Twice Lived

Tor.com. Feb. 2024. 256p. ISBN 9781250810328. $26.99. FANTASY
Some children are born shifters, moving between two parallel Earths until they settle in one for good. Most shifters maintain a single identity across their dual lives, but Lily and Canna have grown into separate people on either side of their shift. That division has kept them shifting into their teens but now threatens to tear their mind apart. Neither girl wants to lose the life she’s built, but if they don’t settle soon, both their identities will be destroyed. This novel magnifies the pressures families experience as teens decide who they’ll become. While Lily and Canna’s shifting and impending settling drive the plot, the novel’s most urgent emotions come from the girls’ mothers, Georgie and Cynthia, who are desperate to avoid losing their daughters as time runs out. Readers will find themselves torn by both families’ predicament—no matter what, someone stands to lose. This tension propels the story, but there is a lack of payoff after that tension is resolved.
VERDICT West’s (Face) novel will speak to teens and their parents’ anxieties of identity and belonging but is reluctant to settle itself on the emotional aftermath.
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