Margaret K McElderry Books, 2008
Audience: Older Teens
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.
For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?
We read this in my book club, so I have a lot of thoughts on it!
I’m sure that younger teens are reading this, even though the subject matter is very intense. Part of me thought, “How can teens like reading this???” but the other part thought, “No wonder they love reading this!!!” It’s graphic and edgy and a source of information for them.
This book had almost every teen issue in it. It was a lot to take it, and it felt like it exploited them. A majority of the book was the tough stuff that the main characters were going through - but the resolution only took up about 7/8 of the book. It didn’t end in a hopeful way, which may be realistic, and some of the issues are lifelong struggles, but if the author chose to end it that way, she should have explained in an afterward why. Teens are learning from her book and she should fill in some blanks that were in the story for them. As an adult, I understood why some of it happened and I can’t imagine reading it and then not being able to fill in those blanks myself.
The biggest thing that bothered me was that it took a potential love interest to come in and save her from everything. There may be a lot of bad guys out there, but all you need is that one good guy to come in and fix everything - not a healthy message.
It’s not my favorite type of book, but it was interesting to talk about in book club.