Written with the chilling, twisty suspense of The Wife Between Us and Something in the Water, a seductive debut thriller about greed, lust, secrets, and deadly lies involving identical twin sisters.
Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam.
Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.
Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the hundred-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir.
Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream and paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth?
Breathe in! Breathe out! Gather your wits Nilufer! I know the author fooled you so bad! Your dumb ass hurts like hell as you sit on the floor because the author pulled the rug out from under you so fast and you lost your balance, you lost your dropping jaw and a few precious grey cells which were fried and smelled like detesting fast food chains’ products!
I’m telling you to go blind about this book! Don’t you dare to read the blurb which gives more away than my regular reviewers ( yes, I got so many complaints about my big mouth and spoiled reviews! Guilty as charged! )
So without so much away I only tell you about the antiheroine’s story: Iris: she is the twin suffers from situs inversus which means the organs in the chest and abdomen are positioned in a mirror image from their normal positions.
She is the less lovable, shiny, beautiful twin watches her sister Summer (see, she also got the coolest name as she settles with iris flowers which barely smell! ) like a hawk throughout her life and she sees her amazing life : she literally has the all. A kind, charming, wealthy husband Adam and a lovely stepson Tarquin. She also bought Iris’ childhood dream boat which has been belonged to their father.
Summer doesn’t like to sail but who cares? She can have anything she wants as Iris’ marriage fails, loosing her job, struggling!
As her lowest point, dear Summer calls her sister to help her sail their boat Bathsheba from Thailand to Seychelles as her husband takes care of their stepson at the hospital for his urgent surgery.
Iris accepts to help because she already lost too much in her life and sailing always cheers her up! But the sailing with sister is far from an adventure, it ends with a terrible disaster.
Summer falls down from the boat, getting lost in the sea. A few days later Iris gives up hope but her grief also gives her opportunity to have a clean slate. What if she switches places with her sister and lives Summer’s life. This also means she can have baby and get her father’s inheritance. Did I say her father has three wives and 7 children. First one who can give him grandchild will get the inheritance money! Game on Iris! Will you fool Summer’s husband Adam, your own mother, stepson and her friends by acting like your angelic twin?
Just get your popcorn, a nice bottle of Cabernet and start turning the pages my friends!
This is sneaky, creepy, devilish, shocking, entertaining, a great mindf*ck read! Such a great success for debut novel that I couldn’t put it down!
And that ending.... wow... it blew my mind! Stop procrastinating! Go, get your copy! It’s freaking awesome!!!!
I freaking LOVED this book!! What a sinister, twisted, spine-tingling, edge of your seat suspense this was, and I ate it up! This tale had me guessing up until the very last sentence, questioning if our narrator was reliable or not, and I loved the final reveal even more than I thought I would. I'm very thankful I selected this as my BOTM read, and as usual they were spot on in their selection. This was richly atmospheric on top of the emotions this made me feel, I also felt as though I were in the warm Seychelles island right along with Iris (and then Australia). Needless to say, Carlyle has the goods to deliver everything you would want and more in a psychological thriller, and she's going on my auto-purchase list! I recommend anyone looking for pure entertainment done in the darkest way possible to go out and get this book immediately! Themes similar include unreliable narrator, family inheritance, mystery deaths, disappearance at sea, you name it! I simply cannot believe this is Carlyle's debut novel, and I cannot wait to read her next release!
I'm still somewhat new to the thriller genre, so remember my thoughts are from the perspective of a thriller-newbie and not a thriller-connoisseur. But let's begin...
The first third of this book was straight up boring as hell. Seriously though. Sometimes I thought I was reading a manual on yachts and sailing the open seas. I mean, I get that it's an author's goal to flesh out the world, etc., but there's fleshing out and there's info dumping.
Now, I later read in the author biography at the end that Carlyle is quite the yachtsman herself. Which is great. Her passion and love for sailing, yachting - whatever nautical terminology is correct here - was very evident. And kudos to her. I always admire when someone has a really cool hobby or passion....however...I could also give a shite about rigging and sails and all the other minute yachting details Carlyle threw in this book.
It really bogged down the pace of the first third of the story and I was thisclose to DNF-ing.
