When high school senior Kelsey’s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car accident, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister. As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want.
At the beginning of the novel Kelsey has a picture perfect boyfriend, but as Kelsey’s world changes (following her twin’s death), you start to see that Davis doesn’t ‘fit’ her life anymore. He’s not what she needs or wants. And when she realises this and that she’s falling for someone else, she’s honest with him, rather than just stringing him along. That’s why I didn’t have ‘cheater creep’ with this novel.
I understood Kelsey’s motivations for lying to Peter and I didn’t dislike her for what she was doing, which I think goes to show how well written this novel is – its characters, it plot and its themes.
I appreciated that this novel was about so much more than a simple romance with a soldier overseas. Kelsey learning to deal – with the loss of her twin; her parents withdrawal; and her feelings of isolation – is one of the most compelling aspects of this novel.
Peter is a ‘boy-next-door’ type. I liked reading Peter’s letters; the things he talked about, the thoughts he put into words.
“I hate it when older people say that we have nothing to be sad about, that we’re young and we couldn’t possibly know real sadness…. Sadness isn’t measured in years. Feelings, I don’t think, can be measured in anything. We are just bodies guessing about other bodies.” –pp.283-284.
Their relationship, from friends to more (in Kelsey’s mind), was well handled; you know that she never intends to fall for him. You know that when she does, it’s because it feels 100% right, 100% inevitable, 100% unavoidable.
Power, intricate and angsty, this is a brilliant YA Contemporary.