Monday, October 12, 2015

We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

Title: We'll Never Be Apart
Author: Emiko Jean
HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date:
Oct 6, 2015

The Gist:



That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.

Ok, non-spoilery part first:  Alice wakes in the mental ward; a place that is not unfamiliar to her.  She learns that the fire that burnt her also killed her boyfriend and that she is being charged.  She knows that it is her sister, Cellie, that set the fire and that she must be in the D wing, the only part of the hospital that Alice does not have access to.  She also knows that the only way to be free of Cellie's madness is to kill her.  She seeks out the aid of another patient, one who seems to know how to acquire the things she needs, and is cute to boot.  As she seeks out her sister and unravels her past, Alice comes to know far more than she ever realized about who Cellie is, and who that makes her.

The characters are interesting and there is a spark between Alice and Chase that is fun to watch.  The side characters are rather one dimensional (Alice's roommate is constantly described based on two things that she said on Alice's first day) and the Doctor has no personality whatsoever.  The narrative alternatives through the present and the past, using Alice's journals to tell the story of her, Cellie and Jason and how their lives brought them together and, eventually, into the hands of the law.  The story in the past is far more compelling than the present as the three bounce from foster home to foster home (some horrible, some tolerable, none "home") and how Cellie and Jason seem to have a dark connection to violence and fire.

The plot moves at a steady pace and does not lag in any particular areas.  HOWEVER, nearly all of this is completely negated by one, glaring, mistake:


I FEEL LIKE I HAVE READ THIS BOOK A HUNDRED TIMES.  If you didn't guess it from the first few pages, or even the synopsis: Cellie doesn't exist.  Yes folks, we have another "my violent twin sister is actually my alternative personality and I have NO FREAKING IDEA" plot twist.  I spent the entire book just hoping beyond hope that I was wrong.  Because I actually liked the rest of the story, I didn't want Jean to have gone down the SAME road as so many authors.  In fact, this is my third time this year writing a rant like this about the exact same plot! Come on! Give your readers some credit.  And publishers, give me a break.  There is no way that YOU haven't read this same plot before.  Stop publishing this crap and expecting readers to just forget that they have seen this time and time again. 

Bottom Line: Been done.  Don't bother.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

15 and up
Sex: Kissing, Sex between teenagers
Violence: Arson, Child Abuse, Animal Abuse
Inappropriate Language: Asshole, Cocksucker, Snatch, Bitch, Dick, Christ
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking, Marijuana Use


Post a Comment