Ivy and Scarlet are identical twins — it’s almost impossible to tell them apart — but their interests and abilities differ. So when Scarlet is accepted into the prestigious Rookwood boarding school and Ivy does not, it comes as a blow but not a total surprise.
What does come as a surprise, however, is when Ivy is invited to take her sister’s place after Scarlet dies. When Ivy arrives at Rookwood, she learns she hasn’t earned her own spot; she’s expected to become Scarlet. But why? Why must Ivy think and act like her troublemaking twin rather than her shy self?
The more time Ivy spends at Rookwood, the more convinced she becomes that something sinister happened to her sister. Scarlet knew something was going down and took steps before her disappearance. Ivy finds pieces of Scarlet’s journal carefully hidden all over the school. It’s up to Ivy to find all the pieces and solve the puzzle before she becomes the next victim.
“The Lost Twin” is the first book in the Scarlet and Ivy series by Sophie Cleverly, which was first published in the U.K. The third book in the series is slated to come out in the U.K. in June.
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky was smart to pick up this series for the U.S. market. In “The Lost Twin” we meet Ivy who is shy and willing to stay in the background but who also has a keen intelligence and strong will of her own. Based on the journal entries and memories of other students, I don’t think I would have liked Scarlet as the main character; her more selfish nature makes her less likable, though somewhat entertaining.
Cleverly’s writing is accessible and pacing is brisk. While you do have to suspend some belief for the plot to work, if you’re able to, “The Lost Twin” moves along fairly well. It’s a fun read for its intended audience, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
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