The Other Twin
by Karen Roberts Turner
Brown Girls Books

"...change how I see myself and maybe that will improve how life treats me."

The late teen years can be a bumpy road. Readers navigate campus life with college sophomore Ebony Morgan in Turner's smart and imaginative novel about finding and defining one's self after high school. Morgan's tale begins with the disruption of her twinhood after her identical twin breaks up with her. But whether one is a twin or not, readers will undoubtedly relate to and be entertained by this story because nearly everyone eventually leaves the security of a bestie or a close-knit family to spread their wings and test their own values and ideals.

Turner depicts college life perfectly. She takes readers right back to the dorms with roommate intrusions, drama, studying, partying, temptations, and exhaustion. She captures the life phase empathetically, remembering and describing students feeling judged at every turn by peers and professors alike. Not only does Turner nail it with regard to writing descriptively about college life, but she also does so with the perspective of a minority student. For example, in describing a gathering of people of color at the university social center, Morgan expresses her relief from the complex racial dynamics on campus, "People being loud with life and enjoying each other without worrying about offending anybody or someone feeling threatened by our existence."

Some chapters bring Michelle Obama's book Becoming to mind when the protagonist describes her time at Princeton as a minority student. Both authors write about the experiences similarly—Obama in memoir form and Turner in fiction. In Turner’s case, this is likely through the lens of her own college days. Some friends are forever, and some are not. Readers will have to find out for themselves whether Morgan and her sister find new footing and a new appreciation for each other after steering through their individual trials at Bryce College.

A 2023 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

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