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This is not the kind of book I would normally choose to read, but I got it free as part of a deal, so thought I may as well give it a go. It's by Bestselling author Virginia Andrews, and is the first in her 'Gemini' series of novels, and could be classified as a supernatural thriller.
The plot in a nutshell is that Celeste's twin brother Noble loses his life in a tragic accident, pushing their superstitious and spiritually inclined mother close to insanity. Determined to keep Noble 'alive' she forces Celeste to take on Noble's identity, pretending that Celeste was in fact the one who died. The real Celeste virtually disappears, only resurfacing when a boy moves in next door, stirring up wants and needs in Celeste that she is willing to risk her mother's wrath to rediscover. But this leads to terrible consequences.
The first thing that annoyed me about this book was the amount of unnecessary backstory that is given within the first few chapters. I found it all very long, boring and pointless to be perfectly honest, and the first few chapters could easily have been condensed into one without losing anything integral to the story, and it would have made it much less boring to read. I almost stopped reading after the first couple of chapters as there was simply nothing of interest happening at all, but I carried on for the sake of finishing it and seeing if it did turn out to be any good.
The characters are all well-rounded and fairly interesting, though there was no character in the book that I really felt anything for, which for me it's a sign of good writing if you feel sympathetic towards a character or feel you identify with them, but there was none of that here and the characters were not good enough to stop me feeling bored by the lack of interesting things going on.
It's only as it gets to around chapter 8 (of 18) that anything worthwhile seems to be going on in the story. It is quite interesting in places, and there were a few points throughout the book where I found I was actually wanting to read on to find out what happened, but then I was always disappointed by the predictability of it all. Everything I expected to happen did, and there were no twists or turns in the plot to keep my attention.
By the time I'd got to the end of the book I was really fed up and didn't really care about the outcome at all, but once I finished it I found myself annoyed that the ending was so pathetic. That's the only way I can describe it, it's like Andrews was as bored with the story as I was and just wanted to finish it off, so she just ended it without resolving anything or giving it any kind of big climax or cliffhanger ending. It was just really flat, like the rest of the book.
Aside from the irritatingly boring story, the thing that annoyed me the most about this book was the amount of spelling and grammar mistakes and typos. It's so badly littered with these mistakes that it made me wonder if it had even been proof-read at all. If I hadn't got the book for free I'd have been sending it back complaining that when I pay good money for a book I expect it to have been properly proof-read.
All in all I didn't think much of this book. As I mentioned earlier, it's not something I would normally have chosen to read, and it certainly hasn't convinced me to read any more of Andrews' novels or more from the same genre. I would not recommend it.