Monday, July 11, 2016

Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly {review}

Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin
by Sophie Cleverly
♦publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
♦release date: May 3rd, 2016
♦hardcover, 304 pages
♦intended audience: Middle Grade
♦series: Scarlet and Ivy, book 1
♦source: received from publisher for honest review
Ivy, I pray that it's you reading this. And if you are, well, I suppose you're the new me...

When shy Ivy's troublemaking twin Scarlet vanishes from Rookwood boarding school, Ivy is invited to "take her place." But when Ivy arrives, she discovers the school's true intention; she has to pretend to be Scarlet. She must think like Scarlet, act like Scarlet, become Scarlet. What on earth happened to the real Scarlet, and why is the school trying to keep it a secret?

Luckily for Ivy, Scarlet isn't about to disappear without a fight. She's left pieces of her journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find. Ivy's going to figure out what happened to Scarlet. She's got to.

But the staff of Rookwood is always watching, and they'll do anything to keep their secrets buried...

Review: The Lost Twin is such a fun and twisting mystery, the first in a series of three that has already published overseas. I can only hope Sourcebooks has plans to publish all three in the US, or I'll have to track them all down in their foreign editions! This first installment is so entertaining and absolutely perfect for readers who love the classic gothic children's tales like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess (both of these were my own favorites as a child...heck, I love them still!).

When we meet Ivy, she is mourning the loss of her twin sister--they were very, very close but exact opposites in every way possible. She reluctantly takes the open spot left by Scarlet at an elite private school, only to find when she gets there that the headmistress actually expects her to pretend to be Scarlet to cover up her disappearance! As horrid as this is, this is actually where the fun begins, because Ivy must follow a trail of puzzles and clues left by her sister to find hidden pages of her diary that reveal what happened.

While there are certainly things that feel overly familiar here---an absent-minded aunt, the sinister headmistress, the school mean girl and her gang of followers---the story is beautifully told, and Ivy's experiences of making friends, being a shy girl forced to break out of her comfort zone, grieving for her sister, rediscovering her love of dance, and cleverly working through the clues to solve Scarlet's disappearance all make this story a delight to watch unfold. The twisting plot serves up some great surprises, too! I really look forward to reading more of this series!

Photo by Aeryn Ivy

Sophie Cleverly was born in Bath in 1989. She studied for a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing For Young People. She is the author of the SCARLET AND IVY series, published by HarperCollins in the UK and Sourcebooks in the US.

Aside from writing, she can often be found blogging about symphonic metal, watching fantastical TV and struggling to find her way out of her ever-increasing pile of books.


Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon


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