Book: Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
Goodreads Summary: For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices.
As the world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it.
As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara’s life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth–and for Tara–will ever be the same again.
I picked up Mirror in the Sky expecting a sci-fi adventure with doppelgangers, but instead, it was more like a contemporary in an almost sci-fi world. It almost had a Life As We Knew It feel. I’ve never been much of a contemporary reader, so I was a little hesitant when I got a few chapters in and discovered Mirror in the Sky wasn’t what I thought it was. Still, I was pleasantly surprised the further I got into it, even though the whole mirror-Earth took a backseat until later in the book. The book focused a lot more on Tara Krishnan and her life as she deals with regular high school drama and the effects Terra Nova, the mirror Earth, is having on her home planet.
Tara is half-Indian and her experiences really opened my eyes to the everyday racism people of color face. She’s the only brown girl at her school, as she puts it; the rest of the student body is white as a picket fence. At one point in Mirror in the Sky, one of Tara’s teachers mistake her for an ESL student, even though she’s lived in America her entire life. There are plenty of “holy shit, that’s not okay” moments that really open up how racist a community can be.
This book also had a pretty accurate portrayal of high school; there’s homework, evolving friendships, and the dilemma of finding a table to sit at. Tara has to find her new place after her one best friend takes a term in Argentina as a foreign exchange student. Her emotions feel so, so real and it’s never one emotion at a time. Tara’s stressed, happy, angry, and sad at the same time and I can so relate.
While I enjoyed Mirror in the Sky a lot, there were some things I didn’t like as much. Popularity and friend groups play a huge role, but most of the clique drama put me off. There’s a lot of secret keeping, lying, and things happening offstage that create a LOT of drama. I kept internally begging Tara to say or do something instead of watching it all unfold. But it was also necessary for her character to keep silent, so I can’t really argue against it. But I did have to put the book down for a few minutes to let go of the drama before picking it up again.
I wasn’t a big fan of the ending, either. It felt rushed and while some issues are tied up a little too neatly, others are left unresolved. It was a pretty unsatisfying ending that didn’t make much sense with the rest of the book. Ultimately, I enjoyed Mirror in the Sky but it has a few issues.
Rating: 3 stars