Twin sisters Kelsey and Michelle Maxfield look identical but they couldn't be more different. Kelsey is the captain of the dance team and loves her cute college boyfriend, Davis. Michelle is a free-spirited artist and flits from one guy to the next, the latest a soldier recently deployed to Afghanistan. Despite their differences, Kelsey and Michelle can't live without each otheruntil, in an instant, everything changes.
When Michelle dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. As the only one who knows about her sister's boyfriend, Peter, Kelsey takes it upon herself to find him and tell him what happened to Michelle. But when she finally connects with Peter online, he thinks that Kelsey is Michelle and says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey can't bear to break his heart with the truth, so she lets Peter believe that she is Michelle.
Kelsey keeps up the act, pretending to be her sister, and soon she can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.
Lara Avery delivers a breathtaking story of love and loss that is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Product dimensions:||8.30(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.30(d)|
|Age Range:||15 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Lara Avery is an editor at Revolver and the author of Anything But Ordinary, which Booklist praised for its "tender and lyrical prose." Raised in Kansas, where A Million Miles Away is set, she now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I want to thank Poppy for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review. I love the theme of this story: girl loses her identical twin but is reluctant to tell said twin's boyfriend (who is far away) that she has died. Kelsey's sister, Michelle, is dating Peter. When Peter gets deployed and Michelle dies, Kelsey finds herself in the position of having to tell Peter the news. But she just can't bring herself to do it. And that's when things get out of hand and she can't go back to put them right. I will say I didn't love Kelsey's character. While she is supposed to be less self-centered than Michelle, I don't find that to be the truth as the story progresses. I actually hate that she keeps so many secrets. I hate more that she gets away with them. At the same time, I understand her need to keep Michelle's spirit alive. I cannot fathom to understand how it would feel to loose a sibling, let alone a twin. It must be like having part of yourself ripped away. So, while I didn't agree with Kelsey's actions, I kind of understood how they could have come about. I really loved Peter's character. The fact that Kelsey (who he thinks is Michelle) keeps him going while he's deployed is sweet and endearing. He's a good guy, which is a nice turn from the bad boys we see in so many of these types of books. It's no wonder Kelsey felt the need to keep him safe. I think the ending of this book was probably my favorite part. The fact that things come to a head and there is drama about it made it feel all the more real. At first I didn't think things would turn out the way they did, but I was happy when Kelsey was eventually held accountable for her actions. Overall I liked this book. It's not a typical romance, seeing as the character are so far away from each other. It almost has that Sleepless in Seattle feel with the two characters being so far apart. Fans of contemporary romance will enjoy this melancholy and heart twisting story.
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free. I wanted to read A Million Miles away because losing your twin sister has to make for an emotional read. Then she makes the decision to pretend to be her sister because she begins falling for Michelle's boyfriend who is in the military. The book does have us briefly beet Michelle before she died, and it did set up that the sisters were close, but also that they fought physically and that it was up and down. Michelle is an artist and more dreamy than Kelsey, and she seemed to attract lost souls, and would always fall back on Kelsey when they didn't work out. Kelsey is athletic and seems to be more popular. But when she meets and talks to Peter the day Michelle died, the day that he shipped out to Afghanistan, she is surprised by how much she likes him, and he seems genuine, their relationship making Michelle happy instead of it seeming like a project. Peter really seemed to care for her as well. I connected with Kelsey because her grief at losing Michelle was a lot like my grief losing my dad. She didn't all out bawl and be emotional in the outside. She felt kind of numb, like it wasn't real almost. Then she felt a lot of physical pain and her emotional pain manifested in withdrawing. She did eventually start crying about everything, which I guess is where our similarities end. She was helping her mom delete Michelle's facebook account when she got the first message from Peter. She had intended to tell him, she even went to a recruiting office to try to get word to him, and that is when she realized she didn't even know his last name. And oh how it's wrong, but she feels like she misses Michelle just a little bit less when she is talking to him. And she doesn't want to hurt him or distract him, she really did worry about his safety. But more and more, she realizes how much she cares about him, and she rationalizes not telling him, more and more. I appreciated that this book dealt with grief in a number of ways, showing how it effected Kelsey differently than her parents, and how they dealt with