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Gemini
by Sonya Mukherjee


Overview - In a powerful and daring debut novel, Sonya Mukherjee shares the story of sisters Clara and Hailey, conjoined twins who are learning what it means to be truly extraordinary.

Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins, Clara and Hailey, have lived in the same small town their entire lives--no one stares at them anymore.  Read more...


 
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More About Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee
 
 
 
Overview
In a powerful and daring debut novel, Sonya Mukherjee shares the story of sisters Clara and Hailey, conjoined twins who are learning what it means to be truly extraordinary.

Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins, Clara and Hailey, have lived in the same small town their entire lives--no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence and they're slowing becoming more apparent. Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sister's, and figure out what it means to be her own person.

Told in alternating perspectives, this unconventional coming-of-age tale shows how dreams can break your heart--but the love between sisters can mend it.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781481456777
  • ISBN-10: 1481456776
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: July 2016
  • Page Count: 336
  • Reading Level: Ages 13-17
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - Siblings
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Special Needs
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - New Experience

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-05-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Clara and Hailey are tired of their small community in Bear Pass, Calif. Though their parents have shielded them from outsiders and instilled in them a sense of normalcy, the twins question whether their limited world is enough. When astronomy-loving Clara meets new classmate Max, she is instantly intrigued. Encouraged by her artistic, pink-haired sister, Clara pursues Max while Hailey pursues Alek, a fellow art student. With dating, dances, and college on the horizon, the girls wrestle with what is possible and whether the world beyond Bear Pass will accept them. After confrontations with fellow classmates, the twins recognize their own fears and misconceptions, leading them to consider whether they are better off together or apart. Writing in the distinct voices of both Hailey and Clara, debut author Mukherjee chronicles multiple aspects of life as a conjoined twin. Each sister’s selflessness toward the other is stirring, but Mukherjee’s descriptions (“we scuttled down the ramp”) can occasionally suggest spectacle at the expense of story. Though uplifting, the ending feels overly convenient, undermining the nuances of conjoined identity explored. Ages 14–up. Agent: Steven Chudney, Chudney Agency. (July)

 
BookPage Reviews

Bound by more than sisterly love

BookPage Teen Top Pick, August 2016

Hailey and Clara are conjoined at the hip, back-to-back, with guts “as tangled together as a vat of discarded Christmas tree lights, and partially fused.” Beyond that, they are normal 17-year-old sisters, with loving parents and good friends. But it’s pretty hard for people to look beyond that. Despite the pains their parents took to raise them in rural California, away from gawkers and media hounds, Hailey and Clara know they are not normal. If Hailey were normal, for instance, she could go to the art summer intensive in San Francisco. She wouldn’t need to worry about Clara’s terror of new places, where people stare and point phones and make the same unoriginal, lewd comments. Clara, for her part, is beginning to wonder about surgical separation, because what guy would want a girl with a sister on her back? 

With her debut novel, Sonya Mukherjee sensitively envisions how two conjoined sisters grow through their high school years. As each twin narrates alternating chapters, readers quickly understand that Hailey and Clara are different people. Hailey is sarcastic and arty, while Clara dreams of constellations to explore. And yet the intimacy of their relationship, the way they have learned to walk together, to sit and sleep together, is extraordinary. Nothing is easily resolved here. There are achingly huge decisions and risks ahead for the twins.

This is recommended reading for fans of thought-provoking novels such as Luanne Rice’s The Secret Language of Sisters or Amélie Sam’s I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister.

 

Diane Colson is the Library Director at City College in Gainesville, Florida.

This article was originally published in the August 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews