Identical twins Ruby and Garnet are inseparable. They do everything together and go everywhere together. They love being twins, and since the death of their mother they have been closer than ever, safe in their little world. But when Dad finds a new girlfriend everything in the twins’ lives is turned upside down–new home, new school, new everything. And gradually, being twins isn’t quite the same any more.
This is the third Jacqueline Wilson book I have now read in my challenge and I will admit they are starting to become a guilty pleasure of mine. Double Act is a diary written by two twins, Ruby and Garnet, about their lives at age 10. It is a tale of what happens to close friends when you start to leave childhood behind and move towards your teenage years. Considering both twins take it in turns to write entries, it is extremely well written and as always the illustrations compliment the story perfectly. I enjoyed the storyline despite the predictability of it and I did not find the story to be at all condescending or patronising unlike other children’s books.
What I liked about this book: I liked having the two sides to the story, both Ruby and Garnet sharing their thoughts and opinions on the different events in the book. The storyline was, as I said, predictable, but I am not a pre-teen and so in that context the predictability doesn’t matter. It was a believable storyline that addresses many different subject matters through the twin’s diary entries. My favourite bit was how the book touched on an issue that would affect a lot of 10-11 year olds: how it feels when your best friend, who you have spent all your childhood years with, goes to a different senior school to you. The book showed the pain, rejection and jealously Ruby was feeling as well as the fear of the unknown both the twins were feeling due to Garnet being sent to a different school to Ruby. I imagine it is something that to an 11 year old probably feels like one of the biggest things that has happened to them and this book covered that subject in a realistic way.
What I didn’t like about this book: I felt that there was maybe too many issues being addressed in this book: the death of their mother at a young age, leaving their grandmother, their friends and school to move somewhere new and their Dad meeting someone new and moving in with her. Parts of the storyline felt very similar to Vicky Angel; Ruby bossing Garnet about and Garnet living in Ruby’s constant shadow. Because of that comparison in my head I didn’t feel this book shone as much as it could have; if I hadn’t already read Vicky Angel I may have enjoyed this more.
This book again showcases Jacqueline Wilson’s talent for writing children’s books that address serious subject matter in a way that a child would connect with. The illustrations add another layer to the story and this book, as with the others I have read, really captured my imagination even though I am no longer 11 years old. It was very enjoyable and one that I would recommend for any girl who likes a good book, no matter what her real age is.