Mukherjee, Sonya Gemini, 324 pages.Simon & Schuster, 2016. $17.99. Language: R(69 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: G.
Hailey and Clara are normal, high school seniors. Normal, unless you count being conjoined at the buttocks. Hailey is an aspiring artist, who would love a chance at the summer art program at Golden Gate Arts campus. But she is held back because of her love for her sister, Clara, who is an aspiring astronomer, but also scared to leave the sheltered confines of small town life. But as love and life hit them each in different ways, Clara starts to wonder what life would be like without having to be together 24-7.
This book, written from both perspectives, is a great coming-of-age novel, as the girls seek freedom to explore their own ideas, ultimately realizing that they don’t want to be independent of each other, but that they can be independent together. Every chapter in this book switches which one of the girls is narrating, and it can take a while to remember who is who. But by the end of the book, I felt like I knew these girls and that the story they told could be the story of every teenager, trying to break free from Mom and Dad, and trying to figure out who he or she is. The author takes two girls with a noticeable difference, and helps all of us to see the importance of accepting who we are. The story felt very real; the language seemed normal for a high school setting. There was one incredibly, vulgar sexual reference but it was handled by the author as an inappropriate way to talk, and not at all laughable by the reader.
HS – ADVISABLE, MS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: J. Rosskopf