High school senior Kelsey’s life changes when her identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car accident. Her other half is gone. There’s an emptiness inside of her that she can only see reflected in her parents grief-filled eyes.
When Kelsey accidentally intercepts a broken Skype call from Michelle’s boyfriend Peter, deployed in Afghanistan and unaware of Michelle’s death, he thinks he’s seeing Michelle.
Immediately, Kelsey tries to correct him – but the call is so broken he cannot hear her. Soon she realizes that thinking of Michelle is one of the only things keeping Peter going and she finds the truth stuck in her throat the next time she has an opportunity to tell him.
So, she pretends to be Michelle. Emails, chat, written letters.
Initially she tries to write like Michelle – finds an odd comfort and connection to her twin by identifying with everything that made her who she was.
But it doesn’t take long before pretend becomes real – and Kelsey realizes she is falling for Peter…
A Million Miles Away is an absorbing, engrossing story of grief and loss. I scarfed it down very easily and very fast.
Written with a sensitivity that makes Kelsey immensely empathetic, the author manages to make the decision to not tell Peter the truth understandable. You feel Kelsey’s need to, essentially, bring her sister back to life every time she talks to him. And the sadness that comes with the end of each call, each time she has to face that Michelle is no longer there, is evident.
Though it sounds melodramatic for Kelsey to fall for Peter, it happens in a natural, sweet manner in the novel. I appreciated that though Kelsey has some guilt about falling for her sister’s boyfriend, she primarily knows that her twin would understand. That was rather refreshing.
The true worry is the shame of deceiving Peter. Once it’s done, it’s hard to undo.
Despite my captivation in this quiet, mournful story, I did feel that the secondary characters could have been more drawn. Everybody but Kelsey felt like faceless background characters, with the possible exception of Peter and Kelsey’s parents.
Also, though I felt A Million Miles Away was a lovely, heartfelt romance – I felt the end was a bit rushed and convenient, which was disappointing.
However, A Million Miles Away was an excellent, swift read that was worth every minute!
*I received a free review copy of A Million Miles Away from NOVL. Their generosity did not influence the honesty of this review in any way.