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Monday, March 21, 2016

(5th MMGM) The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly (review, interview, giveaway)

The Lost Twin
(Scarlet and Ivy #1)
by Sophie Cleverly
May 3, 2016
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
This is the story of how I became my sister.
When shy Ivy’s troublemaking twin Scarlet vanishes from her Rookwood boarding school, Ivy is invited to “take her place.” But when Ivy arrives, she discovers the school’s true intention; she has to pretend to be Scarlet. She must think like Scarlet, act like Scarlet, become Scarlet. What on earth happened to the real Scarlet, and why is the school trying to keep it secret?
Luckily for Ivy, Scarlet isn’t about to disappear without a fight. She’s left pieces of her journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find. Ivy’s going to figure out what happened to Scarlet. She’s got to.
But the staff at Rookwood is always watching, and they’ll do anything to keep their secrets buried…

Advance Praise for Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin
“I read it in less than a day. It is gripping and keeps you begging for more.” —Reader review, The Guardian (UK)

When Ivy’s twin sister, Scarlet, dies, Ivy is forced to take her place at the creepy Rookwood boarding school...and by “take her place”, Ivy is forced to pretend to be Scarlet. But lucky for Ivy, Scarlet left behind clues, in the form of diary entries hidden across the school, for Ivy to find. With the help of a new friend, and some frenemies, Ivy races to uncover the truth of her sister’s death and find out what’s really happening at Rookwood.

The Lost Twin (Scarlet and Ivy #1) by Sophie Cleverly is a clever, captivating middle-grade tale, full of spine-tingling mystery, engaging characters, and creeptastic world-building. With a sharp, witty voice and storytelling bursting with twists and turns, The Lost Twin is enthralling from start to finish! Rookwood makes for a wonderfully eerie and irresistible setting. The author is really good at creating an electric, atmospheric air of mystery. Young readers will easily be swept up in the mystery surrounding Scarlet’s death and will love uncovering clues with Ivy. Sophie Cleverly does a great job of keeping her audience engaged and on their toes at all times.

While a few male characters can be found in The Lost Twin, the females really run the show and Cleverly offers up a quirky and interesting bunch of ladies. There are heroines to love (Ivy and Ariadne), not-so-nice girls (Penny and Nadia) to fume about, and a wicked villain  (Miss Fox) to love to loath! Both young girls and boys will find these characters a fun mix of charming, amusing, and entertaining.

The Lost Twin takes both Ivy and readers on an exciting mystery adventure and, while solving one mystery, it concludes with a thrilling setup for the next mysterious installment!

my final thoughts: Middle-grade readers who like their mysteries twisty, their settings awesomely eerie, and the heroes compelling and complex, will be delighted by The Lost Twin.

What three words best describe your book, The Lost Twin?
Spooky, mystery, adventure.

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give The Lost Twin a try?
The Lost Twin is a gripping story set in a creepy boarding school – complete with troublemaking twins, terrifying teachers, twists and turns.

Grab a copy of The Lost Twin and answer the following:
favorite chapter?
I love Chapter 3, where Ivy first goes to Rookwood. It’s my favourite chapter to read aloud at events, because you get your first glimpse of the school and you also find out what scary teacher Miss Fox has in store for Ivy.

favorite page?
It has to be the final page – the best part to write, for me! Not only because it meant I’d written a whole book, but because the ending was a very emotional experience.

favorite setting?
It might seem a little strange, but I actually really liked writing the scenes set in Rookwood’s nasty, freezing outdoor swimming pool. My school had one when I was a kid that we weren’t allowed in, and it always fascinated me.  

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser?
Ivy, I pray that it’s you reading this. And if you are, well, I suppose you’re the new me.

What inspired The Lost Twin? How did the idea come to be?
The story actually came to me during a Creative Writing lesson at university. Our teacher asked us to write about a character returning to a room they hadn’t been into for a long time. I imagined a girl walking into a bedroom with twin beds in it, but she was all alone… by the end of the lesson, I had the idea for a story about a lost twin and a secret diary.

Can you tell us a bit about your heroines, Scarlet and Ivy? What makes them unique, what do you love about them?
Ivy is shy and quiet, while Scarlet is brave, outgoing and always up to something. But when Scarlet disappears, Ivy has to step into her sister’s shoes to find out what really happened to her. So she has to learn to build her confidence, but also how to stand up for herself and break the rules. Both girls also love ballet and use it to express themselves.

I loved the idea of writing about twins and the differences between them, and especially the idea of one twin becoming the other. I really enjoyed writing Ivy in this book because she’s smart and inquisitive and driven to find the truth, whatever it takes, but it was always a bit of fun writing Scarlet’s diary entries too, because of all the trouble she gets herself into.

The Lost Twin takes place at Rookwood School...if you could attend any fictional school, where would you choose to go?
I’ve always wanted to go Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters from X-Men. I just thought it looked cool, and it would be great to have an awesome mutant power. Or if I had to pick something from the world of kids’ books, it’d have to be Hogwarts, of course. I love animals so I’d enjoy taking the Care of Magical Creatures class.

What is your all time favorite middle-grade book and/or character?
I absolutely love the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett – my favourite book in the series is A Hat Full of Sky. Tiffany is just a wonderful character – strong, clever and resourceful – and the book is hilarious, beautiful and sad all at the same time.

What do you love about writing middle-grade novels? Why do you think middle-grade literature is so popular and important?
They’re just a lot of fun to write! I never get bored of thinking up MG stories. You can really let your imagination run wild.

I think MG books are some of the most important books we’ll ever read in our lifetimes – books that teach us, that shape how we think and feel and see the world. I also think they often have the most gripping plots, because you need to keep hold of kids’ attention, and you don’t get caught up in the flowery prose you sometimes see in adult books.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at Blogging! I have a music blog, and I love writing about bands and making graphics. I write for a friend’s website too, and we’re even putting on our own festival.

I’m really embarrassed to admit That I still have the first story I ever wrote, when I was 5 years old. It’s just one very long sentence, with no punctuation…

The last great book I read was Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge. It was such an interesting book, blending a historical setting with a really imaginative fantasy world.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by The Lost Twin, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
I’d have a red velvet cupcake for Scarlet with a green fondant ivy leaf for Ivy. It would have to have cream cheese frosting, because I love the taste of it. I’d call it the Midnight Feast, because every good boarding school book needs to have midnight feasts!

Sophie Cleverly began writing Scarlet and Ivy in her second year at university, where she studied Creative Writing. She knew she had to finish telling the story, and when she heard that the university offered an MA in Writing For Young People she realized it was the perfect opportunity. She lives in Wiltshire, England. Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin is her debut .

Win an ARC of The Lost Twin!
-US/CAN only
-ends 4/16
-this giveaway is run by Sourcebooks
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Brenda said...

I love boarding school books, my favorite school would have to be Hogwarts! No surprise here :)

Unknown said...

Hogwarts! ;)

Caitlin said...

Hogwarts for me too! J.K. Rowling knew what she was doing.

Kristine said...

I would like to attend Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children -- maybe I have an amazing talent yet to be discovered. And by the way, I LOVE this book cover!