"A gripping tale of suspense, secrets, and the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood." —Karen M. McManus, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying
If you loved The Third Twin and One of Us Is Lying and binge-watched Thirteen Reasons Why, get ready for a heart-wrenching psychological thriller about a girl who knows her twin sister better than anyone . . . or does she? Taut and atmospheric, The Window will keep you guessing until the end.
Secrets have a way of getting out. . . .
Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside—it's hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.
Or so Jess thought.
After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess's life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn't add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?
Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it's a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she's looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.
Because Anna wasn't the only one with secrets.
"Layered and compelling, The Window is a fast-paced mystery anchored by a bold and intriguing protagonist, and you won’t want to put it down until you’ve uncovered every last one of its secrets!" —Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving
"Lyrical and haunting, with plenty of twists that kept me reading long into the night.” —Kara Thomas, author of The Darkest Corners
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Amelia Brunskill lives in Chicago with her husband and her dog, Max the corgi. She is a librarian who drinks excessive amounts of tea and does not always return her books on time. The Window is her first novel. You can visit Amelia online at ameliabrunskill.com and on Twitter at @ameliab.
Read an Excerpt
I was inspecting my socks when they called my name.
It was first-period gym class, and I’d just realized that my socks were entirely wrong. They were long and pulled up straight to midcalf, while those of every other girl in the room were short, barely visible above their sneakers.
There were obviously unwritten sock protocols. They probably weren’t even new—most likely I was only catching up three months into my sophomore year. Good at school, bad at life. That could be my slogan. Anna might get a kick out of that, even if she’d pretend to disagree.
Mrs. Hayes, the school counselor, was standing inside the door of the gym, her hands locked in front of her, her back rigid. The gym teacher, Ms. Turner, stood beside her. Ms. Turner looked strange. It took a second before I realized why—her face lacked its trademark scowl. Its absence worried me, but what worried me more was that she appeared to be indicating that I should leave class and go with Mrs. Hayes.
“Jess, please come with me,” Mrs. Hayes said.
I got up slowly, to see if Ms. Turner would object. She did not.
Mrs. hayes and I left the gym together and walked through the long, cool hallways. The pea-green lockers and yellow linoleum floors contributed to the schoolwide symphony of poor color choices. I felt a little nauseous.
Mrs. Hayes kept glancing at me as we walked, as though she suspected I might suddenly make a break for it.
It seemed like she should say something to me, something reassuring, but she said nothing, not even where we were going. I tried to think what this might be about, tried to remember if my parents had mentioned any recent health problems in either set of my grandparents. I didn’t think they had, not beyond the usual. Anna would know, though; Anna paid attention.
We turned a corner and I saw Principal Stevens standing outside her office, looking toward us. As usual, everything about her seemed intentional: her fitted gray blazer, her crisp white shirt, her dark hair, which fell in a straight, glossy bob. She motioned us inside.
My dad sat in her office, slumped in a chair. When he saw me, he jerked upright, as if he’d been pulled by invisible strings. His face was taut and his mouth vibrated at the edges.
“What’s going on?” I asked. “What happened?”
“Jess,” he said, staring at me. “You should sit down.”
I shook my head. “No,” I said. “I want to stand.”
He closed his eyes. “Jess. Please sit.”
There was a gravity to what he said, a gravity that pulled me into a chair.
“There was an accident, we think, and . . .” His voice faltered and then he started again.
“I’m so sorry. . . .”
More words followed, a stream of them. They didn’t make any sense.
I heard his words individually. Anna. Fell. Bad. Sorry. They didn’t—couldn’t—connect with each other. It was as if they were part of a riddle I couldn’t decipher. Fell, bad, Anna, sorry. Sorry, Anna, fell, bad.
Eventually, they slotted together. And I knew he was wrong. He was wrong because it couldn’t be true. I would have known. I would have known from the moment I woke up, from the second it happened.
“You’re wrong,” I said, rising from my chair.
He began to stand up. “Jess . . .”
“No,” I said, as calmly as I could. “You’re wrong. I’d know if anything happened to her. She’ll be in class right now. You’ll see.”
He opened his mouth again, but I didn’t hear what he had to say.
the cool air of the hallway felt good on my skin. The office had been way too warm. The thermostat must have been broken or set incorrectly. Such overheating was careless, environmentally irresponsible. It couldn’t be good for the principal either, or for the crispness of her shirts.
A hum started in my brain: Anna, bad, fell—
No, everything was fine. We would laugh about this later, and everything would be fine. Completely fine.
Anna would be in history right now. I’d go there and she’d be at her desk. I walked faster, trying to outpace the hum in my brain.
I was almost running by the time I reached the classroom. I looked through the window in the door, knowing it had all been some bizarre mistake, knowing I’d see her there, sitting with one hand cupped under her chin, staring at the trees outside.
I searched for her among the sea of faces in the room.
I went through them all. Once, twice. Three times.
She wasn’t there.
There was only an empty desk.
There had been no mistake. It was true, true after all.
Anna, my sister, my twin, was dead.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A really engaging murder mystery with an authentic main character. Definitely found myself guessing along the way. Beautiful writing. An all-around great read for fans of ONE OF US IS LYING.
Sitting in the backyard with dappled shadows crossing the last page of Amelia Brunskill's young aduly mystery The Window, I sigh with satisfaction. This quick read is an intricately plotted tale of crime and cover-ups that keeps beckoning a reader to guess along with the book's protagonist Jess. Quick synopsis with no plot secrets: Anna, the identical twins of Jess, was an outgoing teen with secrets that come out only after her death. Jess cannot fathom that her sister fell from her bedroom window, so she covertly begins trying to unravel the mystery of her sister'site death. Brunskill has created a memorable character in Jess because she is an odd girl whom you want to find the answers she seeks regarding her twin sister's death. Much a loner who had usually only interacted with her twin, Jess lives in her head much of the time, hates to be touched, and is seen as an eccentric young lady. Out of necessity if she is to find answers, Jess is forced to find the clues about her sister's secret life by joining track, engaging with classmates who might have known Anna better, and covertly stalking a teacher. Wow, there is no label put on Jess, so I won't do that either, suffice to say she is 'an odd girl.' Adults often have little clue about the true lives of high school students, but Brunskill has tapped into completely into the biosphere of the teens in the small town of Birdsong, Montana, that she has birthed in this book. My rating is really a 4.5 because the last 15-20 pages seem a bit too rushed for my liking, but that does not diminish how outstanding this book is for a young adult mystery debut. I would recommend parents of teens pick this book up as a family summer read because a number of serious issues are woven into the fabric of this mystery and could provide some thoughtful discussions in a non-threatening way.
I tore through THE WINDOW by Ameila Brunskill! Following her twin's sudden death, everyone wants Jess to grieve, and then move on. But it's not that simple. While her parents, the police, and her community readily accept the easiest explanation for Anna's death, Jess alone can see that all the pieces don't quite fit, and she is driven by a hunger to solve the mystery behind why her twin really died. I'm such a sucker for sibling relationships, teens who take control when the adults in their lives don't step up, lovely writing, and dark twists, and Brunskill delivers on all fronts!