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Three Black Swans by Caroline B. Cooney

Three Black Swans

by Caroline B. Cooney

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Three Black Swans by Caroline B Reiner takes its title from The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Basically, a black swan is a highly improbably event that actually has happened. Taleb describes these events as: unpredictable, with a massive impact, and something we want to explain to make them seem less random or unpredictable.

In the case of Three Black Swans, the title is a spoiler unto itself — three identical sisters separated at birth with shenanigans involved in their adoptions. The revelation of this long kept secret starts when Missy, the runt of the litter, uses her "cousin" Claire as part of a science class project (create a hoax and report on it).

Now here is where I step aside from the book to explain why I wasn't as impressed with the story as I might have been. The problem is this: it's a cut and dry twins separated at birth (except its triplets) story and it follows all the twists and turns this sort of story usually takes. Here, too, since Missy and her siblings are underage, Cooney has to pull some strings to make their coming together at all plausible. She begins, of course, by stacking the deck by making two of the sisters "cousins."

I hadn't really thought about how formulaic this type of story is until I listened to Carl Reiner's NNNNN which lampoons the twins separated at birth story to epic proportions. Ultimately the problem with Three Black Swans is that it takes this trite plot line completely seriously, whereas Reiner takes it to the most outlandish of extremes — well beyond even the most melodramatic telenovela, and then adds in a healthy serving of blasphemy. ( )
  pussreboots | Jul 25, 2013 |
Another entertaining mix of melodrama, mystery and suspense from the always reliable Caroline Cooney. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Three Black Swans by Caroline B. Cooney was a book filled with family secrets and hidden identities. Three girls who were born to the same mother and are identical triplets who get separated at birth. Luckily, two of the triplets are placed with two different families that happen to be related. When the two, Claire and MIssy, realize they're identical, they don't even consider that they have another identical sister. One day, Genevieve discovers the video of Claire and Missy on Youtube and realizes that she's staring at herself. She then contacts Caire and Missy via Facebook and the three girls plan to meet in Times Square, New York City. I thought this book was a good read, but I would've enjoyed it more if there was more story after the three girls and their families meet eachother. All and all, I would reccomend this book to anyone who likes mysteries and unknown secrets! ( )
  ahsreads | Nov 20, 2012 |
The Good Stuff

Story is fast paced with plenty of cliffhanger type moments
Some interesting ethical questions could be brought up for discussion
The three young heroines are likeable and there is some nice character development
Liked the relationship between Genevieve and her grandmother
Good little mystery, makes you keep guessing what is actually going on
I want Genevieve's grandma to be my grandma
The Not So Good Stuff

Story jumps arount in terms of point of view which was very confusing
One of the main characters of the story isn't introduced till at least a quarter way through the book
Believability is way off
Genevieve's parents are horrible and not at all believable in their turn around
Minor plots are put in that really don't need to be there
I think I am just too old for this one so please remember that when deciding wether to read or not. I'm going to pass this one on to my neighbors teenage daughter to see what she thinks
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"But these days, no one kept adoption a secret. If you adopted a baby, you bragged about it. "I chose you," the parents said to their adopted child. "We chose our baby girl," they proudly told other parents."

"A radio sat on a sorting table. It was small and black with a long cord, and probably as old as her mother."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read

This is one I would suggest would appeal to actual YA readers (those in tween to teen ages) and not to the adult YA reader
A good one for reluctant readers
3 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review ( )
  mountie9 | Mar 19, 2012 |
"The future isn't a hat full of little shredded pieces of the past. It is, instead, a whirlpool of uncertainty populated by... Black Swans: events that are hugely important, rare and unpredictable, and explicable only after the fact." Missy Vianello lives in Connecticut with her family, and hangs out with her cousin Claire every weekend. Both only children, Missy and Claire are as close as sisters, and they have a strong family resemblance: same thick black hair, thin eyebrows, pointy chins and more. A science class-inspired prank leads to an internet video of the two of them together, announcing that they are identical twins, and the video goes viral. What Missy and Claire don't know is that they are both adopted, and the video causes an enormous family uproar. They don't entirely understand the depth of the family problems until Genevieve appears... and she looks exactly like Claire and Missy. Adoption, privacy, and drastic family choices that have been hidden for years surface in this drama from Greenwich's own Caroline B. Cooney. 6th grade and up ( )
  KarenBall | Sep 23, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385738676, Hardcover)

Lives are in the balance in bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney’s newest young adult thriller, Three Black Swans.
Missy and her cousin Claire are best friends who finish each other’s sentences and practically read each other’s minds. It’s an eerie connection—so eerie that Missy has questions she wants to put to her parents. But she’s afraid to ask. So when Missy hears an expert discussing newborn babies on the radio, it makes her wonder about her family.

Missy just can’t let go of those nagging questions, and decides to use a school project about scientific hoaxes to try to uncover the answers. She enlists Claire to help. As part of the project the girls perform a dramatic scene that is captured on video at school. After the video is posted on YouTube, Missy and Claire realize that they’ve opened Pandora’s box and much more than they ever imagined has come out. Not only are their identities called into question, but so is the future of everyone involved.

In this riveting, heartrending story by thriller author Caroline B. Cooney, the truth changes the lives of three families—as the bonds of blood must withstand the strains of long-hidden secrets that are at last revealed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When sixteen-year-old Missy Vianello decides to try to convince her classmates that her cousin Claire is really her long-lost identical twin, she has no idea that the results of her prank will be so life-changing.

» see all 2 descriptions

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