Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink. (Grades 7+)
Little Brown, August 2009.
Review copy provided by publisher.
Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe has just recently lost her father, leaving her parentless. But when a strange mark appears on her wrist, she realizes she is being branded with much more than her newfound title of orphan. Lia and her twin sister, Alice, are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other.
Lia hides this discovery from Alice and even from her beloved James, but to escape from the burden this secret bestows she must end the prophecy - before her sister. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the mark on her wrist, the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her, and the downfall the prophecy could bring.
Michelle Zink has created an intensely atmospheric and creepy tale. From the first page, I could feel the cold November wind and Lia's growing dread as she tries to decipher the newfound mark on her wrist. The imagery is downright creepy and teens looking for a book that'll keep them up at night need look no further. The story really reminded me of A Great and Terrible Beauty and I'd waste no time in recommending Prophecy of the Sisters to Gemma Doyle fans.
That said, I have to confess that I only made it about halfway through Prophecy. It has less to do with the quality of the book (which many, many bloggers have really enjoyed) and more that it just wasn't my thing. I think my problem was that while there were great plot twists, it seemed to take too long to get to each one. I'd be on the verge of putting the book down when another plot twist came along and I'd decide to keep going. After a few of those, I decided that it wasn't doing it for me. I hate to be one of those people who thinks no great books are longer than 250 pages, but I really think that if it was 100 pages shorter I probably would have kept going.
The reason I picked up the book is that so many people were raving about it. Presenting Lenore calls it "hauntingly lovely". Book Nerds says it's a "shockingly good debut" that really made her want the next book. Shooting Stars Mag says "this book was beyond amazing!" Oh, and there are tons of other great reviews. So if Prophecy of the Sisters sounds like it's right up your alley, go find one of those gushing reviews (or better yet, snag a copy yourself and make up your own mind!).