Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.
When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.
This book first jumped out at me because (1) I love stories about family - this one is about twins and their bond (2) I am intrigued by stories of great struggle/loss/emotion and this one has it all and (3) I have to admit this cover art had me at first glance! It's absolutely breathtaking.
TSWK is a well written story about a teen girl who loses her twin sister in an auto accident and really the two of them could not be different however it didn't always used to be that way. They used to be close and as they hit high school they drifted. This coming of age story really explores the way we see ourselves and the power that emotionally has especially in the teen years. Ella is amazing, and intelligent and has everything going for her only, like so many of us, she doesn't see that until she can see through someone else's eyes.
This is such a powerful story about family, friends and most of all sisters and also touches on the stressors of adolescence and belonging and the lengths that some will go to maintain popularity no matter how fragile a web that is. There were moments in this novel that really left me breathless and as Ella uncovered the world of popularity and family dynamics. Now don't get me wrong, there were many moments when I wanted to shake Ella and ask her what in the world she was doing but really, I think we've all had moments in our lives where someone had wanted to shake some sense in us! That's high school for you.
This is a story about life. About the fact that sometimes the grass is not always greener. This is a story about love. About how a family loves differently but the same. About how friendship is often the greatest form of love we can ever have. This is a story about life and how fantastically complicated it all become and how one lie can spin a web that can seem endless and suffocating. This is a story about finding one's self and where one belongs. This is a story about life.