Twin Evils ? by Olga Núñez Miret grabs your attention in a very shocking way and never lets go. I’ll say it up front. This novella has sexual content and slang language that might upset some readers. It is listed as YA, but I wouldn’t allow young teens to read it. Twin Evils? is written in an inviting stream of consciousness manner that is as natural and as easy as conversation occurs. Now that the disclaimers and style commentating are finished, let’s get to the fun.
Most twins are portrayed as being close and loving, sometimes speaking their own twin language, and essentially completing each other. So I enjoyed the concept of twins having sibling rivalry. But what happens when the twins who need to complete each other don’t fit together and balance each other properly?
The theme of Max’s dark moods, black thoughts and mean deeds is carried throughout the novella. Comparatively, his sister Ruth is the white dove who is childlike and innocent throughout the story. But is she as innocent as she seems? Or is she just playing her role in the drama? Then close friend and neighbor, Hilda is added to the mix. Both of the twins vie for her attention and approval. But how can Hilda choose between Max’s deviant behavior and need for her approval and Ruth’s seemingly normal sweet, but sometimes childlike behavior? The ending leads me to believe that Ruth might have had a bit of a dark side, too.
I found myself wondering what made the twins turn out so differently. They are as different as night and day; dark and light; bad and good. Was it their environment? Mom and Dad despise Max’s dark behavior, and delight in Ruth’s angelic sweetness. Did their parents have a hand in creating the twins’ differences by reinforcing both Max’s and Ruth’s natural tendencies? Or was it genetic, with each twin being born with an abnormal imbalance leading to aberrant behavior, both bad and good, to the extreme? The novella ends without answering these questions, but the author leaves it open for a sequel and I truly hope she writes it with these questions in mind.
Originally posted October 24, 2013 on www.Words-With-Women.com