Summary:Sasha Stone really has it all. She’s bound to be valedictorian, she’s first chair clarinet, and has a boyfriend to match. But what she doesn’t want? This sudden crush on Isaac Harver that keeps cutting into her mind and worse, practice time. Add this to how she’s just discovered that she absorbed her twin in the womb, and Sasha is left feeling that maybe she doesn’t have it all. But no worries: her twin is there to remind her of that.
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
After being really impressed with Mindy McGinnis’s The Female of the Species in early October, I was excited to pick up This Darkness Mine soon after. If you like Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere or Gayle Forman’s If I Stay for their musical elements, you’ll really like This Darkness Mine as the first hundred pages or so puts an emphasis on Sasha’s relationship with music and her clarinet. But that’s where the similarities end.
I was really interested in reading This Darkness Mine because its blurb highlights how Sasha absorbed her twin, Shanna, in the womb. I don’t want to go into too spoilery-details but the basic premise of the book is that Shanna lives within Sasha. Unfortunately for Sasha, this means that Shanna’s crush on Sasha’s classmate, Isaac, largely affects Sasha’s feelings and behaviors, to the point that she doesn’t even remember being with Isaac. I liked how Sasha shares this sensation of having Shanna inside of her with her parents, much to their doubt and fear of their daughter’s psychological being though, because we often see protagonists in the YA world hiding their problems from their parents.
My biggest “problem” with This Darkness Mine is that we spend so much time on Sasha fretting over Shanna and Isaac and how it’s affecting her life. Yes, it’s obviously part of the premise of the book, but there’s such a lack of plot movement and felt very high school trope-like that I found myself getting bored. However, the novel’s major changing point *somewhat spoiler* where Sasha is hospitalized was a major changing point in my feelings as well. From Sasha’s hospitalization to the end of the novel, the story really becomes the psychological thriller This Darkness Mine’s blurb promises. While I think the second half of the book could have been a bit more condensed, I was really intrigued by Sasha’s mindset and trying to determine what was real and what was in her head.
Overall, This Darkness Mine was a great book for me to read around Halloween due to its mystery vibes and dark setting. I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Female of the Species, but while both books are on the darker side, they have such different plots and settings. There was also a bit of gore at the end that seemed fitting to the holiday, but left me with my hands over my heart and barely being able to read the pages because of how creeped out I was—horror fans, unlike me, will love it!
Have you read This Darkness Mine? Share in the comments!