I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to review this book. I read a lot of books, and review a lot of them, too, and for the most part, as soon as I’ve finished reading I begin formulating the review in my head. When I close the book, I tend to already know what I plan on rating it, and the things I want to say about it. This book stumped me in that department. I really had to think about what I wanted to say about this one…it just didn’t strike me as something that was different…I just felt like I had read the general idea for this story multiple times now. That isn’t the book’s fault, of course, and it had its good qualities, but for me, it just felt like a repeat of many other young adult story lines that I have read in the past few months.
We have two main characters, Sarah and Annie. They are twins, but everyone has always thought Annie was far more beautiful than Sarah, and their parents even made Annie feel loved while Sarah always felt forgotten. Annie participated in beauty pageants and enjoyed playing piano and being in the spotlight, while Sarah’s severe anxiety stopped her from putting herself out there; instead she found herself living in her sister’s shadow. Annie has stopped participating in pageants and the things she used to love, instead “choosing” to put on weight and eat a lot more than she used to. While their parents (distant, and definitely not as caring as they should be) focus on Annie’s eating and weight issues, they fail to pay any attention to Sarah, who had recently broken up with the boy she loves, and who is dealing with her anxiety getting even worse.
The book is told from both Annie and Sarah’s points of view, and while Sarah’s chapters are narrative and explain in great detail what is going on in her life, Annie’s chapters are written in a poetry like verse, and each chapter in the book is a raw, emotional portrayal of what each girl is going through.
Sarah is busy trying to deal with her anxiety, her sadness from her breakup with her boyfriend, her neglectful parents…and at the same time, she is focused on figuring out what is going on with her sister, and trying to help uncover the reason that she has changed so much. Annie is working hard to hide her secret and protect those around her, but problems at school, her mother’s constant nagging over her new appearance (including her mother telling her that she needed to wear a black dress to look thinner, and that she used to be so pretty when she was thin), and her sister’s worry are causing her to break, little by little.
Truthfully, this book wasn’t bad or anything, and the writing style was a welcome change from just plain narrative writing (I enjoyed Annie’s chapters more than Sarah’s because of the different writing style). I had a difficult time connecting to the characters in this book, however. It might be because the book was somewhat short (it was told in the span of one week, with sections marked for each day), or maybe it was just because I didn’t feel like I got to know the characters (and aside from Sarah and Annie, the rest of the people in the book seemed distant and uninteresting).
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Harper Collins BookLook program in exchange for an honest review.