by Emiko Jean
Published on October 6, 2015
by HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: eARC for review from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
My take: If you're looking to prolong that creepy Halloween feeling, this is definitely a book you should consider adding to your list. Alice has ben committed to a mental institution after a fire that killed her boyfriend. The doctors seem to think that she set the fire, but Alice knows the truth: it was actually her twin sister Cellie. Desperate for revenge, Alice hatches a plot to find her sister and make her pay for what she did...
I enjoyed this one. It felt a little like a cross between Girl, Interrupted and White Oleander. Alice and Cellie have had a tough life -- after the death of their grandfather, the sisters have shuttled from foster home to foster home. They have a tight bond, but it feels like that Alice must break free of her more troubled sister in order to move forward.
Am I weird that I'm kind of fascinated by stories set in psychiatric hospitals? One of my favorite parts of the story was the relationship between Alice and her roommate. The sort-of-romance with Chase worried me a bit, but it worked for me because it seemed like she was (mostly) using him to help her get to her sister.
The ending was interesting. I was surprised by it in a couple of ways. I think I was expecting something a little more out-there. But all in all, I really enjoyed this -- a perfect October read!