Thankfully, things picked up once we finally got off the damned boat and the story pretty much flew from there. I saw the twists and turns coming for the most part, but I still got to enjoy a couple "a-ha" moments that made the story worth it. And that ending will definitely stick with me.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and probably would have rated it higher if not for the slog of a beginning.
Wow!!! Just wow!!! How on earth is this a debut?! I certainly don't know what I expected from this book, but not this! You know the type of thriller that you have to reread a page just to make sure you read it right?! THIS is that book! The twists were so crazy and the final one was so unexpected for me! ❤️
Two twin sisters.......a whole bunch of money at stake...what could go wrong? ALOT...that's what.
Summer and Iris appear to be the best twinnies ever! Except there has always been an underlying jealously. Summer always seemed to have life just a little better. Or so Iris thought. Summer has the perfect husband, money, a yacht. She even has an adorable stepson....Iris has...none of that. Hmmm jealous much?!
This is such a fast paced read, I literally raced through this in less than a day. It kept me glued to the pages. I kept thinking that I was the clever one and I had it all figured out. It seemed so obvious........but I was wrong. The ending was so quick and stunning that I reread the last couple of pages because I just could not believe what I read.
Huge shoutout to Denise for her stellar review that "made" me choose this for my BOTM pick! I highly recommend this one!
Rape, incest and a ridiculous scheme to win an inheritance. There wasn’t even one likeable character in the whole book. Every plot twist was so far-fetched, unrealistic and it just kept getting more absurd. The ending was so very melodramatic and annoying.
Iris and Summer are identical twins, but their personalities couldn’t be more different. One is nice, one not so much. One has it all while nothing ever works out for the other one.
Yet, when Summer calls on Iris to help her pilot her yacht from Thailand to Seychelles, Iris comes to her aid. As expected, things go horribly wrong. Jealousies, insecurities and a race for an inheritance drive the plot forward. It’s a twisty ride to an explosive ending.
This was a buddy read with Marialyce, and a story that disappointed both of us. I’m tiring of the evil twin/good twin (or sister) trope. The beginning was slow with a lot of sailing and technical lingo. By the time someone dies I was ready to kill them myself just to get the story off the ground. This is pure Lifetime movie escapism and a book to throw in the beach bag. Recommended for thriller fans who can set aside their disbelief and don’t mind predictable twists you can see coming a mile away. There simply wasn’t enough here to elevate the story above an average rating. 2.5 stars
This is a thriller that I DNF after reading over 50% of the book. This book is my October pick for my Book of the Month. This book was just not for me I tried hard to get into this book, and I just could not get into this book. I think the writing style was just not for me. I also did not love or care about any of the characters.
"The girl in the mirror is miserable, but at least she's real."
The story is all about these mirror twin sisters, Summer and Iris Carmichael. Yes, you read it right. Mirror twins! I didn't even know this concept existed until I read this book. Summer is the golden girl and her heart and internal organs are in the right place. Iris, on the other hand, the cynical and boring twin. As the mirror twin of Summer, her heart and internal organs are in the wrong places. At present, Summer has the perfect husband with an adorable stepson in a breathtaking getaway. During their vacation, she calls Iris for help in which the latter accepted. For Iris, it is time to navigate within Summer's world. Again.
Rose Carlyle's The Girl in the Mirror was exciting, thrilling and little bit tropey. It was quite ridiculous too but at the same time I didn't really complain because everything was pulled off correctly. The characters were for me the biggest and most positive thing in this book. They were flawed and highly entertaining. They seemed real to me at times especially how Iris feels for her sister. If you have a sibling, you would know!
Why the four stars? The present plot barely moved in like the 40% of the story. Also, I got bombarded with all these backstories and technicalities when it comes to sailing. I could live with former because backstories with this tension between twins will never get old for me. The latter, however, not so much. I'm used to characters sailing from time to time in books but I'm not used to characters sailing in a highly detailed manner.
For me this was a slow burn and by the end, I was so happy I stuck with it and couldn't believe that I almost gave it up! Midway through, I wasn't super enjoying it and it was verging on a 2.5 star, but the last half drew me in so much more! I couldn't put it down to go to sleep😨 By the end of the book, it was almost going too fast, things were happening so rapidly and my rating kept climbing!
