Twins by Isabelle Lee Ming Zhue

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Twins by Isabelle Lee Ming Zhue

Post by Remy-san on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:03 pm

I had purchased this book on the 6th of February, along with Warrior, on a Friday, when the author's father had arrived to promote his books at my school, SMK Taman Kosas, Ampang. There was quite a lot of hype about the book being written by someone so young and she had been praised over and over by her father Lee Heng Gee and a teacher of mine.
The gentleman had given me a guarantee that the books written by his daughter would be great, so I gave in to my interest and curiosity and purchased both of his daughter's books, and of which he had signed them for me (Wasn't the original author supposed to sign it..?)

I had expected a good read but I was rather disappointed and appalled at what I had read. This is the first time I've disliked a book I've read.

For the book Twins- I was seriously disliking this book for several reasons; a) The book resembles Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling too much, but in a more confusing, random, and unconsistent world. There are several things I want to point out- The use of "Professor",  the sorting of the houses, the hall, the large ancient school,  the rivalry of Roran and Roxanne, Roxanne being chosen to defeat evil, the appearance of a stag (Harry's Patronus is a stag) and a doe (Severus Snape's Patronus is a doe) in a consciousness-lucid-dream scene. The storyline was mainly focused on rather irrelevant incidents (several pranks, exams, typical school tatter) and had no hint of character development- as a character you are to grow by getting over obstacles in life and eventually become who you are today- but the only development I've seen is her eye colors and apparent "magic" changing from pure to evil.

There was nothing that made the reader anticipate the climax (which was also all the way in the end of the book, making it feel hugely incomplete and unfinished) and there are also various other references to Harry Potter, such as;

a) The wand selecting/Scepter selecting experience was hugely a mirror of Harry's.
b) "This belonged to your father" - Dumbledore, when giving Harry information about the Cloak of Invisibility. A line similar to this had been told to Roxanne by the headmistress (Oops?)
c) The sudden use of invisibility was... really. Harry had an invisibility cloak, Roxanne just threw a spell over herself.
d) The rivalry between Roran and Roxanne are really the same as Harry and Draco's.
e) Their flight through the woods completely mirrored Harry and Draco's one in their first year.

The plot was rather rushed and focused on less relevant things, and wasn't thought out enough. If properly planned it could have been a great story, but the similarity to Harry Potter was rather disappointing for me as this seems flat out like a rip-off of it.

A good book comprises of a few things- a good plot, good characters, good character development, good setting, and interesting use of language and persona. As interesting as the characters sounded, they all seem the same- same way of speaking, same behavior. Try using more different types of personalities, as there are so many! Variety is good in a good amount!

Do remember that nobody is perfect- so characters shouldn't be, either. Give them slight flaws- not just physically, but mentally too. Give them scenarios to deal with, imagine how they would react, bring them to life! This is how you give a book a soul, and with a soul in a book, readers will be able to love it even more than just a plain normal book.

Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone- It's helped me when I wrote, so don't worry. If you get stuck on a scene, don't be afraid to go out and ask for opinions- or try and imagine how your characters would react. Would they be angry, tired, sad? Annoyed? Interested? Mocking?

Also, too many "!" make it sound... overly exaggerated. Perhaps it is better to use just one, as it is enough most of the time. Too many and it... seems a bit childish.


I understand that you had written this when you were 13- and you were still young at the time, and I'm no great author myself either- but I hope this will not offend you as this is just a review from a reader who hopes you will be able to write more in the future and publish more books for the future generation to read.


Thank you for taking the time to read this, I might review your other book when I have the time.

Jayce Wong
(Wong Zi Xin)
5 Akaun 2
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Kosas
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Remy-san
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