Parents' Guide to

Gemini

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Engaging story of conjoined twins dealing with teen drama.

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In this cute coming-of-age story, conjoined twins Clara and Hailey struggle with some normal and not-so-normal teen issues. The teen years are about separating from your parents and becoming your own person, and Gemini examines what that means for twins who are physically joined together. Author Sonya Mukherjee delves into the emotional connection between Hailey and Clara, and they mature over the course of the story from being self-focused to wanting what's best for each other. The girls are presented as having contrasting personalities: Clara dulls herself, feeling that they stand out enough as it is, while Hailey sports bright pink hair and a tattoo. Even though the story is told through alternating points of view, the twins' voices aren't distinct enough on the page, and it is sometimes hard to tell whose chapter is whose.

The format is formulaic, with the girls struggling with dating, feeling like outsiders, and not knowing what they want to do after high school, but the added complication of being conjoined twins heightens the emotional and logistical aspects of these teen issues. This proves especially true when dealing with their parents. It is hard not to sympathize with the worry and fear that consumes their mom, even if she goes overboard in protecting them. Clara and Hailey are engaging, smart characters and fun to hang out with over the course the book. The other characters are one-dimensional. One storyline that at first seemed to be a major plot point gets dropped completely about three-quarters of the way through. Aside from these minor issues, the book is a sweet, uplifting read.

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