Iris and Summer are mirror twins (cool that it is an actual thing, I love when a book teaches me a little something) so, they are very close to identical but actually are a mirror of each other. Iris heads to Thailand to help her sister and brother in law sail their yacht home. . Oh, did I mention that there is a multi million dollar inheritance up for grabs? The first one to birth a baby gets it all. That's all I'm going to give you of the plot, I think its much better experienced blind.. But I will say that this is a stressful read up until the end. I raced to finish it, so vested in the characters. It was a realllly suspenseful family drama.
Some of the things I didn't like: The extremely slow start.. I wanted the story to get moving already The yachting descriptions.. maybe if you are like really into boating this would be gripping for you? But again, I wanted it to move along.. The lack of deep development of the secondary characters although this could have been on purpose? The believability of some of the small details.. advice: when you find yourself saying, "that's not realistic" or "that wouldn't work/go like that" silence your little internal voice and keep reading!! This was not a realistic one but I was able to let it go (pretty much🙄) The dialogue was a bit cringe
Ok, I know that sounds like a lot ^ but this was still a 4 ⭐ and that means I had to really like it so.. Things I liked: Iris as a potentially unreliable narrator The plot The suspense!! The settings, whether on the water or islands, rich descriptions The anxiety.. I felt stress in my stomach at one point, it was so twisted.
So a bit of a mixed bag of a review🤷🏼♀️ sorry! but the last 1/3 of the book brought it's stars up huge and I would + recommend you have a look at the girl in the mirror👩🏼🤝👩🏼
The Girl In The Mirror has all the necessary ingredients that make a good thriller and I was entertained throughout. However, too many implausible scenarios and story threads that were never resolved are preventing me from rounding up.
Was the premise a good one? Absolutely. Twins (mirror twins) almost conjoined twins if they had stayed a little longer in the womb: Summer and Iris are the main topic of discussion.
Summer with all her perfect body and Iris with her dextrocardia and other organs on her right side instead of her left.
Summer, the sweet perfect twin while Iris, full of envy and freaky-how-I-imitate-my twin behavior.
Summer with the perfect husband, Adam. Iris with a failed marriage to Noah.
Then, of course, there is the money. The twins' father's revealed a bomb when the girls were just teenagers. Whoever delivers a new child after they marry will be the sole proprietor of the Carmichael fortune. Unfortunately, the twins are not the only ones that can inherit. They have stepsiblings and their brother to compete for it.
Poor Iris. She never got a chance. What the heck Ben, you couldn't tell them apart? Moron. And poor Ester, you know Summer is going to find a way to get rid of her.
Did I guess the twists? Yes, from the beginning. I knew Summer was alive and not pregnant. I also guessed that Adam was in on it. I knew they wanted Iris's baby but I was hoping Summer wouldn't get away with it.
Iris had all this growth as a person, as a daughter, as a stepmother, and as a mother. Why let her die?
Summer had no growth just plain evil. A psychopath dreaming of crocodiles killing her victims.
Was the book a good one?
Oh yeah, the suspense was killing me. It was a race to answer the one question I had. Was Iris going to be a victim or a survivor?
Adam you conniving bastard with your freaky sex! What an arse! Hope Summer kills you too.
Do I feel strongly about the emotions The Girl in the Mirror brought out in me?
Yep, I had many.
I will read anything Rose Carlyle writes from now on.
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the bat$h!t craziest thriller of them all? Gone Girl, you were the craziest here so true, but The Girl in the Mirror is a thousand times nuttier than you.
OK, maybe not a thousand times, and maybe (for sure) Gone Girl isn’t the most bat$h!t, but you get the point. The Girl in the Mirror is one of those books that makes you wonder if “suspense” is short for “suspens…ion of disbelief,” but you’re turning the pages so fast you don’t really care. The plot twists are not hard to spot, the climax ends the lamest way possible, and the writing is merely fine. But did I stay up until 2am finishing this story about twins, a yacht, and a ridiculous race to get pregnant to claim an inheritance? I sure did. This is one I'll be thinking about for awhile, and I'll definitely be first in line for the author's next thriller. Maybe a sequel???
