Experimenting with genre, Mitchard (The Deep End of theOcean; All We Know of Heaven, Reviews, May 26) proffers the first of a projected trilogy about identical twins Mallory and Meredith, born two minutes apart-one on New Year's Eve, the other on New Year's Day. The two are perfect opposites, mirrors of each other; they share each other's dreams and feel each other's thoughts-until their 13th birthday, when they nearly die in a terrible fire that has been deliberately set. The fire leaves one of them scarred-they are no longer physically identical-and both of them endowed with psychic powers: one can see the future, the other far into the past. However familiar some of these elements, Mitchard uses them to conjure genuine horror in the form of a villain who begins by torturing neighborhood pets and graduates to murdering young women. The plot moves quickly, propelled by the mysteries of the sisters' relationship. Members of the target audience will be particularly vulnerable to the twins' heightened intimacy and extra-sensitive to any possibility of rupture; the girls' supernatural knowledge is a delicious bonus. Ages 12-up. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
. . . foreshadowing keeps the pages turning, and a closing speech from the girls' grandma indicate that the (the girls') extraordinary talents will be showcased in future volumes.
Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Twin sistersMerry and Mallorywere born two minutes apart on either side of midnight on New Year's Everesulting in not only separate birthdays but separate birth years. These two twins live with their family in the small town of Ridgeline, New York. The twins are night and day in personalities, although like many other twins, they are best friends and can communicate through telepathy. However, even though they might seem like any other set of twins, these twins are anything but ordinary. When the twins are about to turn thirteen years old, Mallory begins to have dreams about the future. Soon Merry begins to have dreams that confirm what happens in the past. With one twin trying to stop future events and the other trying to pick up the pieces of what she knows has happened, the twins must work together in order to save each other and their community. This supernatural book, with a detailed contemporary setting and a good hint of mystery, will have readers waiting for moreand the author does note that there are plans for two more "Midnight Twins" novels. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
Mitchard knows exactly how to write captivating, slightly melodramatic stories, and here is another one, with certain YA appeal. It is the start of a series about twin girls with psychic connections, Mallory and Meredith (Mally and Merry). They were born at midnight; Merry first, and Mally minutes later, but in the next yearhence the "midnight twins." They now, at 13, are leading quite different livesMerry, a cheerleader, tries to be popular, and has a crush on her friend's older brother David; Mally is more introspective, a soccer player, with at least one close friend, Drew, who is an older neighbor who understands her. That is the set up. The plot is riveting as the twins start having disturbing dreams and strange visions, foretelling danger, even death. The visions pull the twins together again; no one but their grandmother understands what haunts them because the visions have appeared to generations of women in their family, originating with their Native American ancestors. The pressure grows. A fire nearly kills them all. David, the boy Merry has a crush on, is revealed to be violent, a rapist. And David is the son of the twins' mother's best friend! When he comes after Merry, to kill her, the suspense is horrifying. The age of the twins shouldn't be a deterrent to older YAs since Merry and Mally are so different, so intelligent, and the plot is challenging, with many characters, including older teenagers and adults, essential to the story. This series will be a success. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
VOYA - Beth E. Andersen
Meredith and Mallory Brynn are mirror identical preteens born on either side of New Year's Eve. The inseparable girls communicate through a secret language. They share dreams and second sight but never clothes. On the eve of their thirteenth birthday, the girls are injured in an arson fire, scarring the hand of Meredith, thus severing their shared dreams. Now Mallory sees into the future whereas Meredith's visions are in the past. Together the girls realize that Meredith's crush, high schooler David, who is the son of their mother's best friend, is a demented psychopath who is spinning out of control. The twins are torn between fear of David and the paralyzing reality that their posse of grownups-save for Granny Gwenny who also shared the sight with her own twin sister-might as easily have them committed to a mental hospital as take their wild charges seriously if they tell. Mally and Merry choose instead to endanger themselves in their attempts to stop David, who has progressed to torturing animals and killing teen girls. This novel is not great literature, but Mitchard knows how to build tension. She has climbed with considerable agility into the lives and lingo of teen girls, thus providing, in this first of a projected series, a less creepy antidote to V. C. Andrews. Reviewer: Beth E. Andersen
School Library Journal
This is the first title (Razorbill, 2008) in a projected trilogy by Jacquelyn Mitchard about Meredith and Mallory, 13-year-old twins with extraordinary powers who discover that evil is residing in their own community and must decide how to fight it without revealing their powers. The girls are polar opposites in temperament and interests: Meredith is outgoing, popular, and a cheerleader, while Mallory is a quiet, introspective loner. After a disastrous fire in their town, Mallory can see into the past while Meredith can see the future. But can they harness this power to save their community? Emily Durante captures their initial innocence and then their growing confusion, frustration, and angst as outside forces seem to take over their lives, driving them apart. She passionately verbalizes Meredith's obsessions, subtly voices Mallory's bewilderment concerning what is happening to her and those around her. She slows the pace to describe feelings such as "power paired with grief" and quickens it as the villain continues to threaten the girls and their town. The calmness of their mother's voice accentuates the girl's tension and growing terror. While the story has a few loose ends, Durante's masterful reading makes them seem inconsequential. A captivating audiobook.-Edith Ching, Washington Latin Public Charter School, DC
A shamelessly manipulative chicklet-lit-cum-horror tale, first in a trilogy, from the famed author of the Oprah pick The Deep End of the Ocean (1996). In the New York State town of Ridgeline, where their families have lived for generations, the twins Mallory and Meredith were born on the opposite sides of midnight one New Year's Eve. On the New Year's Eve of their 13th birthdays, an arson fire injures both girls so badly that they no longer share their dreams or hear each other's thoughts. One twin gets terrifying glimpses of the future, the other of the past, in their world of soccer and cheerleading and pizzas at the mall. When an older boy tortures animals and almost rapes a girl, what the twins see-and do not see-twists their lives and leads to an absolutely predictable climax. Many cliches, cardboard characters and the hoary tropes of grandmotherly wisdom and benevolent female ancestors close but do not end the tale. Will teens eat it up? Possibly. (Fiction. 12 & up)