if you were committed to an institution for the criminally insane, but
you were actually innocent? What if the only one who could save you is
lying? Alice Monroe needs the answers to these questions because this
has happened to her.
The novel opens with the thoughts of Alice's twin sister, Cellie:
Later on, when they question me, I'll say it was an accident. An unfortunate tragedy. But it was neither. When they ask me what happened that night, I'll say, It was a mistake. But it wasn't. I don't remember, I'll say. But I do.—We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2015, p. 1, ARC)
- Setting: modern times, Pacific Northwest
- Circumstances: Seventeen-year-old Alice has been committed to a mental hospital after her boyfriend was killed in a tragic fire. She remembers little except her own innocence and the guilt of her twin sister, Cellie. When a fellow patient offers to help her, Alice begins to plot revenge against her sister.
- Characters: Alice, wrongly accused of murder and arson; Cellie, her twin; Jason, her late boyfriend; Chase, a fellow patient who offers to help Alice put her plan to action; various nurses, doctors, and patients in Alice's present; various people from Alice's past
- Genre and audience: psychological thriller; young adult
- Themes: sisters, revenge, love, foster care system, mental health
- Things to know: The prologue is from Cellie's perspective, but the rest of the book is from Alice's. We see and experience Alice's present; we learn of her past through entries in her journal. This is a debut novel, written by a high school teacher who has worked with children in foster care.
- What others have said: I haven't started this book yet, but I took some time to read a handful of reviews (on blogs and in industry venues). The reactions are mixed, ranging from meh to wow. No one disliked the novel. Most people commented on the realistic and relatable characters. Other things I picked up in reviews were a Gothic feel and a creepy plot. Some people figured out where the book was going early on; others did not.
- What I think: Regardless of the mixed reactions, I'm drawn to the book because it stars twins and is a psychological thriller. It's short, so I'll likely give it a try.