If you do decide to add this to your list, do me a favor though and skip the synopsis. It’s very spoilery. Bad, synopsis, bad!
I received an advance digital copy for review from William Morrow Books via NetGalley.
I hate lying. Lying makes me nervous. Liars always get found out. ALWAYS.
But this concept fascinates me.
It's similar to the plot of that TV show with Sarah Michelle Gellar that got axed, leaving me without a conclusion. So it was nice to get some closure through this story.
It was close to agony living through this story.
The blurbsums up the first third of the book, which is something that frustrates me a little but it also allows you to hang in there for the boring first 100-odd pages while rebel sister Iris goes sailing with perfect sister Summer and then loses her to the sea. Now Iris - who has been living in the shadow of her perfect twin all her life - is faced with the opportunity of stepping into that very same perfect life.
Look, I should have known from that blurb that it'd make me uncomfortable, but the lies upon lies really made me nauseous. I don't know why it gets me so much! Just the thought of the humiliation and pain that will come from being exposed in the lie ... it does something to me. I don't want that for anyone - especially not a character like Iris who I tragically related to so much. She's the one who's considered a bit of a rebel, the black sheep of the family, and she's cynical and ruthless and totally awkward with kids but at the same time she actually just wants to be loved as much as her twin is.
I loved the way Iris was written, because she has some very clear flaws and is a bit of a lost soul but somehow I still felt drawn to her. You can feel how much she's hurting, and you can tell all the bluster about nice people being idiots is just a false layer to cover how much it hurts that her twin is preferred by everyone.
The story is twisted, and damn near broke my heart so many times. But all the lies and false pretences make it such a wild, thrilling ride, and you know it's all going to end badly but you can't help but keep reading anyway. It really did make me anxious lol. The twists are unreal though so if you love a good twisty thriller you'll eat this right up.
Once you get over the mildly dull start that sets it all up, you won't be able to put it down.
This is an intelligent, anxiety-inducing thriller that I highly recommend. You will be on the edge of your seat til the very last page.
The Girl in the Mirror is deceitful and dramatic. At the request of her twin sister, Iris joins Summer in Thailand to help her with an extended sailing trip on the family yacht. Iris has always been jealous of Summer’s seemingly perfect life. Though neither of them vocalize it, there’s an underlying tension between the twins.
When Iris wakes up alone in the middle of the ocean to find Summer gone, she panics, fearing the worst: Her sister has died. She searches but accepts this outcome and decides upon arriving to Seychelles, she will pretend to be Summer instead of Iris, taking over the life she’s coveted for so long — Wife to Adam, owner of the yacht, and mother-to-be. Her mood shifts between elation and paranoia, constantly worried her secret will be exposed.
I read several mixed reviews for The Girl in the Mirror prior to reading it myself and was curious to see how I’d feel about the story. While it was a bit far-fetched and I didn’t love the characters, I stayed intrigued as the story progressed. It was a twisty ride — I predicted one major element but also had to read the last page twice to confirm I was reading it correctly.
A twisted, sinister thriller featuring greed, jealousy, secrets and lies
Twin sisters, Summer and Iris, An inheritance, A sailing trip, Tons of deceit and drama!
I was mostly entertained by this book, despite not liking any of the shady characters! The start was quite slow and I found myself having to look up various sailing terms, which was annoying. But then the pace picked up a bit and I found myself zooming through! I felt quite stressed reading about these awful character's thoughts and actions, and felt so tense as the book progressed. I knew something bad was coming but had to keep reading!
Whilst I was surprised by some of the shocking twists, and was entertained in a bizzare way, I just found the ending so very implausible and over dramatic! It's definitely far-fetched and over the top! It would just never work out like that! There were really iffy things in this book also, including what happened to Virginia, and Summer's husband's word for his sexual encounter?!!
So whilst I read it fast, and was definitely entertained, it left me with an uncomfortable feeling, rolling my eyes, and feeling like I need a shower!
If you can suspend belief, and are looking for a twisty, uncomfortable thriller, then give this a shot!
Many thanks to Netgalley UK and Atlantic books for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review
Summer and Iris Carmichael are mirror twins in every physically possible way. Iris adores beautiful Summer and has been in her shadow all her life with Iris suffering with insecurity as a consequence. When Summer, now married to Adam, calls from Thailand begging for help to take their yacht ‘Bathsheba’ to the Seychelles for them she doesn’t hesitate. However, something unexpected happens in the middle of the Indian Ocean and Iris has to make a life altering decision.
