The Third Twin is a well-written thriller that kept me guessing right up through the end, and that doesn't happen all that often in adult fiction, let alone in YA. So pull up a seat and crack open the story that has twins second guessing each other amid a chaotic environment full of secrets.
So what's The Third Twin about? Here's the basics: Identical twins Ava and Lexi were adopted as infants by a man and his wife, but the wife left the family early on. As small children, the girls invented a third twin, Alicia, who took the blame for mishaps, etc.--pretty basic stuff that was fairly innocent. Fast forward to senior year of high school, and we find the girls resurrecting Alicia in a much less pleasant way: They take turns playing her when they want to date boys they normally wouldn't (for lots of reasons), even maintaining social media pages for her and coming up with a list of rules they must follow when they embody her. The problems really begin when Lexi goes out (as Alicia) with Casey, who attempts to rape her in his car. Lexi escapes, and wants to put Alicia away for good, but Ava still sees the third twin as useful. When Casey is found murdered, the girls' lives slowly begin to unwind as Ava refuses to let Alicia go and Lexi is forced to continue the story they've created. Drop in some eerie coincidences, a new guy Lexi is attracted to, an absent father, and mysterious clues that seem to implicate involvement in the murder, and you've got The Third Twin.
Told from Lexi's point of view, we get a skewed vision of the events surrounding the creation of Alicia and the downward-spiraling of what should be charmed lives. There's a side story of Lexi wanting to attend Stanford which sort of fuels things later on but it's really the weirdness of both girls pretending to be a third person that drives the entire plot. There were times when I was frustrated with both girls and even found them unlikeable, but just enough is revealed at a time that I was hooked into trying to guess what was really going on. Without much adult involvement in their lives, the twins think they can handle themselves but it doesn't take long for them to get in over their heads. I thoroughly enjoyed The Third Twin, and even if I feel that a few parts were unrealistic, I definitely can recommend this thriller.