Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

17977051 From Goodreads: For months, Jesse has been envious of her twin sister Bryn and even has a crush on Bryn’s gorgeous, popular boyfriend, Quinton. When Jesse awakens from a coma to learn that everyone thinks she IS Bryn, the option of actually taking over her sister’s life is beyond tempting, but there’s a downside. She’d have to give up Ethan, her best friend and the only person she trusts. Could she actually live as Bryn for the rest of her life? And if her family and friends found out, would they ever forgive her?


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a twin? I have. Whenever I see twins, I’m always wishing that I had one, too. Sisterly love, someone just like me to confide it. Someone with which to share my secrets, dreams, and ambitions… the glamorization of twins has always made me jealous of those with that special bond. But glamorization is just that. The grass always seems greener on the other side, and truth be told, I can do all the above with a good friend or sibling, if I wanted to. What I can’t do, however, is switch places with them. But Jesse and Bryn can…

Carling’s novel, Becoming Bryn, follows the lives of Jesse and Bryn, identical twins, as they battle the drama that is high school. Told from differing viewpoints, readers get an in-depth look into the hearts and minds of both girls, which was an ingenious idea as it allowed me to connect with both on a deeper level than had the story been completely from Jesse’s point-of-view, which is what I expected. Through this process, we learn about Jesse’s jealousy and Bryn’s heartache, casting a differing light on the twins as they live their lives. However, it doesn’t end there. As you know from the synopsis, Bryn dies, and it is here that the inevitable twist occurs.

Thought to be the popular twin, Jesse is mistaken for Bryn, and when her feeble attempt to explain the truth to her mother falls flat and Bryn’s beautiful boyfriend Quinton comes to visit, the idea of becoming Bryn takes hold. But one can’t just become another overnight, twin or not. What I loved about this transition is that, even though Bryn is dead, we still get her point of view from the afterlife. She has yet to cross over, and we struggle with Jesse’s decision to take over Bryn’s life right alongside Bryn. We also learn that Bryn’s life wasn’t as perfect as Jesse thought it to be, and that Jesse’s life wasn’t as dull as she herself thought her own life to be, and it’s a wonderful portrayal of growing up, making life-altering choices, and having to deal with the lies and deceits we’ve spun. Though Jesse seemed a little like a whiner and many of her choices made me angry with her, I get it. And so does Bryn as she thinks over her interactions with her sister in the months leading up to her death. Being a twin doesn’t mean you know everything about one another, and maybe it’s better that way.

This is a story of love, healing, and redemption, and I really enjoyed it. I recommend a box of tissues as you read, because the ending will leave you a little bit raw. I listened to the last fifth of the novel on my Kindle as I drove down the highway on my way home from a conference because I couldn’t wait another moment to find out what happened, and let me tell you, I had to pull over and get myself together because the tears and overwhelming sense of joy and sadness made it impossible for me to function, so don’t follow my example there, don’t read and drive–the ending will leave you a happy mess. But do read it, because it’s great. Four stars.

4 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


And now for the giveaway!

We have one SIGNED paperback copy to give away!

To enter this giveaway, you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Agree to HONESTLY REVIEW the novel via a blog (if you have one), or Goodreads, or any other media format you use for book reviews (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter entry form!

This contest is open to U.S. and Canada Addresses ONLY and will end at 12:01am EST on August 14th at 12:01am. Please only enter once. The winner will be announced later on August 14th, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!


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