Published by Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 2 2018
Purchase Links Amazon~ B&N
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 noticed you sang in a band when you were younger! Did you draw on any of that experience while writing?
Yes, I played guitar/keyboard, sang, and wrote songs for my all-girl band in high school! Our songs were mainly about boys who didn’t like me back. I definitely feel like I’ve drawn on some of that experience as a writer of YA. My favorite emotion to write is yearning — there’s something so painfully but spectacularly enchanting about that feeling — and my heartsick music had plenty of it. I also still have my middle school and high school journals, which are filled with poetry and song lyrics I occasionally peek at for inspiration.
Why did you decide to write about twins?
It sort of came with the idea. I’d already been thinking about potential characters for a new book, and I wound up in a Wikipedia black hole one day and landed on a page about Huntington’s disease. A storyline about Huntington’s on the show Everwood (Hannah and Bright forever) had stuck me with many years after I saw it, so I knew a little about the disease. As I continued researching, I learned that a child of a parent with Huntington’s has a 50/50 chance of developing it themselves. It made me wonder: what if sisters — twins, even — received opposite from a genetic test for Huntington’s? It was a staggering, heartbreaking thought, and I knew I wanted to explore all the complicated feelings associate with it in alternating POVs.
What’s your favorite part about participating in Pitch Wars?
I really love working with writers one-on-one. I’m pretty introverted, so those one-on-one connections are much less intimidating than big groups, even online. I get this bubbly-happy feeling when reading a submission and knowing exactly what it needs, and that thing being firmly in my wheelhouse. Also, I love pitches and queries. I love being able to draw out the most unique elements of a book and frame it in a totally fresh way. During Pitch Wars, I’m all about discovering concepts that haven’t been done before and elevating authors with a new perspective.
What style of dance is your favorite?
Tap dancing is my favorite to perform! It’s high energy and usually impossible not to smile while doing it. Plus, it’s the best way to refresh my mind when I’m deep in a revision or draft. I also swing danced all through college, and I absolutely love watching people lindy hop. I’m amazed by any kind of improvised partner dance!
Are you allowed to spill any details on your 2019 release? 😛
It’s another contemporary YA standalone, and it follows two best friends in the aftermath of a kidney transplant. Hopefully I’ll have more details to share soon! I’m very excited about it.
What’s your favorite food? (curious minds want to know 😉 )
I could eat Indian food for every meal — I actually did when I worked at an Indian restaurant in high school — and never get sick of it. My favorite dish is aloo chana (potato and chickpeas).
Do you ever struggle with writing two POV’s?
Constantly, haha, but somehow I wrote two of them! I try to hone in on what makes each character unique — passions, hobbies, ambitions, relationships — and think about how it might affect their voice. For example, in YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE, one of the MCs is a viola prodigy. Her language is much more flowery and lyrical than her more scientific-minded twin. I made a list of musical words and dropped them in unusual places. A phone doesn’t beep with a notification — it sings. Someone has a birthmark that looks, to this MC, like an alto clef. Waiting for a long period of time feels like a movement has passed — things like that. Also, once I have a first draft down, I separate the POVs so I can live in each character’s head until I feel I’ve nailed the voice.
A little birdy told me you have a dog? Could you share a picture of your dog? 🙂
Yes! This is my sweet Wally. Thank you so much for the interview, Nori!!
*~~About the Author~~*
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check out another enchantingly epic #EE18ers post! 😉