Hesitant. That is how I felt examining these two book covers. I don’t have a habit of picking up a sci-fi or a horror story in the YA section, or in general. That is, until I got better acquainted with these two books written by Teri Polen.
First, I opened Sarah and read the first few pages. I continued to devour each page in an attempt to find out how the story would develop. All my earlier concerns and assumptions were flushed away. I was hooked. I immediately became annoyed by Cain’s obnoxious girlfriend Erin. I wanted to enter the story and help him break up that relationship. He deserves someone better, meaning Lindsey. And the crazy cat lady inside me wanted to enter the story to pet his black cat Eby. As I continued to read, I realized that Cain was not alone in his room. There was someone else other than Eby. It was Sarah. And at the beginning, I took out my pom-poms to cheer for Sarah’s ghost as she sought revenge. But then I slowly started to lower them as I started to question myself: how far is too far?
As a writer, I admire Teri’s skills at crafting a smooth, naturally flowing dialogue throughout this book because dialogue is not my strongest forte. Reading this book really demonstrated to me how well-crafted dialogue can make characters come alive.
After reading Sarah, though, I was doubtful that The Gemini Connection could surpass it. Was I wrong? You betcha! In this case, however, the first couple of pages were not as engaging to me. Then, I began to get to know the twins, Evan and Simon Resnik. I could not help myself and had to continue reading until I found out why Simon went missing.
I greatly appreciated that this story was told from two points of view, which helped better understand Evan and Simon individually, while still getting an insight into the connection they shared. Plus, it helped me, the reader, feel more engaged with the story as all the parts of the story came together.
I have learned: I might be officially converted to the dark side of YA genre and not to judge books by their covers. A cliche, which proved to be true in this case.