This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis (review)
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Reviewed by
Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor
McGinnis, Mindy This Darkness Mine. Tegen/HarperCollins, 2017 [384p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-256159-6 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-06-256161-9 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 9-12

The diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy is actually a relief to Sasha; it’s clear to her now that her heart is not her own but that of her twin sister Shanna—whom Sasha absorbed in the womb seventeen years ago, a fact that Sasha has only recently found out. Sasha takes the faulty heart to metaphorical levels, insisting that it was Shanna’s heart that made good girl Sasha lose her virginity to bad boy Isaac, Shanna’s heart that made her cheat on her boyfriend, and Shanna’s heart that made her eventually throw herself out a window in pursuit of Isaac. Readers will recognize early on that straitlaced, perfect Sasha is acting out her less than perfect impulses and then placing the blame on Shanna, but whether Sasha is fully under the influence of a delusion or purposely using a guise to get off with some pretty bad behavior is the real intrigue here. There’s plenty of evidence to support the theory that Sasha truly believes that Shanna’s heart is the cause of the mess she’s in, but her voice sometimes sounds calculating and she manages to manipulate those around her with a cool clarity, using their deepest insecurities and shame to get them to do her [End Page 124] bidding. This psychological thriller offers shivers similar to Larbalestier’s My Sister Rosa (BCCB 10/16), and the final scene will leave readers wondering if they’ve been duped into sympathy or if more is required.

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