First of all, even though you know the unfolding crazy plot is implausibly bonkers it is very readable and enjoyable once it gets going and then the pace is fast. It definitely slips into melodrama at times but it does have tension and suspense which keeps you reading on. Even though Iris makes some bad decisions at her heart she’s s good person and a likeable character. The ending has a justifiable and reader satisfying outcome with just desserts being meted out.
However, the start is rather slow, it’s a bit clunky as the author explains the background to the Carmichael family which is very twisted sister though I do like what this sets up in the family dynamics. There’s a lot of yachting detail as the voyage gets underway and a bit like the boom it goes over the top of my head. Some dialogue is cringeworthy and some of the scenes between Iris and Adam I find uncomfortable. Some of the peripheral characters feel like cardboard cutouts such as Iris’s mother. The outcome is pretty obvious from fairly early on as there are so many whiffy off notes and odd scenes between characters you can smell the rats and can therefore predict the course the book is sailing on.
However, having said all that it is entertaining, easy to read, it’s good escapism and a very promising debut. I think it would make a very successful and exciting film perhaps more than it does a novel???
With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Atlantic Books, Corvus for the arc in return for an honest review.
I love when a book takes me utterly by surprise and blows me away, and The Girl in the Mirror did just that! I don't even remember where I picked up this ARC, but I was on vacation and started in on my mountain of TBR books and thought this one sounded intriguing. Intriguing is just the start - not to mention, a clever, dark, twisted, pulsating, and just plain crazy plot involving identical twins, an inheritance, and a yacht chock full of secrets.
Twin sisters Iris and Summer are identical - not even their mother can tell them apart (although can that really be so?!) - but beyond what the eye can see lies an inherent darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of big-hearted Summer and her seemingly never-ending good fortune, including landing the perfect husband, Adam. Iris's life is in a downward spiral when gets a frantic call to come to Thailand to help her brother-in-law sail the family yacht back to friendlier waters. She can't help but fantasize of what might happen on the journey with Adam, but when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. In the blink of an eye, Iris gets her chance to take what she’s always wanted – but in seizing her opportunity, she must take big risks to ensure that the boat forever holds its secrets.
I've read so many thrillers about identical twins and to be honest, I'm not always a big fan of them, but this one changed my mind! I don't want to give anything away, because it's definitely better to go in blind, but the twists and red herrings are very cleverly done, and I couldn't put it down until I inhaled every last page. Even when I ultimately saw some things coming, the "how" in getting there was still surprising and enjoyable (in a twisted thriller kind of way!).
Overall, an amazing debut. I would normally knock off a star for a few too many "boat terms," but this one is so different in other ways - part thriller, part mystery, and part race to a prize - that in the end, the overabundance of boat terminology didn't even bother me. If you can suspend just an ounce of belief and let yourself go, you'll love this super crazy, roller-coaster thriller! All the stars for me!
Twin sisters, one “perfect” and the other envious, are sailing across the Indian Ocean in their yacht. When the jealous sister wakes up alone halfway through their journey, she decides to seize her sister’s life of perfection, complete with a handsome and wealthy husband. But what truly occurred on the yacht? And to what extremes will she go to keep her secret?
Iris Carmichael has always been envious of her twin sister, Summer, who has everything Iris has always wanted: love and adoration from anyone she meets; better looks (despite being a near-mirror image of Iris); and doting, handsome, and wealthy husband, Adam Romain. But when Summer calls in a panic needing Iris’s help sailing the family yacht from Thailand to the Seychelles due to an emergency, she jumps at the chance to be back in the opulent surroundings of the Bathsheba.
While sailing across the doldrums, however, Iris awakens to find her sister missing. Presented with the opportunity to grab everything that her sister had, including Adam and his infant son Tarquin, she poses as Summer instead of herself. But what happened to her sister? And how far will Iris go to keep this “new” life?
