The Mirror Sisters by V.C. Andrews is an interesting book to read for adults. The reason I wouldn’t recommend this book for children is because the book mentions several topics of taboo that are not suitable for children to read about. The Mirror Sisters tells the story of identical twin sisters Haylee and Kaylee Fitzgerald. Ever since the girls were babies, their mother always insisted on treating them the same way. For example, she would make sure Haylee and Kaylee had the same clothes and toys. She would even make them dress the same and would punish both of them if one wore something different from the other. Their mother believed that if they were treated differently, it would lead to a horrible sibling rivalry and the girls would constantly compete with each other on who was the “better” twin.
Unfortunately, as the girls get older and start high school, it becomes clear that they have opposite personalities. While Kaylee focuses on her studies and tries to stay away from the bad crowd, Haylee becomes the rebellious bad girl. Haylee also turns out to be very manipulative and takes advantage of her sister. For example, Haylee often gets Kaylee to do her homework for her since they are expected to get the same grades in their classes. Haylee knows Kaylee won’t let her fail in school since she doesn’t want to get in trouble with their mother if Haylee’s grades goes down while her grades are good.
Kaylee is the narrator of the book and we get a lot of insight to her personality as she tells us about her family, particularly her twin sister. As I was reading, I suspected Haylee was always envious of Kaylee and was acting out for attention. I felt she thought Kaylee was their parents’ favorite, because she was obedient and always did what their mother wanted (even though it was to keep the peace and made their mother happy). As a result, Haylee wanted to feel like she was better than Kaylee at something, which is why she was always trying to seek attention from boys. She wanted to feel like she was the prettier twin and the one who was more fun to hang out with. While Haylee would be considered a bad girl, I found Kaylee’s character to be almost boring because she seems too perfect and hardly rebels. She also appears to be very naïve because she never suspects her sister of intentionally hurting her and she hardly stands up to her.
I feel if Kaylee had stood up to Haylee more often, and wasn’t afraid to tell her parents about Haylee’s rebellious behavior, Haylee wouldn’t have been able to manipulate her so easily. The ending was especially shocking and was a cliffhanger. It made me want to immediately start reading the next book, Broken Glass, to find out what happens next. The reason I decided to read The Mirror Sisters is because I’m already familiar with Flowers in the Attic and House of Secrets, which are other books written by V.C. Andrews. If you like The Mirror Sisters, you would definitely like these books too because they also center around a family with deep dark secrets.
By Iman Simab, Resident Since 2003
Iman Simab graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016 with a degree in English and Journalism. She is passionate about reading and writing. She is always looking for new books to read and hopes to become an author someday. In the meantime, she works as a teacher for Kids’ Country and a library aide for Dougherty Station Library in San Ramon. Iman grew up in Danville and attended Monte Vista High School. She also loves hiking the trails of the Bay Area and exploring nature.