October 5, 2015

Book Review: We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean


Publication Date: October 6, 2015

Source: Vine


Murder.
Fire.
Revenge.

That's all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths. Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story?


We’ll Never Be Apart is a gripping young adult psychological thriller that starts off with an amazing first chapter that hooked me. Celia, the dangerous, unpredictable twin, begins the novel and right away the reader is plunged into her madness. However, afterwards the novel is told from Alice’s, the quieter, tamer twin’s, point of view who is accused of a murder which Celia committed. Since this is Alice’s second time being locked up in a mental facility, right away the reader is unsure of our narrator – is she crazy? Is she more responsible for the death of her boyfriend than she admits? Is she too damaged for redemption?

The most compelling sections of We’ll Never Be Apart are the ones involving the journal which Alice keeps throughout her stay at the mental institution in which she writes about her and Celia’s traumatic childhood and the events leading up to the fire which killed Alice’s boyfriend. According to her bio, Emiko Jean was inspired by her work with foster children so it would seem that much of the painful and shocking details in the book have their basis in fact.

I did guess the twist by page nine, due to circumstances that would probably not apply to the average teen reader.  But despite having that in mind, my enjoyment of Jean’s noteworthy writing and intricate story was not diminished.

SPOILER:

How did I guess the twist so fast? Mostly because the book I read just before this one had a character named “Celia” who was really “Alice” – she just rearranged the letters of her name for her new identity. Also, I’ve seen the movies Sybil and Identity.
Emiko Jean is an elementary school math teacher, whose work with children in foster care inspired her debut novel, We'll Never Be Apart. Aside from reading, writing, and teaching, Emiko is passionate about bugs. She can often be found in the remote forests of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband, hunting giant moths and cataloguing rare insect colonies.  

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