Saturday, August 2, 2014

Aren't We An Odd Couple?

First Paragraph:  "Toasted bacon sandwich, orange juice and a strong cup of coffee. That's what I call a good breakfast. I love the smell of friend bacon lingering in the kitchen, and the aroma of my coffee, still hot in my cup. I'm holding the latest Vogue magazine, but out of the corner of my eye I notice the weekly post piled up on the side of our table. It's got my name on it: Lucy, Ms L.J. Evans, Lucy Evans. However you address it, it's still mine. Nothing exciting as usual, mostly bills."

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"Incompatible Twins" by Martina Munzittu is a tale of two sisters. I'm excited about this review because I was a part of the creative process. Nothing major, but back last year when the author approached me to be a beta reader for her new story, I was over the moon! I may not have really done anything, but my name is officially in print! I meant to review this months ago, but as you all know I took a bit of a sabbatical. Better late than never, right? (I'm a terrible person). Anyway, into the review.


Lucy and Poppy Evans may be twins, but they couldn't be more different. Lucy is a successful real-estate agent, and a 'material girl', while Poppy is an artistic hippie who's just come home after travelling the world for 18 months. Now this odd couple are forced to share Lucy's flat and tensions run high. The cover tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the characters and story.


Both sisters believe they are looking after the other, and we all know what they say about a road paved with good intentions. I don't have much to say about the characters, but I do want to linger on Poppy for a second. It may be because she's been travelling for so long, or because she's never really been part of the 'daily grind', but she is incredibly disconnected from reality. Her actions and thoughts are almost apathetic and unrealistically naive. For instance, she tries to hand-write her CV because she thinks it shows she cares. She acts a lot longer than her 24/25 years, and doesn't understand why her actions upset people sometimes, causing her to victimise herself. For instance, (without any spoilers) she upsets the balance within Lucy's flat and believes herself to be, without a doubt, in the right. One particular scene I found particularly annoying was in the introduction of a new character. He introduces himself as _____ (no spoilers), and Poppy keeps shortening it. This might not seem like an irritating thing, but when he repeatedly corrects her, it starts to chafe. There is, in fact, a scene where she wonders why he keeps correcting her, believing that what she calls him doesn't matter. A name is an incredibly personal thing. It is a form of identification and not to accept someone's choice is disrespectful and rude. The fact that he keeps correcting her shows that he's not happy with how she is identifying him. 

Poppy comes off as rather arrogant and annoying, but she is the only character I have any issues with. This is not a criticism of the writing, but of the character- unless she wasn't supposed to come off in that light, in which case the writing would be at fault.

In terms of plot, there isn't really one. The two sisters live together and things happen. That's it. Slice of life, which I personally enjoy. This is a short book with a feel-good, light read factor. If you're looking for a story you don't really have to think about, this is perfect. No serious consequences; happy endings all around; and a quick read. Everything gets tied up in a nice, little bow - or so you assume as the book suggests an ending- rather than actually giving the reader anything concrete. It's one of those, if things keep on like this this could happen, or this. For all we know, nothing turns out like that.

Because this book is so light, there isn't really much character development (not strictly a factor. Length does not necessarily equal better characters). The characters stay constant and unchanged throughout the story. There's no growth or revelations. Essentially, this is a story about two sisters living their daily (slightly fantasised) lives. Nothing profound or soul-searching, but a pleasant read that could liven up your daily commute.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book from the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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