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The Ice Twins by S K Tremayne - Review

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

I'd heard a lot of hype about this book and my partner read it last year and really wanted me to read it. I've been avoiding YA recently - no particular reason, I just haven't been in the mood for it - so I asked him what he thought I should read, and he said he really wanted me to get to this finally. He read it digitally but it turns out I'd got it in hardback, so that's what I read.

I put a photo of the book on my Instagram, like I do with all my books, and my friend Janet commented saying she had really hated it, so she was interested to know what I would say. She and I have similar taste in books, so I was intrigued that she'd really disliked it! I really wasn't sure what to think.

The basic premise of the book is that Sarah and Angus have twin daughters, Kirstie and Lydia, and Lydia dies in an accident at Sarah's family home before the start of the book. At the beginning of the book, it's fourteen months later and the family is kind of falling apart.

Lydia died falling off a balcony, and Kirstie is struggling to cope without her. She seems to be trying to compensate for Lydia's death by being like her. Angus lost his job and the couple can't make ends meet in London. But Angus' grandma has died and left an island in the Inner Hebrides, where Angus spent a lot of his childhood. He remembers how beautiful it was, and the cottage under the lighthouse, so the family makes plans to move there.

When they move though, strange things start to happen. Kirstie insists she is Lydia - that actually Kirstie died in the accident - and the family dog is acting strangely. Kirstie can't fit in at school, and things are falling apart between Sarah and Angus.

There's a bit in the blurb which says that Sarah and Kirstie are stranded on the island during a storm, and while this does happen, it isn't until the end of the book, so I thought it was a strange thing to include in the blurb. There is some ghostly goings on but none of it was really creepy; it all came off like Sarah was just imagining things. There's a bit where the child breaks a window and injures herself, but all I could think of was whether she would have actually managed to break such a window. I also thought neither parent should have really had a favourite, and that if they'd just talked to each other they would've saved themselves a lot of bother. I kept reading because it was compulsive in that way, but I didn't feel like the pay off was worth it, or signposted particularly well. I felt there were parts that were very overwritten and needed editing, and I didn't like any of the characters - not even the little girl.

An odd book. I won't go out of my way to read S K Tremayne's other book. I'm giving it three out of five.


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