Book Review: The Girl In The Mirror by Rose Carlyle

Title: The Girl In Mirror

Author: Rose Carlyle

Page Count: 296

Publication Date: 10/2020

Rating: 4/5 Stars

One of my favorite tropes in horror/thrillers are evil twins and doppelgängers. I think it goes back to an R.L. Stine book (not Goosebumps) I read in middle school about a girl who’s mirror image comes to life. I don’t remember the full story, and I can’t for the life of me find it, but I think the mirror convinces (or forces) the “real girl” to switch places. It’s funny; even though I can’t remember the book, I remember the impact enough to want to find it 15+ years later (damn I’m getting old).

I’m still searching by the way.

Anyway, when I saw The Girl In The Mirror on the Book of the Month site, it gave me instant (albeit vague) flashbacks to that story. Yes, this book is a bit different; this time, the “evil” girl in the mirror is made of flesh and the mirror image of her twin, but that fine; I don’t need a repeat of a childhood book. I just wanted a page-turner of a familiar theme I love, and this novel did not disappoint.

****

Summer and Iris are mirror twins and polar opposites. Summer is “the original,” at least that’s how Iris frames it. She’s the child her parents planned for, and she went on to have the life of Iris’ dreams.

Iris is (or believes she is) a cheap knockoff of her sister. Her life hasn’t fallen together as perfectly as Summer’s, but if there’s one thing she can do better than her sister, it’s sailing their family yacht. When Summer calls her on an emergency to set sail, Iris sees an opportunity for her to finally step out of her sister’s shadows.

Unfortunately, an accident puts Iris literally in Summer’s shoes, and she allows everyone to think she’s her.

You see how this can get complicated, right?

****

I liked Iris even though her actions were questionable. Probably because I can relate to her being a bit insecure, but can’t imagine how amplified it was when a perfect version of her exists in the same world as her.

“I am identical to Summer, but when I’m apart from her, I’m no one special. I don’t turn heads. I’m just another reasonably pretty young woman who no doubt looks like she’s trying too hard.” 

I also enjoyed how it explored family dynamics. The expectations, disappointments, heartbreak, and betrayal beyond the twins added a nice layer to the story.

I wasn’t crazy about the length. The book itself wasn’t very long, but I felt like some needless filler was used to keep the story going. Luckily, it wasn’t enough to stop me from reading it in two days.

****

If you’re looking for a (relatively) fast-paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, you’ll definitely like The Girl In the Mirror.

Bonus points if you don’t read the synopsis. I realized AFTER reading the book that I would have liked it more if I didn’t see certain things coming.

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