Book Title:
Untwine
Book Author:
Edwidge Danticat
Publishing Date:
September 29th, 2015
Publisher:
Scholastic Press
Date Read:
October 4th, 2015

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Giselle Boyer and her identical twin, Isabelle, are as close as sisters can be. They are each other’s strongest source of support even as their family life seems to be unraveling and their parents are considering divorce. Then the Boyers have a tragic encounter that will shatter everyone’s world forever.

Giselle wakes up in a hospital room, injured and unable to speak or move. She doesn’t know what’s happened to her sister, to her family, to herself. Trapped in the prison of her own body, Giselle must revisit her past in order to understand how the people closest to her—her friends, her parents, and above all, Isabelle—have shaped and defined her. Will she allow her love for her family and friends to buoy her and lead her on the path to recovery? Or will she remain lost in a painful spiral of longing and regret?

Untwine is a spellbinding tale, lyrical and filled with love, mystery, humor, and heartbreak. Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat brings her extraordinary talent to this graceful and unflinching examination of the bonds of friendship, romance, and family; the horrors of loss; and the strength we must discover in ourselves when all seems hopeless.

My Review

Giselle and Isabelle are identical twins with difference – they each have a mole behind their ear, but on the opposite side.  They are also best friends and extremely close, even though they are both into different things.  Isabelle plays the flute in the high school orchestra and is serious about music, but Giselle thinks she takes it a little too seriously, and doesn’t share her enthusiasm, although she is always happy to watch her performances.  In fact, it is on the way to one of these performances that the car that Isabelle, Giselle, and their parents are riding in is hit, causing Isabelle’s death.

While wading through consciousness and unconsciousness, Giselle remembers things about Isabelle, her parents, and herself.  Told with a lot of flashbacks to their lives, Giselle has to work to accept her sister’s death and focus on the life she has now.

This was one of my most anticipated reads for the fall of 2015, and I was so excited when I finally got the ARC for it.  However, this one didn’t live up to my expectations, and I’m really disappointed about it.  It’s taken me forever to review it, because I just didn’t really know how to.  It was a decent story, with beautiful writing, but I found it nearly impossible to get into, and I just didn’t connect with any of the characters.  They all just seemed so flat and one-dimensional with practically no personality, and the fact that Giselle and Isabelle’s parents are pretty much laughing and joking around constantly like a few days after their daughter’s death just ticked me off.  Seriously, it seemed like they didn’t even care, and it kind of ruined the entire book for me.  I understand that everyone deals with grief differently, but really?  I just thought they were poorly written characters and I pretty much took off an entire star for that.

The flashbacks that Giselle has that include Isabelle are the most interesting parts of the book.  They’re well written and thought out, and it’s obvious that the two girls had a great relationship with each other.

Edwidge Danticat’s writing is lyrical and beautiful, but I felt as if the book could have been wrapped up in about half the amount of pages that it is.  Some parts of it are just so drawn out and uninteresting, but other parts were real attention grabbers – it kind of varied throughout the book.

All in all, the book wasn’t bad or anything, I just found it a little boring and drawn out, and at some parts I had a difficult time really feeling it.  I had to put a lot of effort into keeping my attention on the story, because it just wasn’t as captivating as I hoped it would be.

Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

3 stars
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