The Girl in the Mirror has everything you need for a perfect psychological thriller: jealousy, greed, hidden motivations, and an exotic location. Oh, and twists galore. Filled with amazing descriptions that conjure up crashing waves, ropes and pulleys clanking, and the feel of sun on your skin, Rose Carlyle has crafted a debut thriller that grabs you and doesn’t let go until, quite literally, the final paragraph.
Despite how much I loved this book, I did find the personalities and relationships a tad melodramatic and bipolar. For example, Iris’s character flip-flops between someone I loved to hate and someone I empathized with, while Summer comes off as almost inhumanly sickly-sweet. This still did not make me dislike this book, though, because, ultimately, the plot twists are mind-blowing and the ending (especially the last 30 pages) was sublime. And once I reached the major climax, I raced through the book searching out clues I had missed.
If you’re good at figuring out the big twist in a mystery/thriller, you may figure this one out before it is revealed (I read without trying to decipher, for the most part, willing the author to take me wholeheartedly on their journey).
A word of warning, this book does include scenes that could be described as rape, or at the very least, BDSM (it’s questionable which…you’ll understand if you read this story). Be prepared. Luckily for me, as that isn’t my cup of tea, there were only a few episodes of the Fifty Shades of Grey variety, at least what I imagine that book to be like.
In this deliciously creepy yet enticing thriller of lies and secrets, covetous envy and lust, Carlyle cements herself as an official player of the genre. This book could easily set up a sequel to expand on how the book ends (which I would love to read). Regardless, I look forward to whatever the author writes next. I definitely recommend reading this book. Rating of 4 stars.
Trigger Warning: incest (sort of) and rape (or BDSM depending on how you decipher those few scenes)
Iris and Rose are identical twin sisters that no one can tell apart, not even their mother and brother can see a difference. When Rose calls on Iris to assist her in sailing their yacht, Bathsheba, back to Australia Iris doesn't hesitate to help out as she loves sailing. Imagine her surprise when one day she awakes on the yacht only to find Rose is gone. What should she do? Tell the truth or slip into Rose's beautiful and perfect life while nobody is none the wiser. Hmm...what will she do?
My favorite quote which made me laugh out loud. I remember these days well:
"I thought I could sit and read as long as the kid had a toy to play with. Turns out no. You can’t read in the same house as a small child. The child will sense that Mummy is relaxing and will hunt you down."<---- TRUTH!
My only complaints, and they are very small complaints, was all the sailing lingo which flew right over my head and lastly I don't want to ever hear the name Bathsheba again. 4 stars!
I’ll leave it alone with this: from the slow first half, to the unlikable characters, to the unbelievable plot...to the grotesque motivations driving the story, I was left with an eye-rolling, audible groan inducing waste of time.
In all honesty I would’ve given it a four star if it weren’t for the ending. For the most part I loved how this story plays out and that we follow the point of view of a fairly unreliable narrator, and also a very unlikeable one. I will say, the ending (or part of it) was something that felt predictable but ultimately still a great conclusion. EXCEPT FOR THE LAST BIT. I just can’t stand something that feels like it was put in purely for shock value. Or maybe that’s just what I’m telling myself, because I’m pissed smh
This is hot garbage from start to finish, and not even in a fun way. Even the ending is pure dreck. A huge fucking NO. The premise is that this rich guy has a million daughters, twins with his first wife and then a billion more with a younger second wife. When he dies, they discover in his will that he left all one hundred million of his dollars to whichever child can produce the first heir (lmao) which of course creates a race between his two wives to see which daughters can...give birth the fastest? Even though the twins are significantly older than the second set of kids, which creates a moment where one of the younger daughters is being set up in a marriage to her cousin at 15? STOP
Anyway the twins. Because this is primarily about them. One twin, Summer, is married and sailing the world with her husband while the other, Iris, has recently been left by her husband. Summer calls Iris and is like "my husband's baby from his first marriage has a medical emergency, his penis is an infected MESS and he might die..." This was a few pages in and already I was like my eyes are bleeding, can I please stop reading this book NOW? But she NEEDED Iris to fly to Thailand while her baby had emergency penis surgery so Iris and husband could sail their yacht to the Seychelles because it no longer had a permit to be docked in Bangkok. There were no other solutions. This was the only one. What a premise. On top of the hundred million dollar womb premise!!! So Iris flies to Thailand, only it turns out Summer will be joining her on the yacht, not the husband, and then halfway through the journey, Summer vanishes and Iris wakes up to find footage of the boom knocking her in the head and into the Indian Ocean to her death. So naturally after a few days of grieving and contemplating suicide, Iris is like "I'm gonna have to pretend to be Summer because she had a husband and now it'll be so easy for me to get pregnant and get dat MONAYYYYYY!"
