Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
A young woman is haunted by the ghost of her conjoined twin, in Lisa Brown’s The Phantom Twin, a sweetly spooky graphic novel set in a turn-of-the-century sideshow.
Isabel and Jane are the Extraordinary Peabody Sisters, conjoined twins in a traveling carnival freak show—until an ambitious surgeon tries to separate them and fails, causing Jane’s death.
Isabel has lost an arm and a leg but gained a ghostly companion: Her dead twin is now her phantom limb. Haunted, altered, and alone for the first time, can Isabel build a new life that’s truly her own?
About: The Phantom Twin is a young adult graphic novel written and illustrated by Lisa Brown. It was recently published on 3/3/2020 by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, hardcover, 208 pages. The genres are young adult, graphic, comics, and historical fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 12 to 16. According to the publisher’s website, “First Second Books is a graphic novel publisher located in New York City. We publish graphic novels in every genre and for readers of all ages. Our graphic novels are available online, in libraries, in comic book shops, and wherever books are sold.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Phantom Twin on 4/28/2020 and finished it on 5/3/2020. This graphic novel was a fantastic read! I liked the realistic ways with sisters, how they sometimes argue and other times get along. I enjoyed the humor. The love story is cute. It’s interesting to follow a Siamese twin’s daily lives, how one person has to give in and do what the other person wants. Isabel and Jane often bicker, but I find it funny. The illustrations are fascinating and I spent too much time looking at it. My 8 year old son read this book in half of a day on 5/4/20 and loved it.
This graphic novel slashed comic book started with a prologue, told in the first person point of view following Isabel, 16 as she woke up afraid to open her eyes because it’s the first time in her life where she will be without her twin sister Jane, 16. Then the story began with Isabel (Iss) and Jane (Jan) or both known as Jan-Iss, a conjoined twin also known as Siamese twins. They were three years old when their parents sold them to a sideshow. Iss talked about how Jan being older by a few seconds, was stronger and often Iss had to do what Jan wanted. From the show, a doctor met them and offered to perform a separation surgery so that they could each exist on their own. The surgery left one living and the other a phantom. This story is divided into four parts and ended with an epilogue.
The Phantom Twin is very well written and illustrated. A fast paced read and heartfelt story line. There were moments where I laughed and other times I cried. I’m glad to read about Siamese twins again because I haven’t read one in a long time. The supporting characters are likable like Tommy, Harold, and Nora. I like looking at the half man half woman illustration. I really enjoyed the author’s note and yes, as much as it’s fascinating to see a freak show, I would definitely feel sorry for them being born that way and then to be put on display. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: graphic novel, illustration, fast paced, page turner, sisters, humor,
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Lisa Brown is a New York Times bestselling illustrator, author, and cartoonist. Her work includes a slew of illustrated books including Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket; The Airport Book; Picture the Dead with Adele Griffin; and Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert. For adults, Long Story Short is a collection of comic strips about classic novels. She lives in San Francisco and teaches in the illustration department of the California College of the Art. (Photo and info are obtained from Macmillan’s website. Book photo obtained from Edelweiss).
More Information about First Second Books
Website: https://us.macmillan.com/firstsecond/ or https://firstsecondbooks.com/about/ | Instagram: www.instagram.com/01firstsecond | Twitter: www.twitter.com/01firstsecond | Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/FirstSecondBooks
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to First Second for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.