Desperate Measures

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by Laura Summers

Vicky and Rhianna are twins, but Rhianna was brain-damaged at birth. They live with their 10 year old brother, Jamie and their foster parents Sarah and Paul. On the twins’ fourteenth birthday they discover that Paul and Sarah can't really cope with them all. They want to stay and so Jamie hatches a plan...The subject of disability is brought to the forefront in this critically acclaimed debut novel. The story is told from the twins’ perspectives, with both girls dealing with Rhianna's disability in different ways. Vicky is her primary carer, and has more responsibility than she should. She is loyal to her sister and is willing to put her own life on hold to help her. Rhianna is innocent and young for her age and often doesn't understand simple concepts such as death. Although the characterisation and topics explored are hard to find fault with, the plot sometimes strains credulity. The reader’s emotional involvement with the characters should, however, sustain the interest of all but the most cynical teenager.

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