Book Review: The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Girl in the Mirror is Rose Carlyle’s debut novel and she wrote a winner!  This book had everything, lies, cheating, family drama, and a twisty ending.  Carlyle’s writing echoes that of Michelle Campbell and the suspense reminded me of Gilly Macmillan.  I loved it and I’m sure you will too!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startingly 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 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 t 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?

And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht?

Only Iris knows…

Review:

Where do I even begin with this one?  Carlyle masterfully crafted characters that we loved to hate.  Summer was annoyingly perfect, but I just knew that something sinister lurked beneath her seemingly flawless life.  Iris was reckless and made horrible decisions but was I found her more relatable because her envy of Summer is common across siblings.  Adam was just straight up awful.  I could not stand his two-faced and appalling behavior.  I even found Tarquin, the little stepson, annoying, which I felt slightly guilty about. 

The first 100 pages moved a little slow because we were just sailing the yacht with Summer and Iris.  I felt Iris’s pain at Summer’s droning on and on about how perfect her life was.  If you ask me, it sounded like she was trying to convince herself.  The story went from zero to sixty when Summer went overboard, and Iris was left alone on the massive yacht. 

As soon as Iris and the yacht emerged off the coast of the Seychelles, the story really picked up.  Iris previously debated whether she would assume Summer’s life or tell the truth, but in a split-second Adam comforts her as Summer the decision is made – Iris becomes Summer.  Of course, this is something I would never do, but if Iris hadn’t pretended to be Summer there wouldn’t have been much of a story to tell.  I did have to stretch my imagination to believe that nobody noticed Iris was impersonating Summer, but the pacing made this more of an afterthought.  I questioned every single character’s motives and actions because I had a latent feeling that at least one of them knew what Iris was up to. 

Let’s talk about the ending…well, partially because I don’t want to spoil anything!  I predicted one the twists and I’m sure that most readers will as well.  However, I’m guessing that Carlyle did that on purpose and threw a one two punch that left me sitting in silence for a good thirty minutes after I finished the book saying, “what?!”  Carlyle knocked me out with a shocking ending, and I was genuinely stunned and left in a stupor.  I love when an author can write a conclusion that seems to come out of nowhere!

Overall, I really enjoyed The Girl in the Mirror and would recommend it to readers who like Catherine Steadman and Michelle Campbell.  Happy reading!

Thank you to Netgalley and William Morrow for my advanced copy.  All opinions are my own.   

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