When I started reading The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard, I didn’t really like it. I found her style of writing jumbled and that the twins were named Mally (short for Mallory) and Merry (short for Meredith) was confusing me because I was reading too fast. I’d have to go back and reread a page or conversation because I wasn’t sure who was doing what. But one I got used to her style of writing and slowed down, it was an okay read.
Thirteen-year-old mirror twins, Meredith and Mallory, are very close; still sleeping in the same room, communicating with their own language, and speaking to each other when they’re not together. One was born just before midnight on New Year’s Eve and the other just after (making them twins born in different years), they are babysitting their cousins when a fire breaks out at the house, almost killing one of them. After the fire, Merry develops the ability to see the past and Mally begins to see the future. The twins struggle with not being exactly like the other anymore, understanding what they’re seeing, and what they have to do about their knowledge.
There are a few on-the-edge-of-your-seat moments, but most feel forced and, after they’re over, not worth the suspense. I kept forgetting that the two main characters were thirteen-year-old girls due to their conversations, their circumstances, and their reactions. But then Mally would start talking about cheerleading and gymnastics moves again, I remembered that they were just kids.
This book is categorized as a young adult book, but I found some of it a little too creepy or real for my middle school students. Nothing was inappropriate (the characters refer to sex as “you-know-what”), but I just don’t picture many of my students enjoying this book or not giving up after the first fifty pages. It was hard for me to, so I can’t expect them to do much different.
I will be adding this to my classroom collection, but I’m not sure if I’ll book talk this one like I do other young adult books I finish. Although, I was reading it during silent reading one day and many kids asked about it, so if someone brings it up again, I’ll share a little about it.
When I was searching for a picture of the cover, I came across other reviews (that I just went back and read now that I’m done writing mine) and it sounds like many people have the same feelings and thoughts about the book that I do. Some people did love it (when you do an Amazon search of this title, another book suggestion is the Twilight series–which I have purposefully never read and have no desire to), but many more were confused by it. I did learn that this is the beginning of a series and one reviewer said the whole book felt like a intro to another book and not a real, stand-alone book. I would say that’s a good way of describing it. It always felt like we were getting ready for something, but never actually getting there. I don’t know if I’ll read the next book (when they come out). My OCD says I need to finish what I started so I have to read the other books, but the English teacher part of me says don’t waste your time when you didn’t really enjoy the first one–there are plenty of other books to read. We’ll see.