Three Black Swans by Caroline B. Cooney
Published August 24, 2010
I am not afraid to admit this – I am a huge book cover judger. I judge books by the cover and I don’t ever regret it. I was mildly hesitant to pick up this book mainly because the cover just looks absolutely atrocious and boring. It just screamed “not interesting – retreat immediately” to me. However, I picked it up because I read the synopsis and it was relatively interesting. After a slow start, just a chapter or two, it picked up super quickly and I could not put it down. I am so glad I read this book.
Like I mentioned, the start was a little slow. The first few chapters built up the book and once the ball started rolling, it did not stop. I mean, I stayed up late to read as much as I could before I was too tired and had to call it a night and this morning, I skipped the gym because I wanted to finish the last 50 or so pages or the book. I just needed to know what happened. The plot itself was certainly interesting – cousins who were remarkably similar to each other and for their entire lives, told everyone that they just had a very strong family resemblance until the day Missy could no longer deny it.
Missy, grew up with her cousin, Claire, who she was incredibly close with. They even finished each other’s sentences and did weekly sleepovers every day for their entire lives. It was to the point that they both secretly wondered if they were twins but then they would’ve had to face the fact that either one of them was adopted or both were and if that was the case, who was the birth mother? I really liked her outgoing personality as well as Claire’s shyness. It was definitely interesting to see how they were portrayed as cousins then as twins and then finally, the spoiler/plot twist.
I don’t think the book touched too much on them individually – it was more about the plot and the suspense, which is certainly different than most other books but I actually really enjoyed it. Of course, you got the sense that Missy was the bubbly, confident, outgoing one while Claire was the shy, book smart, focused one but other than that, it was more of a surface characterization.
I personally did not really enjoy the writing style – I thought it was a bit dry and very third person. It was as if I was just an onlooker looking in as I saw the scenes unfold in front of me. It wasn’t a style I typically prefer but I think for this book it worked really well and it didn’t even really matter because what drew me in and made me finish the book in less than one day was the storyline. It was just so interesting.
Overall, surprisingly really, really good book about identity issues especially for twins, long lost twins, and whatnot. A lot of good points were drawn in this book: family, love, biological family, etc. Once you find out a long lost twin or whatever, a lot of questions are raised: who is everyone? I also really enjoyed Missy and Claire’s individual parents. While they were a little clueless about the twin factor, it was obvious that they loved their girls and would do anything for them. There is a third important character in this book but I don’t want to draw too much attention to him/her otherwise I might end up spoiling it. Though, to be perfectly honest, the title kind of spoiled it for me.