Most of this is actually in the jacket description yet it takes like, half of the book to get to this point. The rest is about Summer's husband impregnating Iris (who he thinks is Summer...OR DOES HE?!?!?!) via "sexyrape" (I don't even want to talk about this because I fucking hate it so much), and then Iris "racing" with her pregnant teenage half-sister over who would have their baby first. After spending her entire pregnancy being like "I don't care if my baby lives, it only has to take one breath and I still get the money :)" to the point of hiring "the worst midwife in Australia" hoping that it dies, Iris starts giving birth prematurely and she's like "actually I care about my baby all of the sudden, it's not just about the money!" She gives birth, and then some stuff happens over the last two or three chapters that's "twisty" as if this book wasn't going to end without a really dumb twist.
A lot of the "twist" makes no sense yet comes with really complicated nonsensical explanations. SPOILER ALERT...as if you couldn't see this one coming from one million nautical miles away, Summer didn't actually die (zomg WOW what the jacket literally says "WHAT REALLY HAPPENS TO SUMMER ON THAT BOAT?!" GEE I FUCKING WONDER), she's actually a psychopath and doesn't have a uterus so she knew the only way of having a baby and getting the money was to trick her sister into being her and having the baby for her, so she comes back in a grand reveal to kill Iris and steal the baby (who is horribly named Rosebud). I don't...how did she know that when she "died" her sister would...become her? Like that is the least normal response to your twin dying? But she just knew Iris would "become her" and get pregnant, so she staged her death, jumped off the boat onto a dinghy, sailed away, and hid out for 9 months, and when she "surprised" Iris once the baby was born, she was like "I PRETENDED TO HAVE A UTERUS MY WHOLE LIFE" like...part of the drama with the twins was that they were born basically conjoined and with a bunch of medical issues, literally all of Iris' organs are on the "wrong" side of her body (thus the "mirror" twin dear lord) so...like the doctors would have done a million scans and tests and would have known at birth if Summer was missing something? But alas. I've given up on trying to make sense of it. I can't. MORE SPOILERS – just as Iris is about to shoot Summer after a wild fight, their brother shows up and shoots who he thinks is evil Summer, and "Iris" is like wow thank you, and throw's "Summer's" body to the crocodiles and then the brother's like "haha I love you Iris, Summer's the worst, I can't tell you apart haha but I knew Summer would shoot you, so that's how I knew it was her!" and then on the last page we find out he actually shot Iris because he's an idiot so Summer lives and gets the baby and the money and everything. WHOOPDEY DOO. As if we're supposed to care about Iris being dead because she becomes "good" for the last few chapters after being a massive spoiled dick the entire book? Pop off Summer.
Anyway I can't believe I read this, I can't believe that this was a Book of the Month option I actively chose, and I can't believe it got published. It's your typical "thriller" but executed just about as terribly as can be. Apparently it's supposed to be a "comedy thriller" or an attempt at a spoof or satire of the thriller genre, which I absolutely did not know because it's listed as a straight thriller, and it's not...good enough to be satirical? If you read it as a dark comedy you'll probably be a bit easier on the material than I was, but reading it as a straight thriller, I'd get to the "comedy" bits like...what is the author doing? They are so out of left field and weird, it's like she didn't commit to going either way with it, and so she's left with this awkward mess where one minute she's "being funny" about baby penis infections and the next, her protagonist is getting "sexyraped" which frankly is all dark, no comedy.
Wow, wow, wow! This is 1 of those books that’s so good, it makes me question other 5 stars I’ve given! Like if those were 5, then this must be 5++! I loved this book! From the first page to the last! Enjoyed it way more than so much I’ve read lately.. And!! I whole heartedly recommend the audio! The voices were spot-on & definitely added to my experience of this 1! 1 of my favorites of the year.. I LOVED this!! (& it’s a debut?? So excited for whatever’s coming next!)
