An emotional Southern tale about the loss of a sister, the loss of self, and the quest to find wholeness after a terrible tragedy.
High school senior Payton would do anything to remember the events surrounding her twin sister Dylan’s disappearance. However, memories elude her even as some unexpected personality traits begin to surface. Whether it is her sudden preference for less girly clothing or her growing attraction to her sister’s boyfriend, Payton finds that she is less and less certain of who she is. When another girl who strongly resembles Dylan goes missing, Payton is forced to confront a shocking truth about that terrible morning, one that may just result in a death. While this is a reminder of the depths grief can reach and the extent to which the mind will twist reality in order to cling to sanity, a proliferation of stereotypes, leaden writing, and overused tropes greatly deaden the novel’s impact. Time jumps and shifts in point of view further muddy the waters in this atmospheric yet overly ambitious tale. Payton’s evolution lacks emotional weight, leaving the story feeling gimmicky. While the cast is almost completely white, Dylan’s love interest is a deaf boy who wears hearing aids.
Southern charm without substance. (Fiction. 14-18)