Jo lives in the same town where her mother disappeared fifteen years ago. Everyone knows what happened to Jo’s mom. Now people are starting to talk about Jo. She’s barely passing her classes and falls asleep at her desk every day. She’s following in her mom’s footsteps. Jo has a secret — she has a twin sister. Her sister is not like most people. She lives in the woods, wild and free. Night after night, as often as she can manage, Jo slips out of her bedroom window and meets her sister in the woods, where together they run, fearlessly.
When Jo’s twin attacks a boy from town, the people in town assume it must have been Jo. Now Jo has to decide whether to tell the world about her sister or to run.
The basic premise of this novel was so far-fetched to me as to make the rest of the story a bit questionable: I just don’t see how a fifteen-year-old girl has lived in the woods her entire life—and has been sneaking into town every night for years—and no one suspects her existence but her twin sister. You just can’t tell me a child would have been capable of that kind of stealth on a regular basis.
Frankly, the town in question—and its residents—was an ugly, mean place. I’m sure places like this exist, but it had no redeeming qualities—and no nice people living there, either. Jo’s family was awful. Her life was awful. Even her best friend was awful. Jo herself wasn’t the greatest/brightest, even keeping in mind she’s only fifteen. The writing was solid and evocative, but if the basic premise of a story isn’t believable for me, it casts doubt on the entire novel.
Maria Romasco Moore teaches writing. Some Kind of Animal is her debut novel.
(Galley courtesy of Delacorte Press in exchange for an honest review.)