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Untwine by Edwidge Danticat
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16 year-old identical twins Giselle and Isabelle are headed to a late to a high school concert with their parents when another car crashes into theirs, leaving Giselle comatose in a hospital room. Told in flashbacks and the murky unconsciousness of Giselle, we learn more about the parents' planned separation, the closeness and "differentness" of the twins and their lives and loves, and the family and their Haitian story. Giselle doesn't know what's happened to her sister, but learns the worst (and suffers even more when her aunt thinks she's Isabelle and that Giselle has died). She awakens, and is eventually released to go home under the care of her injured parents, where they all have to figure out what life means without Isabelle.

This is a beautifully written story. I was completely captivated by it, could not put it down. While the plot is compelling, the writing captures the confusion, pain and loss of a teenaged girl perfectly. Danticat knows and loves her characters, and yearns for Giselle as we do, that she can find a way to survive after losing half of herself. This book would be appropriate for grades 7-9 as well as 10-12, but older students will get the subtlety of the book better. For fans of If I Stay by Gayle Forman. ( )
  mikitchenlady | Sep 21, 2017 |
Giselle and Isabelle are close, although they've worked hard in high school to develop their own interests and friendships at school. The family is running late to a concert, the parents have just announced they are getting separated. A red van hits their car, a couple times. Everyone in the family is injured. When Giselle comes to. she finds herself in a hospital bed, trapped somewhere between a dreamwork and consciousness. She realizes that her sister is dead and her parents have been injured. Readers get insight into the twin's lives. Once Giselle wakes up, she has to navigate a life without her other half.
I was interested in this Haitian-American family's story. Although I don't know that this one would appeal to younger students. It works for middle school. ( )
  ewyatt | Aug 26, 2017 |
What is it about good YA authors that make you read their novels within a day? Readers eager to learn the outcome won't feel they've missed details as the pacing is sublime: a perfect balance between reflective storytelling and compelling action sequences. The novel spans many themes very well: teen illness and family death, loneliness in grief and reconciliation. Poetic and spiritual, this novel leaves a reader feeling closure instead of sadness by the end. ( )
  Meghanista | Jan 28, 2017 |
Beautifully written. I was not a fan of the Janice story - it felt a bit contrived in what was otherwise such an intimate family story. ( )
  Debra_Armbruster | Jun 21, 2016 |
This is the story of twin teens Isabelle and Giselle. They have always been extremely close, a lifetime of being there for each other, of being best friends. Then the unexpected happens, and Giselle must learn to live without her other half. This is a beautiful story of love, loss and hope. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Dec 24, 2015 |
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Epigraph
You are my sister...

You are my face; you are me...

I waited for you

You are mine

You are mine

You are mine

- Toni Morrison

Beloved
Dedication
For Manman
First words
I remember what was playing when the car slammed into us.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545423031, Hardcover)

A haunting and mesmerizing story about sisterhood, family, love, and loss by literary luminary Edwidge Danticat.

Giselle Boyer and her identical twin, Isabelle, are as close as sisters can be, even as their family seems to be unraveling. Then the Boyers have a tragic encounter that will shatter everyone's world forever.

Giselle wakes up in the hospital, injured and unable to speak or move. Trapped in the prison of her own body, Giselle must revisit her past in order to understand how the people closest to her -- her friends, her parents, and above all, Isabelle, her twin -- have shaped and defined her. Will she allow her love for her family and friends to lead her to recovery? Or will she remain lost in a spiral of longing and regret?

Untwine is a spellbinding tale, lyrical and filled with love, mystery, humor, and heartbreak. Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat brings her extraordinary talent to this graceful and unflinching examination of the bonds of friendship, romance, family, the horrors of loss, and the strength we must discover in ourselves when all seems hopeless.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:33:53 -0400)

Identical twin teenagers Giselle and Isabelle Boyer have always been inseparable, and expected to stay that way even though their Haitian American parents are separating--but when when the entire family is caught in a car crash, everyone's world is shattered forever.… (more)

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