By Sophie Cleverly
From the back cover
I pray that it’s you reading this. And if you are, well, I suppose you’re the new me… You must keep this a secret from everyone. It’s just acting, like we always said we would do, only you’ll be playing my part.
Don’t pay too much attention in class. Don’t wear your uniform too neatly. Stay away from Penny. Don’t get on the wrong side of the Fox… You don’t know what she’s capable of. Don’t be as shy as you usually are – just look in the mirror. Remember you’re trying to be me.
And, Ivy, I give you full permission to read my diary – in fact, you MUST!
Although this is a very interesting page-turner, I would advise great caution when passing this book to a Muslim child to read due to the following:
In a gist…
-A twin is said to have died from a fever.
-A student disappears.
-Ivy’s grief over her sister’s loss is heartbreaking at moments.
-Severe cases of bullying is present at the school: girls kick and bruise each other, a girl dumps food down another girl’s dress, a girl cuts another girl’s hair so short out of revenge, a girl pushes another girl down the stairs, another one pushes a girl into a swimming pool and laughs at her…etc. Some of these actions go unpunished while others are punished for by caning from a school staff.
-School punishes students by caning which results in sever bruising around the body and bleeding of the knuckles.
-The school cab driver smokes a cigar.
-Some girls walk into a wine cellar and call it a treat for the teachers.
-When the twins left their home to live away from their father, he merely waved them off with a glass of whisky in his hand.
Degradation of Family/Islamic Values
-Chapter 1: Ivy says “I didn’t understand why God, if he was up there, would give me a twin only to take her away again”. Although complete patience and acceptance is difficult to ask of a child, however, questioning Allah’s existence and His Qadar is Haram and such belief-rendering ideologies must not be portrayed to young children.
– A story of a school staff is revealed that she became pregnant from an unlawful relationship at a young age and gave her daughter up for adoption.
-The twins’ father and stepmother send them away because taking care of them became too much of a burden on the stepmother. Scarlet is sent to boarding school while her twin, Ivy, stays wither her aunt for not passing the school’s entrance exam.
-Ivy’s stepmother informs her of her twin’s death coldly and lacking in empathy by simply stating to her the “she died from a high fever or flu they couldn’t cure”. Without much details or concern to her feelings.
-The stepmother is suspected to have planned to replace the perceived dead twin with her living sister, Ivy.
-There is a quick mention of Theseus and Minotaur
-The school holds Sunday sermons.
-Reference to Allah as “Father” once.
Please read the above points carefully and judge the book accordingly.