Wednesday, August 15, 2012
BEAUTIFUL LIES by JESSICA WARMAN (Goodreads)
Publisher: Walker & Company
Source: ARC from BEA (Thanks!)
Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they've lived with since their parents passed away, can't tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong-especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself?
The feeling that I got while reading BEAUTIFUL LIES was similar to how The Lovely Bones and The Butterfly Clues made me feel - a combination of fascinated and horrified, afraid of what would be revealed but unable to stop my curiosity. This combination of emotions definitely heightened my experience of the book, and I truly think that JESSICA WARMAN has created a book that I just could not set down.
Twins Rachel and Alice are the main characters of BEAUTIFUL LIES and while they're completely identical in appearance, their personalities are as different as night and day. Rachel's the good one, responsible, studious, behaved, while Alice is the epitome of a teen acting out, with the drinks and the drugs and the running away. In spite of that, the twins are extremely close and sensitive to each other's presence - so when one twin goes missing, the other knows straightaway that something's off.
I've always been fascinated by twins and a big believer in the connection that exists between them. This book explored that kind of connection, the special "twin-tuition", and that was part of the reason I was so fascinated by it. I was amazed to see how strong the connection between Alice and Rachel was; it blew my mind how incredibly physical it could get at times. It was mind-boggling, and I'm still not sure I completely believe it, but it was definitely an appealing aspect of the story.
The mystery that lingers - where has she gone? - left a sour taste in my mouth, but not in an off-putting way. Stories of when girls go missing scare me a little sometimes, and this was no exception. As I read, I was shaken and worried and panicking; but there was also a part of me so removed from the situation that I was actually shaking my head and thinking, "This is crazy!"
And true enough, the way it plays out and the things that occur on the way there were just extremely nuts. I went up and down so many times while reading this book, and though it was mentally exhausting, I found I couldn't stop. I was too curious about how things were going to end for the twins! And even the ending left me feeling shaken and unsettled.
With a mystery this irresistible, it is impossible to not want to stick around until the end of BEAUTIFUL LIES. Though I certainly felt confused and shaken by parts of the book, I feel that it was part of the author's intention in making the plot and the conclusion as mysterious as possible (though I will say I had an idea about a certain character that later proved to be true!). BEAUTIFUL LIES is a book that you won't want to put down until you find out what happens to Alice and Rachel -and that is the true beauty of this book that JESSICA WARMAN has written.