Gemini: A Novel

Gemini - Carol Cassella A big thank you to Simon & Schuster for mailing me the advanced reader’s copy of this book! I must say that I truly enjoyed it, maybe in a way that would make me cry or run around screaming with so much emotion, but the bottom line is just that. I liked the book. To what extent is up to others to decide.

The title has only one reference to in a part somewhere I would say in the middle of the whole book. I liked the reference and the explanation to it, but felt that it wasn’t a very strong connection or, perhaps more precisely, it didn’t fit the situation in the same way that the story of the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux. That could be simply my view but I felt that despite the amount of sympathy that Charlotte had for Jane Doe and the desire to heal her, it wasn’t at the same level as the Gemini twins, for me. Perhaps I expected something unrealistic there but I still felt the relationship was on the very basic doctor-patient level.

Now, to the book and storyline itself.

To anyone who starts reading it, I think it’s safe to say that the chapters about Raney, about her story and childhood, will seem very confusing, at least the first two or three of them. She is introduced very suddenly in the beginning, her chapter appearing right after Charlotte’s as the focus point is shifted between the two throughout the book, in one chapter even being directed towards Eric, Charlotte’s boyfriend. Because of the suddenness of Raney’s introduction and the speed at which it was progressing, the sheer amount of information which was being given to the reader, I struggled with the beginning of the book and started having a couple doubts about what to expect later on. This cleared up more towards the middle and it was hinted at what the girl’s part in the story is. Some people may guess right off the bat, in which case it may be felt as a bit cliché, but although this story’s structure has already appeared in short stories and novels, this one truly did stand out from the others.

I didn’t understand Charlotte’s behaviour as a character at time, especially in regards to her thoughts towards Eric and the dilemmas she was facing about their relationship. Several times I found myself wishing that she would simply say what’s bothering her rather than beating around the bush. She was a, to my pleasant surprise, very likeable character and not a rich and somewhat snobby kind of doctor I feared I would encounter when I picked up the book. Perhaps, however, this is simply her fault, as is expected of all human beings, and I’m simply being unreasonable.

There were a couple other details that I was a little confused about in terms of their placement in the book but I won’t mention them as I want to keep this review spoiler-free. I will say though that the summary was somewhat misleading in the sense that I expected something very serious to occur in Charlotte and Eric’s relationship, as well as a test that will truly measure their love and commitment to each other. This test was not in the form I expected it to be, nor was it as shocking or terrifying as I also expected it. Of course, it needed to be written in order to capture a potential reader’s attention and make them want to pick it up, but I do warn one to not get their hopes up too high with this one and rather go with the flow.

Otherwise I cannot really pick on this book in any aspect. The beauty of it was that, while some things confused me or I didn’t understand how they were significant to the story, I didn’t DISLIKE anything. It all felt in place, written naturally with believable characters that had their quirks like any human being but I grew attached to over the week and a half or so that I spent with this book (it would have taken much less time if it wasn’t for the amount of work which needed to be done for school, and other circumstances). The forward was very informative as well and was very open and honest in the way it was written. I felt like I learned something from this book without being too overwhelmed with the scientific knowledge that was placed within its pages. This book is somewhat out of my comfort zone when it comes to reading, so it was a gamble and an experiment, to some degree, which I think really did pay off.

So will this be the next bestseller? I highly doubt it. Would I recommend it to someone? Definitely. This book is like the children you will find within its pages, searching for love and patience in return for the chance to share its inner secrets, and I suggest they are listened to. It was a book that I will remember and slowly grow into as I grow up, but I appreciate greatly the opportunity which was presented to me by introducing me to it in my teenage years. I think there are things from this that I would really take and keep with me for a while. And it was so easy to delve into after the bump of a beginning that, upon finishing, I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends, knowing that one day I’ll be revisiting them for sure.