Rating of 4.5/5
Filled with twists & turns, lies, and greed, Rose Carlyle’s debut book, The Girl in the Mirror, was a suspense-thriller that not only left me with a myriad of questions but also gave me a needed kickstart to my summer reading list. Similar to the plot and theme of The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkane, The Girl in the Mirror presents the many layers and complexities of sisterhood and personally left me evaluating my sibling relationships. Carlyle did a great job of developing the story with multifaceted characters, realistic themes, and twisty plots.
The main character and protagonist of the story, Iris, is genuinely disagreeable, almost unlikeable at the beginning of the story. It almost feels as if Carlyle sets this tone with Iris so that the reader has an automatic biased view of her. Throughout the book, the more you learn about Iris, the more you learn that she isn’t disagreeable. Instead, you find that she is an insecure woman, that has always lived in the shadow of her “prettier, popular, and more confident” twin sister, Summer. This dynamic is weaved throughout the entire book and sets the stage for how the story unfolds. While I could appreciate Iris’ struggles, many of them were of her own making due to her constant need to compare herself to her sister.
As for the themes and plot of the book, Carlyle, does a magnificent job at bringing to life a few of the seven deadly sins; specifically, greed, gluttony, lust, and envy. It fits that these deadly sins arise as life and death matters present themselves on more than one occasion. I believe that these themes directly affected the protagonist’s growth and development throughout the story, and I think this was a meticulous play by the author. I consistently found myself frustrated at Iris’ constant need to compete with her twin sister, not realizing that the competition wasn’t one-sided. In this book, things are not as they seem, and the various twists and turns will leave readers bewildered and feigning for logical answers.
Overall, I think that The Girl in the Mirror is a must-read for any suspense enthusiast looking for a twisted novel that reminds you that sometimes even your family can’t be trusted. Although slow-to-start, once the book catches momentum, it captures your attention and takes you on a nail-biting journey that might leave most readers warring with their minds as to the true ending.
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