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Three Black Swans

A book by Caroline B. Cooney

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Tense and suspenseful

  • Nov 28, 2010
Rating:
+4
Claire and Missy are not only cousins, but best friends. Despite living in separate towns, they are as close as can be, despite their parents' protests that they need to branch out. When Missy's science class discusses hoaxes, Missy is inspired to put on one of her own: she convinces Claire to come to her school and pretend to be her long-lost twin sister, and surprisingly, thanks to the family resemblance, they pull it off. But when the story hits YouTube, both girls begin to feel guilty...and then they start to question their past. There are secrets their parents are keeping, but the truth may be more surprising, complicated, and hurtful than they expected.

As always, Cooney has churched out yet another thought-provoking, surprising mystery with a good pace and probing questions about identity, nurture vs. nature, and birth. Cooney does an excellent job at defining each girl and her emotions surrounding the realization that they have a past they don't know or remember, and everything they knew about their families might be a lie. The fact that these epiphanies began with and are perpetuated by the idea of a hoax adds just the right amount of irony into the story, and turns up the tension. The suspense will have you eagerly flipping through the pages, and then just when you think you've got it figured out, Cooney throws in a twist. Three Black Swans is a smart, fast-paced, and tense pick for reluctant readers or those in need of a quick escape.

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About the reviewer
Tirzah Price ()
Ranked #279
I have a blog called The Compulsive Reader on which I review Young Adult novels, interview authors, post book trailers, and hold contests. I'm interested in anything YA book related!
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Wiki

Gr 7-10–When her teacher challenges her students to research and fabricate a scientific fake of some kind, Missy calls her cousin and best friend, Claire, for help to do the trick assignment. The plan: bring Claire, who looks startlingly like Missy, to appear on the school's live morning news broadcast as a newly found twin. As it turns out, the Connecticut sophomore perpetrates a hoax that turns out not to be a hoax at all but instead a revelation of the past that her family and two others must try to deal with and accept. Claire's sobs at the moment of revelation on the news show help answer Missy's very real question–yes, the two are identical twins, somehow. That's what everyone who sees the interview at the school and soon on YouTube believes, and with the speed of the Internet, texting, and email forwarding, a third girl on Long Island soon finds herself with a question of her own: How can I look just like these two girls I've never met? Playing on the interest of teens in identity drama, this story will draw willing readers through the suspenseful days that follow. Three sets of parents and three daughters take some time for readers to separate into recognizably different characters, but their experiences delve into the nature of love, family, parenting, and the bond of siblings.Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0385738676
ISBN-13: 978-0385738675
Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Genre: Children's Books
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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"Tense and suspenseful"
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