Author: Emiko Jean
Genre: Young Adult // Psychological
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.
Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean (goodreads).
While predictable, We'll Never Be Apart will mess with your mind and fill you with unease.
Plot: We'll Never Be Apart opens with Cellie, setting the fateful fire that she hopes will kill her sister and her sister's boyfriend. To Cellie's utter disappointment, Alice survives and is rushed to an institute for troubled teens. At the institute, Alice makes it her mission to confront Cellie about what she has done, but her journal entries begin to show that she may not have all her facts in order.
You, the reader, already guessed the twist. I know you did, because you're a smart cookie. But the twist isn't the most important element in We'll Never Be Apart, it's the characters. Jean's storytelling made this novel devourable and 100% engulfing. Each chapter is sandwiched with a journal entry from Alice's past that shows Alice's and Celli's childhood and how it shaped them as individuals. The pacing kept me engaged and always questioning what I knew to be real.
Characters: Alice did not have it easy as a child. She and her sister only had each other throughout their childhood, and it's clear that their relationship is very toxic. This toxicity attracts even more unsavory individuals into the fold until Alice and Cellie both face their breaking points. I really enjoyed how Jean unraveled the characters, it isn't until we reach the end of Alice's journal entries that we realize how dangerous and destructive some forces are.
World Building: We'll Never Be Apart shows an ugly side that is sometimes hard to stomach. The people and the environments are not conducive for growing children. I applaud Emiko Jean for having an environment that directly influences the characters.
Short N Sweet: We'll Never Be Apart isn't what I would call unique, but it's storytelling and character development is something that should not be missed.