Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.
When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.
Although the idea of twins masquerading as each other isn't new, Leaver (co-author of Creed, written with Lindsay Currie) gives the premise a twist by having a twin step into her dead sister's shoes. High school seniors Ella and Maddy Lawton might share the same genes, but their lives have been drifting in different directions. Studious, quiet, and quirky Ella is headed for art school while popular and gregarious Maddy is in line for an athletic scholarship. After a car accident leads to Maddy's death, Ella decides to impersonate her sister forever. Leaver illustrates just how complicated a decision that turns out to be, weaving together a jumbled web of secrets and lies that make Ella's deception that much harder. Readers will be caught up in the very real grief that Ella feels at losing her sister, as well as her desperation to keep her secret. The final pages are not terribly surprising, but watching Ella grapple with questions about life, death, and love makes for rewarding reading. Ages 12 up.