Kelsey begins impersonating her deceased identical twin sister, Michelle, in a misguided attempt to protect Michelle’s boyfriend, who has recently been deployed overseas, but her lies lead to heartache when she finds herself falling for Peter.
Kelsey and Michelle are identical in appearance alone; by senior year they are largely uninterested in each other. So Kelsey doesn’t pay much attention to Peter when he mistakes her for Michelle at a party, dismissing him as another of Michelle’s dramatic flings—a notion Michelle rejects later that evening. The following day, returning home from dropping Peter at the airport to begin his deployment, Michelle dies in a car accident. Kelsey finds herself responsible for informing Peter of the devastating news. Instead, reasoning that grief might weaken his focus during his tour in Afghanistan, she impulsively begins impersonating Michelle. This deception eventually requires Kelsey to familiarize herself with her sister’s life, leading her to a new appreciation of Michelle and her passions—and even inspiring Kelsey to make some changes in her own life. The weighty moments of discovery and understanding are bittersweet since the chance for the twins to share a renewed reciprocal intimacy has passed. But the developing romance between the Kelsey-as-Michelle character and Peter is predictable, and most of the other secondary characters feel underdeveloped.
Though it reaches for emotional moments, the novel isn’t especially memorable. (Romance. 14-18)