Author: Sonya Mukherjee
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Published July 2016
Summary: Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Clara and Hailey have lived in the same small town their entire lives—no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence, and they’re slowly becoming more apparent. Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sister’s, and figure out what it means to be her own person.
This book was featured in one of my Waiting on Wednesday posts, and I was super excited to finally get my hands on it. First of all, I think the cover design (especially all of the dark, pretty colors) is gorgeous. I definitely have a little case of cover lust with this one.
I found it interesting to see how conjoined twins live their lives. It's mentioned in the book how rare of a genetic mutation it is, so it goes without saying that I don't know any conjoined twins personally. It was interesting to see how both girls functioned, went to school, sat at desks, slept at night, etc. Even though some people may look at the girls and pity them, both Clara and Hailey seemed to make the most of their situation, and actually made it work and enjoyed each other's company. When situations got tough, they worked through them together, and it was really inspiring to see such a strong sibling bond like theirs. (Personally, I don't know if I'd be able to stand being so close to my sister all of the time. I love her, but I think we'd definitely kill one another.)
Another thing that I liked was how different Hailey and Clara's personalities were. Hailey was more of the pink-haired, go-out-on-a-limb-and-be-daring artist type, while Clara was more shy and fascinated with space. So even if the girls were conjoined, they were their own separate people in a way, and it helped to distinguish them and added a little bit of diversity to the story.
One character that I wasn't crazy about was Max. There wasn't much of a backstory to him, and at times he acted like a total jerk, and I don't think his preexisting conditions excused that.
*Skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet, because there are some spoilers ahead!* The ending of the story personally didn't make much sense to me, which is what kept me from giving it a higher rating. A cheesy Lady Gaga flash mob? Really? <-- An actual excerpt from the notes I took while reading the book. You're also left with so many questions -- what do their parents say when they find girls? What school to they end up going to? What happens with Hailey and Alek? Even Max (although I don't like him)? What happens after the flash mob -- do they all just disperse and act like it didn't happen? I was left with so many questions, and it was really frustrating.
All in all, I thought Gemini was an interesting book. It told a story of two girls dealing with a struggle that I could never imagine, and somehow still finding a way to appreciate everything around them and make it work -- as cliche as that may seem. I enjoyed the story and would definitely be open to reading more stories by Sonya Mukherjee in the future.