Review: Double Trouble

“I didn’t answer. I couldn’t. Because as soon as her hand touched me, I was plunged into another vision.
Real Lavender faced away. Overlaid on top of her was a brighter version of Lavender, this one dressed in a a white polka-dotted two-piece swimsuit.” page 111

Double Trouble (Twintuition #2) by Tia and Tamera Mowry.
Harper, HarperCollins, New York, 2017.
MG fantasy, 202 pages +excerpt.
Lexile: 590L .
AR Level: 4.2 (worth 4.0 points) .
NOTE: Review contains mild spoilers for the previous book in the series.

As identical twins Caitlyn and Cassie get closer to their twelfth birthday, their unexpected visions of the future are only getting stronger. Can it have something to do with the father who died when they were young? In Double Trouble, the girls have reconnected, made peace with their new hometown and between their two very different friend groups, and are now planning their birthday party. They receive a strange package that seems to have something to do with their powers…

Twintuition: Double Trouble by Tia and Tamera Mowry.

True confession: after finishing my review of the first book, I originally accidentally picked up the third book instead of this second installment. It was slightly confusing but I was excited that the plot moved forward so vigorously… until noticing the 3 on the spine. My main complaint here is the same as the previous book – the pace is incredibly slow and the plot oversimplified. I’ve been struggling to get a handle on what the intended age range for these is – the stories seem a bit simple even for lower MG, but I don’t see elementary students wanting to read about football games, crushes, and tween interpersonal drama. Maybe hi-lo readers?

The two voices didn’t bother me as much in this book. It’s still not my favorite, but at least I can tell the twins apart now. Caitlyn also stopped being quite so saccharine and showed her opinions. While most kids this age would probably have more interest in the friendship drama, I’m more interested in the fantasy aspect, which only mildly develops in this particular installment.

The first book ended with some mystery about the origin of the girls’ powers, and their true background. We also learn that the girls are actually biracial, not just Black. They have a white father who died when they were infants – their mother never talks about him, but they have once seen their parents wedding photograph.

Interpersonal dynamics are again a theme, and the (very mild) crushing and flirting also continues. Cassie’s newfound but delicate popular status is in flux thanks to sister Caitlyn’s determination to be friends with the nerdier crowd. Cassie is pretty mean to both Caitlyn and her friends, but in an all-too-realistic way. The popular girls have lost some of their bite now that Caitlyn has stood up for her friends. Unsurprisingly, popular Megan and Lavender turn out to be wealthy and well-connected, which gives Cassie some angst over having less money and no roots in the area, although she ultimately bounces back with good self-esteem.

The subplots around Caitlyn’s friends are a bit more unexpected, but mainly because the groundwork was not laid and, particularly in one case, literally anything could have been happening. While the ultimate reveal is plausible, so were about a dozen other possibilities.

This volume concludes with more of a cliffhanger – they might be getting some answers soon, but this book only brings more questions. I have hopes that the third or fourth book might finally develop a bit more of a story.

It’s been weird reading this series in between other stories. These are definitely published as middle grade, but they feel elementary in a lot of ways, and a bit too old in others. Although I’m not yet sure when the reviews will be posted relative to each other, I write this having just read The Fallen Hero. Both are second books in a series, but very, very different. Zhao’s is suspenseful and tightly paced, with a realistically teenage voice. The Mowrys’ book holds few surprises and feels much more like a young reader’s glamorized version of middle school.

However, even though I am finding them slow and predictable, that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful with the target audience. I’d suggest these for girls on the younger end of middle grade who enjoy the Rainbow Magic books.

Author: colorfulbookreviews

I work in a library by day and parent the rest of the time. I am passionate about good books representing the full spectrum of human diversity for every age group and reading level. This blog is my attempt to help parents, educators, and librarians find the best children's books authored by or featuring characters of color.

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