A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A little information on DNA evidence, especially regarding twins. Some detail on how criminal investigations are handled.
Trust your instincts -- for example, don't let other people talk you into doing things you’re not comfortable doing. Tell the truth. Don't betray the trust others put in you.
Positive Role Models
Lexi's friend Zane is a grounding presence, offering her help and good advice when she's most in need. Defense attorney Ms. Alvarez is strong, smart, and calming; she works to help Lexi and doesn't talk down to her.
Violence & Scariness
Attempted rape. Many instances of a character grabbing, restraining, or pushing someone. Fistfight resulting in minor bloodshed. Two characters push each other hard: one into a wall, the other into a sink. Descriptions of bloody murder scenes and how victims were murdered with a knife.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Making out. Kissing. Making out in underwear. Implied sex between two teens when a parent isn't home. Girls place heavy emphasis on appearing sexy to boys.
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Swear words used, but not frequently, including "pissed," "a--hole," "f--k" and its variations, "bitch," "ass," "s--t," "Jesus," "p---y," "God," "bastard," and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pot shown in ashtray, but character not shown smoking. Teens drink at a huge keg party.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Third Twin is a murder mystery involving twins Lexi and Ava and a fake third sister, Alicia. When the twins were little, they created Alicia to take the fall for their misdeeds. Now teenagers, they have revived the character of Alicia and use her as an alter ego to go out with boys they wouldn't normally date. When the boys start turning up dead, the evidence points toward one of the twins -- or quite possibly to the imaginary "third twin" Alicia. Characters lie and sneak out of the house. There are many instances of characters pushing, grabbing, and restraining others. Very little alcohol or drug use. Characters swear (including "f--k" and "s--t") but not frequently. Bloody murder scenes are depicted, and murder methods are described.
Is It Any Good?
THE THIRD TWIN has an interesting, compelling premise: Boys who've dated Alicia, the alter ego of twins Lexi and Ava, are murdered, always after a falling out with one of the girls. All evidence points to one of the twins -- and maybe even to the one that doesn't exist. The paranoia and fear Lexi experiences is palpable. Lexi is a likable narrator, but the book offers no real character development, and most of the secondary characters are one-dimensional. And for a supposedly smart kid, Lexi makes a lot of stupid decisions, consistently and constantly. That flaw starts to grate by the end of the book.
The story starts slowly, but at the halfway point it picks up steam and offers a fast-paced whodunit. It's fun to read, especially when you're trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together, and the ending has a surprise twist. But, unfortunately, that twist is a little out of the blue and comes with a rushed explanation.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.