July 18, 2016 by Zoë
Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee follows the conjoined twins Hailey and Clara. The two have spent their whole lives in the small town of Bear Pass where they have managed to live fairly normal lives–or at least as normal as can be expected. However, they are now about to graduate from high school and everything is changing. Hailey wants to leave town and go to art school but Clara wants to continue on the same path they’ve always walked. With such different goals, can they find a compromise?
The emotional impact of being part of a pair of conjoined twins was addresses surprisingly well. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get into the story and understand the girls, but by the end of the book their emotions felt real and authentic.
A major part of the story, as makes sense for a book focused on teenage girls, is boys and how or if the girls can be in a relationship with a boy. However, I appreciated that this wasn’t the only focus of the story, but rather a facet of the larger journey that the girls took. The book isn’t about high school romance but is instead about gaining independence and making plans for the future. Are boys a part of that? Sure, but they’re not the only part of that or even necessarily the most important part. It’s easy for YA books to just focus on romance, but this book did not take the easy path.
A bit of insta-love. It was dealt with later and I was somewhat satisfied, but I have a hard time whenever a book features someone being instantly attracted to someone else after just having seen them. Maybe that happens in real life? I don’t know.
I definitely recommend checking this one out. First and foremost, it’s a book about growing up. There are unique aspects because the main characters are conjoined twins, but the themes of the book are more general than that and it’s easy both to connect to it and to enjoy it.
“Anyway, when the admissions lady came out to meet us in the waiting area, and she turned out to be Asian, there was this interval where I was so distracted by trying not to pay attention to her Asian-ness that I forgot to even notice how she was trying not to pay attention to our conjoinedness.”
I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley.