Missy and her cousin, Claire, have always been the best of friends. Only two months apart in age and living just 20 minutes away from each other, they have grown up together. Thus it would make sense that they would have similar tastes in clothes and hairstyles, spend every available minute calling or texting each other, and hang out every Friday night. But some of the connections they share are eerie --- like finishing each other’s sentences, knowing what the other is thinking and looking an awful lot alike --- and Missy is starting to have some questions.
Not quite sure how to approach the subject with her family, especially since Claire refuses to admit anything seems strange, Missy decides to use a school assignment to bring her concerns out into the open. One of her classes is discussing hoaxes, how individuals use scientific evidence to con a group of people into believing something. So Missy centers a planned hoax around her suspicions, arranging an unbelievable revelation during her school’s televised morning announcements. She talks a reluctant Claire into helping her, and they show up at her school the next morning dressed alike and ready to drop the bomb --- that Missy and Claire have discovered they are identical twins separated at birth.
The story spreads like the plague, and someone even puts it on YouTube. Everyone believes them; even Claire confronts her own doubts and admits she suspects a hidden truth. And then their parents see the video and must finally reveal their deeply buried family secret. But the revelations don’t end there. Someone else sees the video, a lonely person by the name of Genevieve, whose world is also about to explode and be turned upside down.
Caroline B. Cooney is the well-known author of many award-winning books, and she comes through once again with another stand-out effort. Cooney has a wonderful talent for creating and developing characters, making them interesting, well rounded and believable. She takes her creations and drops them into a swirling, churning, mesmerizing drama that drags readers quickly through the pages and doesn’t let go. Cooney also has a gift for writing about relationships, especially those between family members. She explores their pasts, intertwines their paths and stretches their bonds in ways that capture readers’ hearts and minds. In addition, she comes up with some clever analogies, like when Claire feels so out of control following behind Missy, like a puppy on a leash.
May this popular and successful thriller author continue to entertain readers with her compelling stories.
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on August 24, 2010