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Beautiful Lies
Cover of Beautiful Lies
Beautiful Lies

Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare form of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they've lived with since their parents passed away when the girls were nine, can't tell them apart. The sisters are connected by an intense bond that goes way beyond their surfaces and borders on the supernatural: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of stress, too. So when troubled Alice disappears mysteriously one night, good-girl Rachel knows something is wrong-especially when Rachel starts experiencing serious physical traumas, even though nobody has touched her.

What Rachel can't tell anyone is that she and Alice sometimes switched places, reveling in the possibility of being the "good one" or the "bad one" for a day. And that Rachel . . . is really Alice, continuing to masquerade as her twin. So then, what happened to her sister? Could whoever abducted her sister really have meant to take her, instead? And can she find the real Rachel before it's too late for both of them?

Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare form of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they've lived with since their parents passed away when the girls were nine, can't tell them apart. The sisters are connected by an intense bond that goes way beyond their surfaces and borders on the supernatural: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of stress, too. So when troubled Alice disappears mysteriously one night, good-girl Rachel knows something is wrong-especially when Rachel starts experiencing serious physical traumas, even though nobody has touched her.

What Rachel can't tell anyone is that she and Alice sometimes switched places, reveling in the possibility of being the "good one" or the "bad one" for a day. And that Rachel . . . is really Alice, continuing to masquerade as her twin. So then, what happened to her sister? Could whoever abducted her sister really have meant to take her, instead? And can she find the real Rachel before it's too late for both of them?

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  • Library copies:
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Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.6
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

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About the Author-
  • JESSICA WARMAN is the author of Breathless, Where the Truth Lies, and Between, which have received six starred reviews among them. Between was published in a total of twelve countries around the world. Jessica has an MA in creative writing and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. www.jessicawarman.com

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 20, 2012
    Warman (Between) crafts an entertaining, if sometimes meandering mystery with a swipe of Dumas's The Corsican Brothers. Eighteen-year-olds Alice and Rachel are "monochorionic monoamniotic" twins: they shared an amniotic sac and placenta. Not only are they identical, but they are also so close that they can feel one another's pain and emotions. They have posed as each other plenty of times, with studious Rachel often helping volatile Alice with her class work or taking a reprimand for her following one of Alice's wild nights. When Rachel goes missing while they have swapped identities, Alice has to keep up the pretense, even as she suffers the physical pains being inflicted upon her sister. Warman's unsettling narrative moves at a slow, deliberate pace with extensive focus on extraneous details; as Alice's world disintegrates into confusion and crisis, readers will question her reliability. Attention to secondary characters (notably the girls' aunt, and their friend Kimber) adds realistic dimension, and despite superfluous supernatural elements and a story line that leaves much unexplained, the novel's tension and pervasive sense of dread should captivate readers. Ages 12–up. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2012
    Alice and Rachel are even closer than most identical twins, having shared a single amniotic sac in utero and a psychic bond ever since. After their parents' death in a car accident, the twins were raised by their mother's twin sister and her husband, but lately they have taken very different paths while remaining deeply intertwined. Cautious, responsible Rachel, a good student, looks out for reckless, out-of-control Alice, who shares their mother's artistic and perhaps other gifts. When Alice vanishes, Rachel is overcome with a sense of dread and menace; she knows something bad has happened to her twin, but family, police and friends are less certain. But all is not as it seems in this claustrophobic, corkscrew-plotted world. As the title makes clear, readers are in unreliable-narrator territory. The twins, whose genetic legacy includes profound mental illness, trade places and keep secrets from each other. While failing to draw all loose threads into a neat bundle, the ending mostly makes sense and readers willing to be kept in the dark, even manipulated, in the service of a dynamic plot will enjoy the twists and turns. It's the twins' culturally barren, dreary yet violent world--a realm of broken dreams--that resonates most in this haunting, moody, character-driven thriller. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2012

    Gr 8 Up-In this paranormal thriller, Alice goes missing from her identical twin, Rachel, and some friends at a carnival. Orphaned at age 9, the 18-year-olds have a supernatural connection: each can feel physical trauma experienced by the other. When Rachel arrives home alone, she begs Aunt Sharon and Uncle Jeff to alert the police immediately about Alice's disappearance, certain that her sister has been harmed. Their guardians choose not to panic, and cite Alice's criminal record and unpredictable behavior, but after Rachel discovers that she has a head wound, they agree to act. Rachel's forebodings are fraught with memory lapses and visions, quickly revealing her to be an unreliable narrator. When she divulges that there is a stolen duffle bag containing $10,000 under her bed and that she has a history of switching places with her twin, the story becomes increasingly confusing. Red herrings abound with potential abductors, including a mysterious artist-boyfriend; a nosy boy next door; a shady restaurant boss; Homeless Harvey, the creepy town lurk-about; and others. The paranormal elements add suspense and seem easier to digest than the notion that close friends and relatives would be unable to tell these twins apart, given their polar personalities. Two minor characters-developmentally delayed cousin Charlie and bighearted friend Kimber-are well developed and empathetic, adding stability to the wandering plot. However the payoff of all the confusion is dramatic: a bombshell ending that readers won't see coming.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Jessica Warman
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