P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!
Noah and Jude both change dramatically (at least, outwardly) in that liminal space between 13 and 16. Did you have a sibling or a close friend who seemed to transform into an entirely different person during adolescence? How did you react to that? And/or did you undergo a similar transformation?
1. Which twin did you connect with more, Jude or Noah? Why?
2. Did you see the death of Noah and Jude’s mother coming? What about her affair with Guillermo?
3. What did you think about Noah and Jude’s father? Did you feel more or less sympathetic towards him by the end of the novel? What about their mother?
4. The power of art is a strong theme throughout the book. “We are remaking the world, nothing less, understand?” says Guillermo, and at some point, Noah’s mother tells him, “It’s okay to be addicted to beauty.” Do you agree? And how do you think Jandy Nelson explores this question in the story?
5. Which relationship did you find more compelling, the one between Brian and Noah or the one between Jude and Oscar? Why?
6. Noah put Jude’s note (asking their mother to come see her beach sculpture) in the trash. Jude didn’t mail Noah’s CSA application. Why do you think each twin made that choice? And what does that say about their relationship? Examining the consequences of these two actions, was one worse than the other?
7. When their grandmother died, she left Jude her bible of old wives’ tales and crude magic. Did you have a favorite superstition? And when you were growing up, did anyone in your family live by an unusual belief?