So I finished the book Gemini a week or two ago, not even thinking about the fact that we have to do IR, so good for me I guess, otherwise I’d be way too freaking stressed over all the work I’d have to do this weekend. To be honest, I started reading this a couple months ago and couldn’t get into it, and I started it the other week again and I’m so glad that I did. Gemini is the story of two conjoined twins, Hailey, who is completely open, wanting to explore the world, and the other, Clara, antisocial and cynical, feeling trapped in her body and just wanting to be normal. Hailey and Clara were born together, and the book really delves into what rights they have as both being individuals (but not separate people). Connected by their backs, they see the world in two different point of views, both literally and metaphorically. Hailey spends a lot of the beginning of the book trying to push Clara into things she’s not comfortable with, just like some friends do. Gemini explores their growth as people in a world where they’re seen as freaks by others. Even their mother, who pretends to be comfortable with their disability, clearly does not have a grip on how to handle it throughout their 18 years, and that’s shown by the absolute meltdown she has when Hailey wants to go to a school dance with a date. I believe the author, while obviously discussing the problems the conjoined twins encountered, also displays the road blocks other people with disabilities have, like people with wheelchairs, or a mental handicap like autism. The twins go out for a college visit the one day, and Clara has a breakdown when people start taking pictures and mocking her, like a lot of people might do in real life to people with similar handicaps, like people with dwarfism. I really enjoyed the way that the author showed Hailey and Clara as real individuals with their own problems, but also the problems that they endure together, and how to deal with each other when they come to a breaking point. Throughout the novel, Clara considers going through a procedure to break them apart, even though it’s incredibly controversial and there’s a chance they could die. By the end of the book, Clara has a completely one eighty in her thoughts, deciding to embrace the struggle of staying together, and going to college for two separate majors. Another theme throughout the book is love, and how Clara and Hailey struggle to define boundaries. Clara falls in love with a boy who, even though he tries, can’t embrace her twin, and Hailey’s boyfriend, who desperately wants to have Hailey to himself (although, he does have a change of heart at the end of the book). I loved this whole book, how it embraced differences, and I found myself relating to the character of Hailey, even though I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes, so I think Gemini made me look at disabilities in a whole new light.