Iris & Summer are mirrored twins mirrored images of each other. Summer & Adam are on a journey of a lifetime when their son Tarquin gets gravely ill in a Thailand hospital ,Summer rings Iris for help as she is the only one she trusts.
Iris tells Summer she will be there asap, but when Iris finds out she has to sail Adams yacht by herself to the Seychelles she is a bit hesitant.
Things amp up a bit when their father dies but the will reads that when any of his children has an heir they inherit 100 million dollars so the stakes get higher.
Summer & Iris are completely different on the inside Iris marriage has failed cannot find work & is longing for the life that Summer has quite well off a child not her own but Adam hand to watch his first wife die , so Summer is now Tarquin,s mother.
There is a lot more I can say but I won't delve into any more twists as there is one that I worked out early on.
This was a good read that kept me turning the pages the plot twist I saw coming was enjoyable .
Iris and Summer are identical twins, yet Summer is the charismatic one, the nice one and even the more beautiful one. Everyone is drawn to her and it's always a competition where Iris ends up in second place.
The twins set sail for a multi day trip when one morning Iris wakes up alone, no idea where Summer is. When she finally makes it back to land, Iris allows Adam, Summer's husband, to assume she's Summer. What follows is a never ending web of lies that culminates in an epic twist.
Did I see the twist coming? Yes, to a degree. Did the ending render me speechless, it damn well did.
The reason this isn't getting 5 stars is it took me a while to really connect with the writing and there was far too much sailing talk. For a land based person in the Midwest, it just went over my head.
4.5 rounded up to 5 since Goodreads and BookBub won't let me do half stars.
The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle is OUT OF CONTROL, and I fully mean that in the best way possible. This debut novel has an ending that will blow you away, and I literally had to reread the last two pages about three times because I could NOT wrap my head around what I had just read. You do have to suspend some disbelief, but if you can do that it is so worth it to read this. It would also be helpful to do it as a buddy read since there is no way you can't discuss the ending. Frankly, I just need a conversation with the author right now!
This was a crazy fast read, and totally bingeable if you are looking for something you can read in one sitting. I was a little lost with the sailing terms, but I ended up not even caring because the end made everything worth it. The Girl in the Mirror is a great one to go into blind (as I feel most books are), so I don't want to say too much about it. Just know, it is super twisty and will have you racing to the end!
On the day my novel The Night Swim was released back in August, the city where I live in Australia was put under the toughest lockdown in the world. So it was a wonderful escape to immerse myself in the pages of The Girl in the Mirror and travel vicariously through its characters—from the beaches of tropical northern Australia, to the translucent Andaman Sea in Thailand (one of my favorite travel destinations), all the way to the Seychelles.
But if luxurious travel alone isn't enough to make you snag this book, then let's talk about the plot. Identical twin sisters Iris and Summer are mirror images of each other, but while Iris has no marriage prospects, Summer has a gorgeous (not to mention wealthy) husband. When Summer disappears in a freak yachting accident, Iris poses as her sister by pretending that she (Iris) was the twin who had gone overboard. Why? Because their millionaire father has offered his $100 million inheritance to the first married daughter to produce an heir. And now, living as Summer, Iris is one step closer.
Throw into the mix a too-good-to-be-true husband with unexpected sexual fetishes and a missing person case on the high seas, and you have all the ingredients of a twisted and compulsively readable domestic suspense story. When reality gets you down, a jet-setting thriller is the ultimate escape, and that’s why I loved this novel.
Wow, this book took me completely by surprise! This a fantastic and twisty psychological thriller that I could not get enough of. Highly recommend.
I suggest going into this one fairly blind so I will not go into the story too much. It is the story of twins Iris and Summer. Iris has always been jealous of her twin who seems to have the best of everything. She is newly married and her husband seems to be perfect. But she loves her sister and when Summer calls and asks for her help she drops everything and heads to Thailand to help bring the family yacht to the Seychelles. But when she ends up alone in the middle of the ocean she makes a decision that could change her life.
The ending of this book will shock you! It was so good.
Thanks to Allen and Unwin for my advanced copy of this book to read.