I received a copy from Netgalley.
I snagged a copy of this book from one of those 'read it now for the first 500 member' emails. I hardly ever get those and the sweping romance the email seemed to be saying what this book was appealed immediately . Plus, I have a weakness for twin novels.
However, this is a hard one to review. I didn't hate it, but I didn't particularly like it that much either. It wasn't terribly written or anything like that. There were some scenes that were quite emotional. The small town setting was pretty good and easy to picture, there were no horrible or unreasonable characters.
But it still didn't work for me. I think it was because I didn't like a lot of Kelsey's actions. She did too much that I felt was wrong and didn't seem to understand what she did was wrong.
The story focuses on twin sisters Kelsey and Michelle. Michelle is the more serious twin, Kelsey is on the dance team and the party girl. Michelle was an art lover and had recently started seeing a guy who went into the military, Peter. Kelsey had a chance meeting with Peter at a party. Then he goes into active duty. Back home in the U.S. there is a terrible accident and Michelle dies.
Kelsey and her family struggle to continue with her lives. At first it felt like the whole thing was moving too quickly, there was a party and a few conversations between the twins and the sudden revelation that Michelle has been seeing this guy Peter and it could be something epic. Then there's an accident Michelle's gone and Kelsey is taking over her identity when has a Skype call from Peter overseas. There were some very moving moments when Kelsey is numb from grief and can't handle what happened. So in a way, it's kind of understandable why she pretended to be Michelle when Peter called.
But she keeps doing it. She answers emails and letters all the while trying to figure out how to pretend to be Michelle when Peter is talking to her. She can't bring herself to tell him the truth and through this deception, she gets to know Peter. Peter is a sweetheart, he's a kind, loving guy doing his duty for his country talking to someone he thinks is his girlfriend and he doesn't know it's her twin sister and Michelle is gone. Kelsey tries constantly to figure out how to tell him but can't do it because, unsurprisingly, she's falling in love with Peter. But an added problem, she has a boyfriend of her own she has been seeing for three years.
There are some pretty fun scenes while Kelsey and Peter continue to talk and develops there relationship and there is some deep emotion filtered into the novel as Kelsey struggles with her feelings about Michelle's death, what she's doing with Peter, also graduation, her own boyfriend and a million other things. But most of it comes second to the connection with Peter that's consuming her.
I just couldn't get on board with it. SHe has plenty of opportunities to tell the truth but every time something happens and she can't do it. One of her friends finds out and is furious with her, and Kelsey doesn't seem to get it. Even her mother finds out and tells her point blank she did something wrong and cruel she doesn't seem to get it even though her mother makes her say the words.
Everyone seems to forgive Kelsey a little too quickly. Even when the truth comes out to Peter the way he handles it made me think good, finally. She's going to be forced to deal with it, but then, other things happen and I was left rolling my eyes. She was a little too perfect (without being perfect) in a weird way and it was a bit too much for me.
While I certainly liked the style of the writing, I would definitely read something by this author again.