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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

My Twin Sister and Me

My Twin Sister and Me, Emiliya Ahmadova, Women's Voice Publishing House, 2018

This Young Adult novel is about Julieta and Rafaela, twin sisters living in Venezuela. They have a typical home life. There is some sibling rivalry, mostly with Kara, their older sister. Montano, a male friend, is the subject of constant bullying at school. He is kind of overweight, and has a severe intestinal gas problem. A beloved uncle, who lives in America, is dealing with Stage 4 Cancer.

The girls have joined the local Girl Scouts, and they have a chanced to go to a Jamboree in Russia. The only problem is that the Scouts have to pay part of the cost of the trip. Their parents are skeptical, but the girls' Inner Entrepreneur has been unleashed. The money is raised, and the girls, and Montano, are going to Russia.

The living conditions at the campground where the Jamboree is being held are basic, but livable. There is plenty of opportunity to meet Scouts from other countries. A bus trip is planned to a museum in Moscow, but Montano has to go to the bathroom, now. Julieta gets off the bus with him, without telling anyone. The bus leaves without them. Everyone is under strict orders to not leave the campground. Just outside the campground is a Russian Orthodox church. Along with Lena, a Scout from Russia, Julieta and Montano visit the church. They also meet an elderly woman who has been reduced to begging. Are there any other eye-opening moments while they are in Russia?

This is a very interesting story, the sort of story that could take place anywhere. For any young girl between nine and thirteen years old (the age range for this book) who is having trouble dealing with adolescence, or thinks that no one can understand what they are experiencing, reading this book is a very good idea.

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