Ten years after their parents divorce and their mom moves away to another city, taking one identical twin (Iris) with her and leaving the other (Ivy) with her ex-husband, the twins find themselves living together again when their mother suddenly dies in an accident. Although Iris has spent weeks in the past with her dad and Ivy has done the same with her mom, the two girls find it difficult establishing a new routine in the household. Iris never speaks of her mom or friends she had back home and is secretive about her activities, always keeping the door to her room shut and rarely volunteering any kind of personal information, even when questioned in casual conversation by Ivy or her dad.
Come time to return to school, Ivy is dismayed when Iris insists on being put in all the same classes as she, and she watches in some amazement as Iris moves in on her friends and classmates and appropriates them as her own. When she expresses some of her conflicted feelings to her dad, he suggests she see a professional counselor to help her deal with her confused emotions, ascribing them to the devastating loss of her mom. As days pass, Iris insinuates herself into every aspect of Ivy’s heretofore happy high school life, managing to turn people against her, create conflicts with teachers and her swim coach, and threaten her relationship with boyfriend Ty.
Ivy is forgiving and tries to give Iris the benefit of the doubt for her father’s sake, but she’s no dummy. She begins an investigation into Iris’s former life with her mom and uncovers some astonishing, frightening information that needs to be shared with her dad, if only he will listen.
This is a book that’s impossible to put down and that will grab the attention of YA readers for sure. There are instances of reported violence but they are not graphic. Offensive language consists mainly of hell, damn, ass, bitch and such–nothing stronger. Ivy has conversations about sex with her sister and her dad but insists she has no plans to jump into bed with Ty anytime soon. Ivy is an admirable character in that her values are solid, she set goals and works hard to achieve them, and she is honest in her relationships with others; Iris and other characters are more sketchily drawn but readers will no doubt be enthralled by their doings.
Categories: Bullying, Crime, Death and Grieving, Diversity, Dysfunctional Relationships, Fashion, Mental Health, Mysticism, Navigating through High School, Offensive Language in YA Literature, Parent Conflict, Peer Relationships, Social Media