From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7-Seventh-grade twins Edward and Meg are the first to proclaim that they are as different as night and day; Edward is a puny free spirit who attends an "alternative" middle school, while Meg is a control freak with low self-esteem. The twins take turns telling the story of how Meg's desire to fit in with the popular girls in her elite school and Edward's inability to resist taking his sister down a peg result in a fabrication of monstrous proportions. Soon everyone at Meg's school thinks she has a tall, gorgeous, rock star brother named Ted, a fiction that Edward (unbeknownst to Meg) encourages by impersonating Ted on the phone. The voices of the twins are eerily realistic and convincing, from Edward's choppy, casual comments on life to Meg's anguished ruminations. The readiness of most characters to believe whatever people tell them, leading to ludicrous misunderstandings, requires a willing suspension of disbelief, but the way events rapidly spin out of control makes this an enticing read for boys and girls alike. The climax, during which Edward's makeshift band does NOT suddenly become the next Nirvana, is hysterically funny and over-the-top, yet completely realistic. The twins' dawning tolerance and appreciation of one another at the end is a little pat considering their earlier violent antipathy, but also quite a relief. Light, fun, and sure to be popular.
Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
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*Starred Review* Gr. 5-7. Meg and Edward are twins, but they couldn't be more different and they don't get along. She is tall, smart, and pretty, and she has just been invited to joint the High Achievers' Club at her special middle school. He is the world's biggest loser, an immature, runty underachiever. She is terrified her fancy friends will find out about him. Two of today's best writers tell the story in the twins' alternating narratives, and they have a huge amount of fun with a plot that cuts down the high-achiever snobs and reveals how smart people can fall for their own vain fantasies. Edward shows that his clever sister is "not too swift," and his narrative is hilarious--wry, touching, and very smart. The dialogue is great, especially the conversations that reveal how hard it is to listen and to say what you mean. The twins' caring parents talk to Meg about the need to communicate, but they don't listen when she tries to tell them she lied. Don't look too closely at the plot; it's too farcical to be really credible. But the wit and slapstick carry the story, which has moments of sadness that raise serious issues everyone will recognize. Best of all is the message: laugh at yourself. Readers will. Hazel Rochman
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