We'll Never Be Apart

288p. ebook available. HMH. Oct. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544482005.
Gr 9 Up—Alice Monroe has been sent back to the mental facility on Savage Isle. This time around, she carries physical scars to match her emotional ones. Her boyfriend Jason died in a fire while attempting to help her escape the hospital the last time she was a patient. Now her scars ache, in particular during her one-on-one sessions with the overly concerned Dr. Goodman or while she is near the irreverent loner Chase Ward. Alice's biggest cause for concern is Celia, her pyromaniac twin sister, who is locked in the neighboring D wing just a few miles away. "Cellie" is the one who started the fire that killed Jason and burned Alice. The only way to stop her? Alice will have to find a way out again and vanquish her once and for all. This story, one part mystery and two parts psychological thriller, also gives a substantial amount of time to the development of a romance between the roguish Chase and the isolated protagonist. The work is fleshed out by supporting characters like Amelia, Alice's punkish roommate, who proves to be just as dynamic and interesting as the main characters. Perhaps a little predictable at times, the plot and its conclusion will be guessed by savvy teens. In spite of this, Alice proves to be a compelling narrator worthy of her audience's attention.
VERDICT A good secondary title for collections in need of YA intellectual thrillers with strong female protagonists.

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