her fearful symmetry

to read the blurb of this book on Goodreads, click here.


I’m not quite sure where to start with this. Don’t read my Goodreads review for starters. That thing is giant ass mess. I’ll try and be more composed with this review although it’s not promising. This book is incredibly difficult to review because I liked it but I didn’t like it. Also, I’m writing this at work at 4:00am after working 10 hour days for a a few days. Be gentle.

Okay, I’ll start with the plot. Or if there even was one. As it says in the blurb, Julia and Valentina inherit a flat from their aunt Elspeth, whom they’ve never met. They have to live there for a year before they chose to sell it and cannot let their parents live with them. Like Elspeth and Edie (their mom), Valentina and Julie are twins. But they are twins in the weirdest way. They are mirror image twins (which I’m not sure is an actual thing). This means that one twin, Julia, has all her organs in the proper spot while the other twin, Valentina, has her organs in the opposite place of where they should be. That isn’t really the plot. I just thought it was a cool aspect.

For the first 70% of the book, it was dull. I was bored to tears and almost didn’t finish. We learn that Julia and Valentina have serious dependency issues. I thought they were 12 years old or something but they are actually 21. It was just mind blowing how childish they truly were. We met Robert, who is mourning the death of Elspeth and is working on a thesis about the cemetery he works at. We met Martin, who has a severe case of OCD and was probably my favorite character because of how well portrayed his OCD was, and his wife, Marijke, who left him. Lastly, we have Elspeth, who is a ghost.

As I mentioned, the book is completely dull until the last 30%. During the first 70%, we get an in depth and exclusive look to what the twins do all day, which is basically Julia telling Valentina what she can and cannot do and how they must be together forever. That was extremely disturbing to me but after what is revealed in the end, I get it. We also get to witness Elspeth doing ghosty things.  We get a little sub plot of Martin dealing with his OCD and Robert dealing with his grief. Then literally all hell breaks loose in a matter of pages and things just go downhill.

I think I was underwhelmed. I waited and waited for something to happen and when it finally did, I was like cool but I waited that long for that? Don’t get me wrong, the ending had me gasping but I couldn’t help but feel that had this come sooner, I would have liked the book better. I think at least 100 pages could have been cut out and it would have made the book a lot better. As much as I liked Martin, his story could have been cut out and he didn’t even have to be a character.

I got the creepy vibe, which I know was the point. But I felt the author was just throwing in creepy things for the sake of being creepy. I might still give this author another shot. I liked The Time Traveller’s Wife a lot. I’m hoping that maybe her other books will be a bit better than this.




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