My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In ‘Gemini Rising’ Sorana Salem’s life is changed forever when two twins, Elyse and Melanie, join her all girls school. Sorana’s existing friends Shimmi and Nathalie have different reactions to the twins and Sorana is surprised and delighted when the twins choose to spend time with her over the popular crowd, whose leader Amie’s reaction to this is rather unusual.
This book is very much influenced by the film The Craft (one of my all time favourites – see a Pinterest board of Eleanor’s other inspirations here) but with the action taking place in the UK. There is also less focus on actual magic and more on the intensity of female relationships at that age. This is a contemporary story not a supernatural one.
It reminded me very much of my school experience where friends wanted to try a Ouija board in a mobile classroom – I didn’t take part – they freak me out. There are a number of spooky scenes in the book which raise the heartbeat, many taking place in the dark by a river.
Sorana, the author admits, is a little whiney but she’s still likeable. I wasn’t always sure why she didn’t back away after some of Elyse’s behaviour but that’s peer pressure for you. Sorana’s mum recognises and is exasperated by the fact her eldest daughter is putting friends before herself and her family. Familiar arguments in houses of teens everywhere.
Boys do exist in ‘Gemini Rising’, but they aren’t the main focus, instead highlighting the different personalities of the main group of girls. There is some bad behaviour from all concerned and a scene with Shimmi highlights the vulnerability girls can experience when they don’t look out for each other (Americans’ idea of a sober sister is a sound one).
The prologue does hint at what is to come but the ending might not quite be the one you are expecting.
What stopped me giving it 5 stars – I simply wanted to know more, I think reading series has spoilt me in terms of detail. I’m very happy to hear the author may be considering writing more set in this world. If I’m honest the fact that there wasn’t the supernatural element went against my expectations but I’m looking forward to a future re-read now I know fully what to expect.
Thanks to Carina and NetGalley for the eCopy – review is my own honest opinion.
I hope to interview Eleanor Wood and Sorana Salem soon.