Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publication date: August 26th, 2008
Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.
For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?
Even if you don't like books written in poetry form, I think you'll love Ellen Hopkins' books. I've read all of her other titles (except for Glass) and thought they were amazing, and this one is no exception. It's told in a sort of free verse poetry form, which makes reading it take less time than you'd expect for such a thick book. And it still manages to have a lot of depth. Identical was especially thought-provoking, and I'm still kind of trying to piece it all together in my head. I can't say too much without ruining the book, but there's a huge twist at the end. The kind that makes you want to read the whole book over again, now that you have that new piece information. The kind that makes you see the whole story in a different sort of light and you can't quite wrap your head around it until you've had time to digest it. I LOVE it!
Then of course, as in her other books, there are the lovely sort of hidden messages within the pages. Like leaving certain words out to the side, so that when you read only those words, it forms another sentence. If you've read any of her books, you'll already know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, I suggest you go read them so you can find out what I'm talking about. I think it's pretty cool, especially in Identical. Because the book was narrated by each of the twins taking turns, when it would switch from one to the other, the same hidden (well not really HIDDEN, but I can't think of a better word) message that was on the last page of one's point of view would be on the first page of the other's.
It was just kind of incredible how the whole book came together and left your head somewhat spinning at the end. If Identical sounds at all interesting to you, definitely pick up a copy. You won't regret it.
Overall grade: A+