Published by Kensington on March 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Every star has its own path…
“I can’t ever be the blazing star that Iris was. I’m still just a cold, dark satellite orbiting a star that went super nova.” Andria’s twin sister, Iris, had adoring friends, a cool boyfriend, a wicked car, and a shelf full of soccer trophies. She had everything, in fact—including a drug problem. Six months after Iris’s death, Andria is trying to keep her grades, her friends, and her family from falling apart. But stargazing and books aren’t enough to ward off her guilt that she—the freak with the scary illness and all-black wardrobe—is still here when Iris isn’t. And then there’s Alex Hammond. The boy Andria blames for Iris’s death. The boy she’s unwittingly started swapping lines of poetry and secrets with, even as she tries to keep hating him. Heartwrenching, smart, and bold, Dreaming of Antigone is a story about the jagged pieces that lie beneath the surface of the most seemingly perfect life…and how they can fit together to make something wholly unexpected.
I requested Nowhere Girl and Dreaming of Antigone around the same time on NetGalley, noticing they had something in common. Both stories revolve around a pair of twin sisters, one dead and one alive, and the story is told through the eyes of the remaining twin as we see how they cope with this devastating and crippling loss. However, whereas Nowhere Girl made me feel a whopping total of nothing, it is Dreaming of Antigone that shines in comparison.
Andria is a brilliant main character. She’s not done mourning her sister Iris yet, even after all these months, and therefore she tends to lash out at people. She finds comfort in stargazing and poetry and dresses like a goth. Not because she’s a total stereotype or anything, it’s not to make a statement – rather, she finds comfort in the darker colours; they make her feel comfortable. She’s quite self-deprecating about it as well, which really made me laugh.
“I decide to share my favourite poem with the other poor souls that sit in this desk in other blocks. The teacher has her back turned, scrawling more nonsense on the chalkboard. I scribble on the desk:
Out of the night that covers me
Black as the Pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
There. Have a little goth with your binomial equations.”
Imagine her surprise when, next time she sits at this particular bench, someone has erased her lines and replaced them with their own poetic quote. This becomes somewhat of a game to Andria, this exchange of poems, which is something I really enjoyed.
Then Alex Hammond returns from rehab and Andria finds herself in a tug-of-war with conflicting emotions. On the one hand, this is the guy who used to date her sister Iris; the guy who was there, stoned out of his mind, when Iris overdosed on heroin. On the other hand, despite wanting to hate this guy, Adria discovers that he’s actually really likeable and that they have quite a lot in common. It would be so easy to fall in love with him. And yet.
I was really hesitant about this pair-up at first, because I honestly didn’t expect to like the idea of them going out. I mean, he dated her twin sister. It’s weird. Still, Andria’s feelings for Alex develop in what I felt was a very natural and realistic way, and so the notion of their budding romance grew on me. (Although 2 weeks is definitely not long enough to start talking about love.)
Natalie leaves the remaining cupcakes. “Take one a day as needed. With Diet Coke. Repeat in six hours if no results.”
I roll my eyes. “What results?”
“Mom says cupcakes are the cure for unhappiness.”
The book isn’t exactly the most eventful one, but rather it’s character-driven by Andria, who’s this close to getting her driver’s license and so terrified she’ll have a seizure (and even worse: a seizure in front of her friends) and will have to start over again. Who’s initially isolated herself from the world, but is now slowly opening up to her friends and family again. Who somehow needs to find a place in this world, one where horrible secrets lie hidden and where the line between right and wrong is often blurry, but worst of all, one without her twin sister.
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a copy