Sixteen year old Sarah has spent her life in the shadows—the shadows in the halls of school, the shadows of her family, and mostly in the shadow of her out going and vibrant twin sister, Annie. With crippling social anxiety, Sarah panics when she has to perform in front of a group, speak with someone or any attention is placed on her. The only person she has felt like she can be herself with is her boyfriend. Then one day, Garrett breaks up with her and Sarah is left alone. And even though Annie has quit competing in beauty pageants, gained weight, chopped her hair and added piercings, she still gets all of the attention from her parents. Over the course of one week, Sarah and Annie start to do something they haven’t done in years: talk to each other. And through those conversations and time spend together, Sarah feels heartache, pain, anger, and hope with Annie by her side.
Let me just say this…Wow!! What an emotionally charged book. While this book is not overtly Christian (there is no mention of anyone in the family having a relationship with God or even going to church but there is one passing mention of Christ), it is an excellent study on strained relationships. Familial relationship, friendship, romantic relationship, and academic relationship are all included. As Sarah spends time with Annie, she begins to learn her vibrant, outspoken sister is hurting too. She finds the desire and courage to protect and defend her sister, to stand up for injustices done to her. The guilt from not knowing pressures her—shouldn’t twins feel when something is wrong? With narrative told from Sarah’s perspective and poetic diary entries from Annie, the whole story is slowly revealed to the reader, leaving them torn open and hurting with both of these sisters by the end. I highly recommend this book for anyone struggling with sibling relationships and for any teenagers struggling to find their place in the school hierarchy. I also recommend you read it with a box of tissues near.
Available for purchase Aug. 25, 2015
***Zondervan and BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.