Published: April 3rd 2018 by Delacorte Press
Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.
Or so Jess thought.
After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?
Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.
Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.
I am not going to lie, whilst I had this on my TBR, it wasn’t high on my radar. I haven’t really seen a lot of people talking about it – so I picked this up for my kindle on a bit of a whim because of the mood I was in. I am so glad I did because this book was just amazing in SO MANY different ways, and I feel that a lot more people should be reading it already!
I think my favourite aspect of this book was the way in which it was written. Interspersed between each of Jess’ chapters was a couple of lines from Anna, slowly telling the story. With the clues that Jess was trying to figure out, and the snippets of Anna’s story in between, the author managed to create a mystery that really had me guessing right up until the very end. I was constantly changing my theories and I love the way that this book twisted and turned and kept me on my toes. As soon as I had thought I had something figured out, something happened and everything was put back on its head. Fragments of what happened to Anna, and the clues that she left behind were constantly being questioned by Jess, and it left the reader wondering if Jess was reading too much into things, or if something really did happen to Anna… and it also put a lot of focus on the grieving process and what was happening to Jess throughout psychologically.
Grief plays a HUGE part in this book – especially the grieving process. I loved the way in which the author featured various different grieving processes and represented the idea that everyone grieves differently and that there is no wrong way to grieve. Whether it is trying to find closure, accepting what has happened and moving on or even trying to find a second chance amongst everything that happened, everyone in this book processed things differently and it added an extra element to the story itself. Having said that, the author also managed to weave in the idea of whether grief can be taken too far and just how low we can sink when we are grieving.
I also liked the fact that the author didn’t just represent grief through the loss of a friend/daughter/sibling through death. The author used various plot points to highlight different forms of grief and loss – loss of innocence, self worth, love and relationships and childhood. Everyone was facing different issues and processing it in different ways and showing different forms of grief, even within their everyday lives.
The author also wove in different societal issues that we face today and showed how one can affect another and how that in turn can affect something else. It was written in such a way that focused on teens trying to find themselves and navigate the world around them and the way in which it can sometimes go completely wrong – Alcoholism, the date rape drug, death, corruption, pedophilia, blackmail, sexual assault. Brunskill tied everything together and this book contributed, I think, in a huge way to the discussion of various issues and I really think that, young people especially, should be reading this book.
I also loved the way that this book focused on good things in amongst the bad. The sibling bond that Jess and Anna had was beautiful. Being twins, they had a different kind of special bond, that often left people feeling a little left out, but it was a bond that stuck right up until the very end, and even after Anna’s death. They were loyal to each other, as many siblings are (myself and my brother included) and I loved the fact that it showed that, even though you might not always get along with your siblings or see eye to eye with them, they’ll always be there for you in the end.
The ending was extremely bittersweet. I don’t want to give too much away, but the development and the changes that Jess went through throughout the book, and the point that she had gotten to by the end was both heart warming and heart breaking. I was left ugly sobbing in the corner – that’s all I’m saying.
All in all, I loved this book. It was poignant and heart breaking, but also bittersweet right up until the end. It focused on so many different issues and wove them all together pretty seamlessly. I gave this book 5/5 stars