it in numbers, hosting a support group at their house, and talking it out. It was kinda sad because it felt like Kelsey was lost to them they were so caught up in losing Michelle and trying to deal with that. But their eyes were finally opened again to their living daughter, and a good balance was found in remembering the loss of Michelle and trying to live life instead of it passing them by. One of Kelsey's friends did find out what she was doing with Peter, and they had a pretty big blow out. But I did appreciate that her friend spoke the truth to her, but it was sad that they stopped hanging out and talking for awhile. But eventually they repaired the breach, and made their friendship solid again. A Million Miles Away seemed realistic not only in the grief part, but in what Peter shared while he was deployed. His letters, skype sessions, and when they were in person, he shared the difficulties he faced. He lost some in his unit, and he was afraid, and didn't want to go back, but at the same time felt that drive and loyalty to the others he served with. He dealt with the things that they tried to desensitize the soldiers to otherwise they could lose their minds. He developed muscle memory and had issues back home with louder
Another title this weekend from a YA perspective and a heavy dose of grief. Sure, there are more issues here: honesty, motivations and even the search to redefine oneself after a major world-shift, but those are the essentials. Laura Avery has a lovely poetic writing style: her characters are developed with care and reveal little pieces of themselves gradually, allowing insight into motivations and choices in a way that wouldn’t have worked otherwise. But a very tenuous grip on plausibility / believability just missed the mark for me. Kelsey and Michelle had seen Peter off to his deployment in Afghanistan the morning before Michelle’s death. With the death of Michelle, the existence of Peter as Michelle’s boyfriend is not even on Kelsey’s radar. She’s too busy dealing with her own grief and what ifs. A skype connection from Peter, who instantly mistakes Kelsey for Michelle, and shares that her memory is all that keeps him alive and we are off and running. While Kelsey’s motivations are understandable to some extent, her willingness to allow Peter to confuse her with her now dead sister just threw up all sorts of warning bells for me. Described as polar opposites, and from Kelsey’s searching and memories about her sister, it’s not as if she was completely at home with all things Michelle, Peter never notices a difference. That just confused me – how can she have JUST met him, know nothing about him, and then suddenly become her sister so completely that Peter (no matter his stress) can’t see it? It just didn’t work. The façade continues, Kelsey as Michelle, until Kelsey starts to find she has feelings for Peter. Again – I can’t help but think that it was convenient and contrived – where the blurring of her own thoughts and feelings become her sister’s. The steps that Kelsey took to ‘discover’ more were intriguing, and the memories shared showed the sublimation of Kelsey’s own desires and likes in the quest to deal with her grief. Now, even with the overlay of fairy tale to this story, I was intrigued. While the progression of the story is predictable after that first initial deception, the relationship progresses as expected, with Kelsey’s entanglement in the lie, in Peter and in her own single-minded determination to know her dead sister becomes all consuming, but never boring. A story that is a mildly angsty read that will entertain but expects a great suspension of disbelief from readers, this read will entertain and amuse while in the pages. Avery’s voices and characters are well crafted, reasons behind choices are accessible if not comfortable or acceptable. When does a lie in support of a reason thought logical and right at the time of the first telling become just a lie? I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
This has to be one of the most predictable books that I have ever read. When I read the blurb for a book, I usually make some kind of guess about where I think the story will eventually go. I like it when my guess is completely wrong because that means the book took a lot of unexpected twists and turns. I like twists and turns. I also like it when my guess is kind of right and the story ends how I thought it would but the way it happened was completely different than anything I could have imagined. This book told the exact story that I had guessed it would. After finishing the book, I decided to a very small survey. I had my 14 year old daughter read the blurb and asked her how she thought the story would end and she nailed it. I then decided to really shake things up so I asked my husband the same thing. My husband NEVER picks up a book and is probably the exact opposite of the target audience and you know what...he knew how this book would end too. I need a little bit of unexpected to fully enjoy a story. I didn't hate the book but I don't feel like I gained anything by reading it. I really didn't feel anything for any of the characters and found every single one of the be rather flat. There was never any kind of stand out moment in the book that hit me emotionally. This is the kind of book that I will most likely forget about before too long. Unfortunately, I would not recommend this book to other readers. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - Poppy via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.