Book: Identical by Ellen Hopkins, Narrated by Laura Flanagan
Book Info: Published by HighBridge Company; Run Time: 8 hours, 42 minutes; downloaded from public library via Overdrive
Goodreads.com Summary: In the latest hard-hitting YA novel by the “New York Times” bestselling author, 16-year-old identical twin girls must come to terms with their abusive father.
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for Congress.
Everything on the surface of their lives seems Norman Rockwell perfect, but underneath run deep and damaging secrets.
Kaeleigh is the good girl-her father’s perfect flower, something she has tried so hard to be since she was nine and he started sexually abusing her. She cuts herself and vomits after every binge, desperate to feel something normal. R
aeanne uses painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb the pain of not being Daddy’s favorite. Both girls must figure out how to become whole, but how can they when their world has been torn to shreds?
I’m not sure what to think about this book. I really liked it, but at the same time, it was slightly twisted and somewhat disturbing. It got a little too descriptive at times, which made it hard to listen to, and yet, I could not stop listening.
The idea of twin sisters narrating the novel was interesting, but there were times when I couldn’t figure out who was narrating. I know they’re identical and all, but at the beginning, I couldn’t tell the two apart, so a little bit of variation in Flanagan’s voice would have been nice.
There was a point at the beginning of the novel where I wondered if they had a simply who died in the car accident that’s mentioned in the novel. But I dismissed that idea until the end, when I wondered if the twin thing was a hallucination. After all, the twins never interacted with each other, just their group of friends and their parents. I thought the ending was a not-so-surprising surpise. I wasn’t expecting Kaeleigh to be diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), but the fact that her other identity was her dead twin sister was not a surprise.
It felt like an easy way out, for that to be thrown in at the end. I will admit that it didn’t occur to me until the end of the book that there was something weird going on, and the ending was somewhat dissatisifying.
Something else that got old was the hinting at unrevealed secrets, but it did keep you reading, and you were never quite sure what was going on. A few ideas did come to mind, but I dismissed them as being too obvious. It was more predictable than I expected, but maybe that’s because I wasn’t expecting it to be so predictable.
As for the actual narration, I thought it worked really well as an audiobook. Other than not being able to distinguish between the 2 narrators at the beginning, Flanagan did do a good job narrating. There is something very poetic about the Hopkins writes and that translates well to being narrated.
Overall, it gets a 4 out of 5. I really liked it, and while there were a few issues I had with the book, it was really engrossing.