second book, A Year of Bad Ideas, to follow in 2019.
Rachel has written for newspapers, produced a radio show that aired in the middle of the night, and worked for NPR, and she currently works in education. Rachel lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and tiny dog. She’s represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.
Here’s a Rafflecopter giveaway!
Thank you to the publisher, NetGalley, and the Fantastic Flying Book Club for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I’ll be purchasing this one for sure.