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Newton Reads 2017

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

About the Book

i'll give you the sunSUMMARY

"Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once." Summary/Review taken from Penguin Teen YA Book Club.

 

Discussion Questions

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What do you think is the significance of telling the story in alternating perspectives? In what ways might the story have been different if Jude were narrating the earlier portions and Noah the later portions?

2. Throughout the story, Jude has conversations with her dead grandmother. How would the story be different if Grandma’s ghost weren’t a presence? And why do you think only Jude, and not Noah, sees the ghost?

3. Noah and Jude’s world is shattered by the death of their mother. What events in your own life have deeply affected you? And if you had the chance to remake your world, what would you most like to fix?

4. If you had your own “invisible museum” like Noah, what would some of your own portraits and self-portraits look like? In the same vein, if you had a “bible” of superstitions like Jude, what would some of the entries be?

5. The Michelangelo quote, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free,” is also in many ways a theme that runs through the book. Using the idea of a “stone prison,” describe how the various characters are trapped. And how does each of them finally break free?

-- Questions from Penguin Teen YA Book Club