THE THIRD TWIN

A classic whodunit for the teenage set.

Could an identical twin be a killer without her sister knowing it?

It all began as a joke when Lexi and Ava were little: The identical sisters would imagine they had a “third twin” named Alicia. Now in their senior year of high school, the girls have reincarnated Alicia, using this persona to dress up and date boys they normally wouldn’t. They’ve even gone to the trouble of creating a fake ID and social media site to build a back story for this fictitious sister. The fun ends when Lexi, out as Alicia, is the last known person to have seen Casey, her date and would-be rapist, alive. Told from Lexi’s point of view, the mystery continues as more of “Alicia’s” dates turn up murdered. When the evidence and unusual coincidences all point to Ava, Lexi feels like the person she’s always known best is suddenly a stranger. And because they share DNA, Lexi also becomes a person of interest. As she races to find the real killer, she must also contend with moving on from high school to college, finding her own identity and trying to save the boy she really loves from meeting a deadly fate. Although the resolution may be more out of Hollywood than reality, the dramatic suspense will keep mystery fans entertained.

A classic whodunit for the teenage set. (Mystery. 13-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-74452-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 8, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me, three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind. (author’s note, content warning) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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