Sometimes it’s okay to be not quite at the bottom of the pile in high school. Popularity is overrated and Sorana Salem is much more interested in music and Converse to worry about the mean girls at school. That is until the Johansson twins arrive at her exclusive private school in the middle of term. Beautiful and immensely cool, Sorana is immediately drawn to Elyse and Melanie.
Soon Sorana’s life is unrecognisable, consisting of parties and sleepovers, older boys and Ouija boards. With the free-spirited Johansson twins, life is exciting and just a little bit dangerous. That is until events begin to take a darker turn and inexplicable things begin to occur that leave Sorana doubting her sanity.
Soon Sorana realises that nothing is as it seems, especially not the enigmatic Johansson twins. Can she escape their clutches with her integrity intact?
Gemini Rising is the debut novel by Eleanor Wood and one of the first books released on the Harlequin UK Carina digital platform for up and coming authors. Eleanor describes herself as the love child of Judy Blume and Iggy Pop and you can certainly see that in Sorana’s character.
It is difficult to say too much about Gemini Rising without giving the plot away. In fact, it might not even be possible to assign the book to a particular genre for fear of spoiling it. Gemini Rising is ambiguous right to the last page and the reader is kept guessing throughout. If you like thrillers of any kind, be they psychological or paranormal, or if you’re definitely on the fence with respect to the unexplained, then this book is for you.
The strength of Gemini Rising lies in its interesting characters. It is harrowing to watch Sorana’s journey from not cool (and okay with that) to disturbed, distanced from her family and increasingly nasty. Likewise, it is fascinating to pick apart the facades that Elyse and Melanie present to the world, Elyse with her magnetism and Melanie with her silent observation.
Mean Girls meets Single White Female, Gemini Rising is a riveting and very quick read.
I give Gemini Rising by Eleanor Wood four out of five stars and would recommend it to young adult readers who like a slice of ambiguity and twist of plot above the normal young adult fare.