Book Review | The Other Twin

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The Other Twin

By L V Hay

Orenda Books

Publication Date: November 1, 2017

300 Pages


Synopsis from Publisher:

 When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well-heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth.

I have never written a book but I would imagine that an author does not aim to isolate their audience. I would further speculate the author also wants to remain true to themselves and their beliefs. I am guessing balancing the two is very tricky indeed. If L V Hays’ intent when writing this book was in fact a combination of expressing her beliefs while writing about sensitive social issues, I say WELL DONE to L V Hays.  The Other Twin is heartbreaking story of people dealing with rejection but in the end realizing the guilt and self-hatred they felt was completely misplaced.

Poppy Wade, teacher living in London, has essentially banished herself from her hometown of Brighton. When her mother calls with news of her sister India’s suicide, Poppy returns to Brighton to face her sister’s death and the past she was intent on leaving behind. While in Brighton, Poppy embarks on a quest to learn the truth of her sister’s death. In the mist of grieving for her sister and searching for the truth, Poppy faces hurdles of lies and secrets, and the great lengths some people will go to conceal the truth.

Setting the story during winter in England, Hayes creates an atmosphere of grief and guilt that lingers through the whole book. I love that the story takes place on a beach in a tourist town. Because of the winter season, I felt the loneliness and abandonment that plagued the characters and the town. This atmosphere drew me into the story. With this sad atmosphere, I really wanted something good to happen to the characters, I knew we would find out what happened to India, but I was really hoping that the characters would find some peace. For me this is what made the book so compelling.   

I found Poppy un-relatable, but not in a bad way. Her determination to find out what happened to her sister is absolute and un-yielding; I found her determination admirable. No matter how many dead ends and dangerous situations she faced, she pressed on. There were many times while I was reading, I thought she should let it go. I thought that her determination to find the truth was guilt driven and not based on facts. I found her willingness to do ANYTHING to find out what happened a bit reckless at times.

The characters in this book all have one thing in common; they cannot seem to let go of anything.  Whether it is their guilt, feelings of betrayal, anger, or their quest for the truth; they are all weighed down by these feelings. The way the characters held on to all these heavy emotions is what made the story suspenseful for me.  With all of these feelings, I knew that an emotional bomb was about to go off and I was not disappointed.

I found The Other Twin compelling, suspenseful, and thought provoking. I find myself thinking about this book while I am reading other books; comparing the characters to characters in The Other Twin. This is a book that will stick with me for some time. If you are looking for an emotional read that will make you think about current social issues, The Other Twin should be on your to be read list.

**Thanks to Orenda Books and Netgalley for my review copy.**

Murder and Moore Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars