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The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins

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When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms a gunman chasing two frightened homeless men, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind and, within hours, Lucy is a media hero. The solitary eye-witness is the depressed and overweight Lena Sorensen, who becomes obsessed with Lucy and signs up as her client – though she seems more When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms a gunman chasing two frightened homeless men, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind and, within hours, Lucy is a media hero. The solitary eye-witness is the depressed and overweight Lena Sorensen, who becomes obsessed with Lucy and signs up as her client – though she seems more interested in the trainer’s body than her own. When the two women find themselves more closely aligned, and can’t stop thinking about the sex lives of Siamese twins, the real problems start... In the aggressive, foul-mouthed trainer, Lucy Brennan, and the needy, manipulative Lena Sorensen, Irvine Welsh has created two of his most memorable female protagonists, and one of the most bizarre, sado-masochistic folies à deux in contemporary fiction. Featuring murder, depravity and revenge – and enormous amounts of food and sex – The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins taps into two great obsessions of our time – how we look and where we live – and tells a story so subversive and dark it blacks out the Florida sun.


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When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms a gunman chasing two frightened homeless men, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind and, within hours, Lucy is a media hero. The solitary eye-witness is the depressed and overweight Lena Sorensen, who becomes obsessed with Lucy and signs up as her client – though she seems more When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms a gunman chasing two frightened homeless men, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind and, within hours, Lucy is a media hero. The solitary eye-witness is the depressed and overweight Lena Sorensen, who becomes obsessed with Lucy and signs up as her client – though she seems more interested in the trainer’s body than her own. When the two women find themselves more closely aligned, and can’t stop thinking about the sex lives of Siamese twins, the real problems start... In the aggressive, foul-mouthed trainer, Lucy Brennan, and the needy, manipulative Lena Sorensen, Irvine Welsh has created two of his most memorable female protagonists, and one of the most bizarre, sado-masochistic folies à deux in contemporary fiction. Featuring murder, depravity and revenge – and enormous amounts of food and sex – The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins taps into two great obsessions of our time – how we look and where we live – and tells a story so subversive and dark it blacks out the Florida sun.

30 review for The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins

  1. 4 out of 5

    F

    Was interested to see him write from a female protagonist, not only that but from an American and not his usual Scottish writing. I was sceptical but he did it so well and still kept me interested. Loved how he changed the chapters of point of view from both protagonists. He usually jumps and rarely is a full book by him from the point of view of one character and I love this style. I hated both Lena & Lucy but I doubt you were suppose to like them. Strong characters and fucked up situations is Was interested to see him write from a female protagonist, not only that but from an American and not his usual Scottish writing. I was sceptical but he did it so well and still kept me interested. Loved how he changed the chapters of point of view from both protagonists. He usually jumps and rarely is a full book by him from the point of view of one character and I love this style. I hated both Lena & Lucy but I doubt you were suppose to like them. Strong characters and fucked up situations is something you can depend on from Irvine Welsh and this didnt disappoint. Of course it is still no trainspotting or glue. And I am really glad Lena & Lucy ended up together in the end since there was such sexual tension throughout the book. I wish there had been a bit more info on Lena keeping Lucy tied up.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Irvine Welsh has always been an author that I have wanted to read, but he always seemed to sit on the backburner. I have Trainspotting on my bookshelf and I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. His new novel The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins seemed like just the right amount of filth and bizarreness for me at the time. The novel kicks off questioning American’s obsession with numbers, from statistics, ratings, western culture seems to measure everything with numbers. From crime rates, percentages to Irvine Welsh has always been an author that I have wanted to read, but he always seemed to sit on the backburner. I have Trainspotting on my bookshelf and I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. His new novel The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins seemed like just the right amount of filth and bizarreness for me at the time. The novel kicks off questioning American’s obsession with numbers, from statistics, ratings, western culture seems to measure everything with numbers. From crime rates, percentages to economical values to shoe and breast sizes; everything is about numbers. This sets up the protagonist, personal trainer Lucy Brennan, who obsessively records everything, from her calories, her exercise and every aspect of her life, as well as those she trains. Set in the image obsessed Miami, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins tells the story of Lucy who heroically disarms a gunman who was chasing down two homeless men. This was witnessed and recorded by the sole eyewitness, Lena Sorensen. Lucy’s act of heroism transforms her into an insta-celeb with national exposure, giving her the break she has been looking for. Lena becomes obsessed with Lucy and signs up as one of her clients. The two find themselves getting closer, too close for comfort. I officially believe that all personal trainers are sadists; however Lucy takes this to a whole new level. She goes from strict personal trainer to scary crazy in the efforts to get Lena into shape. Reading this novel reminds me never to get a trainer; I don’t think I can handle the efforts one might go to, to get me into shape. I won’t go into details; the whole concept of fitness and eating healthy within this novel is worth exploring without any spoilers. In an interesting twist, it turns out that the two frightened men Lucy saves from the angry gunman turned out to be paedophiles. The media focus quickly shifts from heroine to whether she should have stopped a victim of sex abuse from getting his revenge. Would she have acted differently if she knew the reason? It is no longer a story about bravery and heroics but one of pain and vengeance. I read this novel as a caper that quickly spiralled out of control. Irvine Welsh was able to produce very unique acerbic characters, all vastly different from each other, with their own little quirks and flaws. Lucy a militant personal trainer, we get to watch her stardom rise and fall and Lena an avant-garde sculptor who is a shy talent with a dark side that comes through mainly in her art. I get the impression that Welsh likes to explore the darker side of humanity. While I tend to enjoy transgressive fiction I was finding some issues within this novel that I will try to explain. Irvine Welsh doesn’t hold back; Lucy Brennan is a hard hitting, foul-mouthed, aggressive woman; an anti-hero that I can’t help wondering if she is realistic. She claims to be a feminist but comes across almost like a misogynist, rather than just an angry bitch. I increasingly began to see her less as a female protagonist and more as Welsh’s fantasy of the ideal woman. His own masculinity seems to come through in this character and she comes across as a slutty bi-sexual that has the libido and personality of a teenage boy. That is not to say that there aren’t women like that out in the world; for me, her personality never rung true. I was never sure how to take Lucy; she started off as a strong willed, fitness freak with no social filter and a mouth and sex drive that is unmatched. These people obviously do exist in the world and I tried to take her seriously but as the novel went on it become harder and harder to suspend my disbelief. She became less of a character in the novel and more the voice that satirizes Irvine Welsh’s own soapbox views. Lean Sorensen is far more interesting; she comes across as timid but talented artist but she doesn’t see that. She views herself the same way the world does, as just a pathetic overweight woman. Whether it is the manipulative ex-boyfriend, the passive aggressive parents or the fake friends of the art world, she is depicted as a broken woman trying to get her life together. I enjoyed the darkness that came through under the perky and cheerful facade that she tries to put on; it really rounded out the character. She kept my interest throughout the novel. The title The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins is an interesting topic as it refers to a subplot about the media frenzy around two conjoined teens, Annabel and Amy. Annabel is considering losing her virginity to her boyfriend but Amy is not too keen on this idea. A conversation about the twins and their sex lives is a reoccurring conversation/argument between Lucy and Lena. They have differing views about sex and the conjoined twins and often the focus of their personality clash. I have to mention the morning pages program that mentioned throughout this novel. It is a program where you must write three pages in a stream of consciousness format every morning. The idea of this program is to help identify issues that need extra attention while trying to achieve their goal, in this example weight loss. Morning pages interested me because it was the concept that inspired 750words.com a site I’ve been using to develop a good writing habit. In the pursuit for perfection, things get dark and twisted; The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins explores this very topic. A novel of depravity, revenge, sex and crime, Welsh gives the reader plenty to think about and if you can suspend your disbelief when it comes to Lucy, this book really is extremely rewarding. Be warned there is a lot of swearing and sex, not for the sweet and innocent. The sex has a voyeuristic approach to it, not erotic at all and often disturbing. In the end, this novel was a rewarding endeavour into transgressive fiction but I need something sweet to read next. This review originally appeared on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2014/...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms a gunman chasing two frightened homeless men, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind and, within hours, Lucy is a media hero. The solitary eye-witness is the depressed and overweight Lena Sorensen, who becomes obsessed with Lucy and signs up as her client – though she seems more interested in the trainer’s body than her own. When the two women find themselves more closely aligned, and can’t stop thinking When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms a gunman chasing two frightened homeless men, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind and, within hours, Lucy is a media hero. The solitary eye-witness is the depressed and overweight Lena Sorensen, who becomes obsessed with Lucy and signs up as her client – though she seems more interested in the trainer’s body than her own. When the two women find themselves more closely aligned, and can’t stop thinking about the sex lives of Siamese twins, the real problems start… Superficially Lucy and Lena couldn’t really be more different. Lucy is toned and trim with a sharp tongue and an extrovert nature. Her foul mouth and gung-ho attitude towards life seems like the perfect tools to navigate life in the self-obsessed environment of Miami Beach. Lena meanwhile is the polar opposite. Overweight, introspective and shy she hides away from the world. Where Lucy appears confident and strong, Lena is weak willed and easily lead. A chance meeting brings the two together and it’s not long before they both realise that appearances can be more than a little deceptive. I love the way that Welsh’s characters often verge on the very cusp of the grotesque, but he never allows them to cross that line. He is such a keen observer of humanity and seems to be able to get to the very core of all his characters with ease. Both Lucy and Lena are riddled with flaws but that’s what makes them so compelling. It makes them come across as realistic and human. Certain aspects of the characters remind me of people that I’ve met before. When it comes to fiction, flawed protagonists are always fascinating to follow, and in The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins the reader is spoiled for choice. The better Lucy gets to know Lena, the darker the story becomes. There are a series of chapters where Lena recalls her history and they offer real insight into how events in her life have shaped everything about her and her world-view. From her upbringing in a small town, through her time in art school, right up until the moment where she and Lucy first meet; all of these moments leave their mark. As events begin to spiral out of each woman’s control, Welsh uses the paradigm shifts in their relationship to explore modern attitudes towards everything from sex and death, to celebrity culture, body image and religion. Fiction that challenges pre-conceived notions and demands introspection really doesn’t come much better than this. I remember way back in the early 90s and the first time I cracked open a copy of Trainspotting, though I was born and grew up only fifty miles away from where the novel was set this was a completely alien world to me. I’d never read anything like it, and I was utterly stunned by how emotive and thought provoking Welsh’s work was. His writing has continued to display that same self-assured confrontational edge over the years. Time has not diminished this author’s ferocious passion one iota. I loved his writing back then and I still love it now. As is always the case with a new Irvine Welsh novel things are unashamedly adult. I’d imagine there are those who think Welsh’s use of adult language, sex and violence are too extreme but I’d disagree. Yes, sometimes there are scenes that can, in isolation, be viewed as shocking, but within the context of the story they are entirely appropriate and are necessary to move the plot forward. Welsh doesn’t ever pull his punches. He lets the reader make up their own mind and draw their own conclusions, it’s the thing I’ve always found most enjoyable about his work. He doesn’t pander to anyone he writes from the heart and it shows. Overall, I found The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins to be mind-bendingly good stuff. The writing dissects every 21st century obsession you could name with a critical flair. There is no aspect of modern society that escapes the author’s steely gaze. Nowadays, it often feels like we exist in a multimedia bubble and Welsh plays with that fact, using it as the basis for his entire narrative. In a world where fame has become an addictive commodity, the big question this novel asks is at what cost? The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins is published by Jonathan Cape Ltd and available from 1st May 2014.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Deans

    Let me begin by saying that Irvine Welsh is my favourite writer of the last 25 years. I was blown away by Trainspotting, The Acid House, Ecstasy, Glue and Filth. I didn’t particularly enjoy Marabou Stork Nightmares but I could appreciate its ambition and power…it haunts me still. I loved Porno, but after that he started to seem a tad jaded. If You Enjoyed School You’ll Love Work was trying too hard. The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs was a confused mess. And Crime left me cold (with too Let me begin by saying that Irvine Welsh is my favourite writer of the last 25 years. I was blown away by Trainspotting, The Acid House, Ecstasy, Glue and Filth. I didn’t particularly enjoy Marabou Stork Nightmares but I could appreciate its ambition and power…it haunts me still. I loved Porno, but after that he started to seem a tad jaded. If You Enjoyed School You’ll Love Work was trying too hard. The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs was a confused mess. And Crime left me cold (with too much riding on a late-revealed traumatic childhood to explain a dysfunctional adult – ground he’d already covered so brilliantly with Bruce Robertson in Filth. There was a brief return to form with Skag Boys – Begbie in particular was breathtaking in that reprise – so I looked forward to Irvine’s next effort confident that he’d rediscovered his edge. Alas, he has not. The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins is an almost colour-by-numbers attempt to counterpoint the evolving relationship of two women (one fit, one fat) with the developing media fascination with a pair of conjoined twins who want different things in their lives. It was pretty hard for me to get into the story – mainly because I didn’t like (or believe) the main character – Lucy. She seemed to have the same voice as the increasingly coke-psychotic Sick Boy from the second half of Porno, and the only reason I knew she was a woman was because she kept saying so (despite her unrelenting misogyny). Neither did I believe the other main character (Lena) – especially her true sexual orientation which is conveniently revealed towards the end. I especially did not believe the major turning point that happens about halfway through. Stranger things have happened, of course, but there needed to be at least some vague foreshadowing that such was possible to make it believable when it came. Too much in one go did not make sense. There was an interesting idea underpinning the plot but the whole thing read like a first draft. The story needed a lot more structural editing to pull it into shape. Most disappointing was the absence of the usual Welsh dark humour. The sex scenes also read like a middle aged man’s lesbotic fantasy rather than smacking of any authenticity. And TWO main characters with dysfunctional lives attributable to past trauma is just getting lazy. Worst of all, I guessed every detail about the ending long before it happened. A further couple of drafts might have enabled him to conceal the ‘twists’ a little better – or even come up with some better twists to trump the reader’s expectation. The question must be asked: has Irvine Welsh become the sort of writer he might most have despised when still scribbling in obscurity? Is he now a complaisant ex-virtuoso basking in the ebbing shadows of former glory like Meatloaf at the MCG? (Google it.) I reckon the talent is still there, he just needs to work harder than ever to refine his draft plots into something worthy of the Irvine Welsh brand. Mibbe eh just needs back oan the skag? Ah widnae mind a sequel tae Porno. Aye right, Irvine?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    Wow. In this novel, Irvine Welsh has created some of his most engaging characters. I love the fact that he doesn't mind writing from the female point of view, and he doesn't mind making his characters incredibly fucked up. As always, no character is inherently bad. There's motivation, and even if you don't muster up empathy, there's at least some sympathy. This book is definitely twisted, and I loved every minute of it. "Vince Vaughn eyes" is one of the greatest descriptions I've ever read, and Wow. In this novel, Irvine Welsh has created some of his most engaging characters. I love the fact that he doesn't mind writing from the female point of view, and he doesn't mind making his characters incredibly fucked up. As always, no character is inherently bad. There's motivation, and even if you don't muster up empathy, there's at least some sympathy. This book is definitely twisted, and I loved every minute of it. "Vince Vaughn eyes" is one of the greatest descriptions I've ever read, and the metaphor lingers in my mind even now.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    When I spotted this on the new releases shelf of my local library, I was baffled of the idea of Welsh having written this book, set in Miami, about two women in their early thirties, one of which is a body obsessed fitness obstructor. What could the author of Trainspotting and Filth tell me about these people, and this place? I was absolutely blown away. From the Americanisms in the pov voices of the two main protagonists, to the female experience of sex, image, experiences and our placement When I spotted this on the new releases shelf of my local library, I was baffled of the idea of Welsh having written this book, set in Miami, about two women in their early thirties, one of which is a body obsessed fitness obstructor. What could the author of Trainspotting and Filth tell me about these people, and this place? I was absolutely blown away. From the Americanisms in the pov voices of the two main protagonists, to the female experience of sex, image, experiences and our placement within the world at large, I had to keep reminding myself that this was written by a Scottish Middle aged man. It was fantastic. The story was spellbinding and had me hooked, I pounded through in two days, staying up way past my bedtime to see what would happen next, as I honestly could not see any of it coming, unlike any book I've read in many years. The setting and environments were so well imagined and conveyed, I found myself in southern Florida for 48 hrs, and strolled their haunts, their homes, the climate and their minds. I honestly don't know if I would have taken this book if it had been by another author, and especially I think, if it had been written by a woman as by the blurb, it could so easily have led into another dull tale of body image and boyfriends. In hindsight, that actually is what it is, but it's been brought to us in a brand new, non-simpering manner, with the added typical horror and revulsion we have all come to know, and many of us love, from Irvine Welsh. I actually hugged the book when I'd finished. Don't tell the library though, I think that's disallowed in their new pamphlet of rules.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nigeyb

    Much better than I was expecting Irvine Welsh is my favourite contemporary writer. Since reading 'Trainspotting’, around the time it came out, I have read most of Irvine Welsh's books and, to one degree or another, enjoyed them all. On 4th May 2014, I went to see Irvine Welsh in conversation with (the nearly as brilliant) John Niven at the Brighton Festival. It was around the time 'The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins' was published. Everything I heard that night suggested this would be another Much better than I was expecting Irvine Welsh is my favourite contemporary writer. Since reading 'Trainspotting’, around the time it came out, I have read most of Irvine Welsh's books and, to one degree or another, enjoyed them all. On 4th May 2014, I went to see Irvine Welsh in conversation with (the nearly as brilliant) John Niven at the Brighton Festival. It was around the time 'The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins' was published. Everything I heard that night suggested this would be another Welshian winner. For whatever reason I have only just got round to reading it and in the interim my expectation levels dipped significantly having read a few negative reviews from long time fans. For my money 'The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins' is up there with Irvine Welsh's best work. It’s not quite Trainspotting, Skagboys, or Porno - but then what is? 'The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins' contains a couple of classic Irvine Welsh characters - Lucy Brennan and Lena Sorenson. Irvine Welsh writes brilliant characters and these are right up there with some of his best. Especially the monstrous, hilarious Lucy Brennan - the ultimate, obsessive personal trainer - a bisexual with a voracious sex drive and a-take-no-prisoners attitude that is both appalling and very funny. Lena Sorenson appears to be very different to Lucy - an overweight, self effacing artist who is both damaged and vulnerable - but are they really so very different? I’ve always enjoyed Irvine Welsh’s female characters so a book narrated entirely from the point of view of Lucy and Lena was wonderful. The book opens with a very dramatic incident and I was gripped from the off and enjoyed every page. The Miami location and all American cast are also a refreshing change from his Scotland based work. Were it not for the mixed reviews, I would confidently assert that if you like Irvine’s oeuvre you’ll love this too. I thought 'The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins' was very entertaining and another winner from the great man. 4/5

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This is an excellent book. I was excited that this was the first time I got to read my favourite author's new book as soon as it was released and it didn't disappoint. Much has been made of the fact this is the first novel Welsh has released that doesn't contain any reference to his native Scotland (Crime was set in the States but still had ties by virtue of Lennox being Scottish and featuring himself in Filth). I'd say he's executed the 'transition' beautifully although much of that is owed to This is an excellent book. I was excited that this was the first time I got to read my favourite author's new book as soon as it was released and it didn't disappoint. Much has been made of the fact this is the first novel Welsh has released that doesn't contain any reference to his native Scotland (Crime was set in the States but still had ties by virtue of Lennox being Scottish and featuring himself in Filth). I'd say he's executed the 'transition' beautifully although much of that is owed to the fact that his characters still have the same borderline-psychopath tendencies of a Begbie or Bruce Robertson. Whilst still containing the trademark depravity, the story is enjoyable and original. I came close to giving it 5 stars because there are broader messages being conveyed but ultimately they're not intellectually fresh enough in my opinion to warrant 'classic' status. For the record, the novel is an exploration into how the American society is increasingly polarised into the junk-food eating obese population and the health-obsessed. Sex (specifically feminimity) features heavily and the way two people in close proximity interract in the context of this and the aforemententioned society is crucial to the entire book...it's very hard to be more specific without ruining some of the nice twists and turns in the book! On writing this review, I may revise my rating upwards to 5 stars but I just don't quite feel it's a rich enough or comprehensive enough insight to rival Skagboys or Trainspotting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cbj

    One of Welsh's lesser novels. Yes, its worse than CRIME. Somehow, Welsh is not at his best when he is out of his comfort zone - writing about the Scottish working and middle classes. Irvine Welsh writing a novel set outside Scotland is like Martin Scorsese making a movie which is not about Italian Americans. Frankly, a lot of Welsh's commentary on American society is trite and antiquated. So Americans are religious and gluttonous and philistine and TV addicted. A million articles and novels have One of Welsh's lesser novels. Yes, its worse than CRIME. Somehow, Welsh is not at his best when he is out of his comfort zone - writing about the Scottish working and middle classes. Irvine Welsh writing a novel set outside Scotland is like Martin Scorsese making a movie which is not about Italian Americans. Frankly, a lot of Welsh's commentary on American society is trite and antiquated. So Americans are religious and gluttonous and philistine and TV addicted. A million articles and novels have already been written about all these attributes. The novel is up to its neck in cliches about American society. It is almost as if he wrote this book in his sleep. A lot of it seemed to be uninspired. The main character was downright mean and nasty and Welsh was only mildly successful in capturing the pathos of Lucy's situation. Even though Francis Begbie, Sick Boy and Juice Terry were despicable characters, Welsh was always able to flesh out their humanity. In this book, the things that needed to be foregrounded were always in the background. Welsh's razor sharp wit was also absent - a lot of the jokes were downright unfunny and crude. I would still pre-order Welsh's next novel (I read it is going to be about Juice Terry). But THE SEX LIVES OF SIAMESE TWINS was a real let down. I hope Welsh does not prove Sick Boy's "unifying theory of life" to be correct :).

  10. 5 out of 5

    AMASHI

    Irvine Welsh's competence to originate fierce and feisty alpha females is thrilling.

  11. 5 out of 5

    KatieMc

    Would you want to read a book where the protagonist is fitness fanatic professional who uses abuse and shame to kick her victims clients into shape? Do you enjoy when this sort of thing happens? Me neither. And it's a shame because this was actually a good dark and twisty tale that kept me quite entertained. Writing extreme characters is tricky, they can quickly turn into caricatures and any growth or development feels contrived. Lucy is as tough as nails, disciplined, angry and has a potty Would you want to read a book where the protagonist is fitness fanatic professional who uses abuse and shame to kick her victims clients into shape? Do you enjoy when this sort of thing happens? Me neither. And it's a shame because this was actually a good dark and twisty tale that kept me quite entertained. Writing extreme characters is tricky, they can quickly turn into caricatures and any growth or development feels contrived. Lucy is as tough as nails, disciplined, angry and has a potty mouth. Despite being bisexual, she drops fag and dyke bombs regularly. The other protagonist, Lena, is an unusual blend of naive stress-eating Minnesotan and darling of the art world who creates sculptures from animal bones. Lucy is angry. Lena is needy. Lucy and Lena get inextricably tied together, not unlike conjoined twins. Which is exactly why I picked this book. The title snagged me. And it's not the first time. Many years ago, I read for the same reason. The book about Change and Eng is a fake-memoir, but they both did father children and I was curious as to how they went about it. If you must know what the author made up, (view spoiler)[they agreed that the non-spouse in the marital bed would go into a self induced trance when the other was having sexytimes. It didn't work out that well because one of them fell for his bother's wife, and MESSY! (hide spoiler)] . Back to Lucy and Lena. If the author would have brought them down a notch (or 2 in Lucy's case) this would have been a solid 4 stars. Read it if you like crazy effed-up dark characters with a side of non-con. Read it if this quote makes you smile: If there are two bitches in a bedroom, I'm the psycho one every fucking time. catchy title - 5 stars entertainment - 4 stars characters - 2 stars writing - 3 stars surprise factor - 3 stars audio narration - 2 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    I'm not sure if it's my impression but ever since Glue my interest in Irvine Welsh as been going down and with each subsequent book I've experienced nothing but disappointment. Disclaimer one - I thought Porno was a ton of fun. Disclaimer 2. I haven't read Crime or Skagboys but they are on my to be read shelf. When I found out that Welsh was publishing another book this year, I thought I'd give him one more chance and if I disliked The sex lives... I would stop investing in his books. As it turns I'm not sure if it's my impression but ever since Glue my interest in Irvine Welsh as been going down and with each subsequent book I've experienced nothing but disappointment. Disclaimer one - I thought Porno was a ton of fun. Disclaimer 2. I haven't read Crime or Skagboys but they are on my to be read shelf. When I found out that Welsh was publishing another book this year, I thought I'd give him one more chance and if I disliked The sex lives... I would stop investing in his books. As it turns out, i'll be buying more of his publications in the future. Welsh excels at two things. One is documenting the Scottish working class and the other is being disgusting - in fact the more gross he is, the more enjoyable the book is and The Sex Lives forms part of the latter. Lucy Brennan is a fitness nazi in the land of the obese - the USA and at the start of the book she stops a murder taking place using violence. The thing is that Welsh cleverly turns things around and with some twists Lucy ends up being a victim of media bullying. To complicate things she gets stalked by an artist , who has a lot of baggage herself. The novel starts slow - Welsh takes over a hundred pages in order to set the scene but after that it's the classic Welsh that was lacking in novels like Glue and Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs. Both Lucy and the artist, Lorna end up in a psycho bizarro sexual relationship that only Irvine Welsh can think up of. In the past Welsh used a lot of shock factor but here he's become more versatile as he tackles topics such as American dietry habits, sexual harassment , feminism,post modern art, Reality TV culture and many more, not to mention the metaphorical use of the novel's title. So yes, I did enjoy reading this and I also do like the new complex Irvine Welsh - he's grown up but the childish streak of yore is still present.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vince Darcangelo

    http://ensuingchapters.com/2015/02/15... Longtime fans will not instantly recognize the author in this new work. Rather than the gray-skied schemes of Scotland, the drama unfolds in sun-kissed Miami, and missing is the phonetic text and colorful British slang. Not absent, however, are the troubled characters, existential peril and sharp-tongued satire expected from the author of Trainspotting. In his brilliant new book, Welsh entangles the lives of a body-obsessed fitness instructor, an overweight http://ensuingchapters.com/2015/02/15... Longtime fans will not instantly recognize the author in this new work. Rather than the gray-skied schemes of Scotland, the drama unfolds in sun-kissed Miami, and missing is the phonetic text and colorful British slang. Not absent, however, are the troubled characters, existential peril and sharp-tongued satire expected from the author of Trainspotting. In his brilliant new book, Welsh entangles the lives of a body-obsessed fitness instructor, an overweight artist and a child-abuse victim bent on his pound of flesh. The three meet on a bridge, when Lucy, seeing a gunman chasing after two homeless men, intercedes to stop the attack. All of this is caught on tape by Lena, who becomes obsessed with the feisty trainer. Lucy, of course, becomes an instant celebrity, and entertains visions of her own television show and fitness empire. Until it is learned that the men she saved were sexual predators. Though functioning as satire of social networking, media voyeurism and the fickleness of fame, Sex Lives becomes the story of Lucy and Lena’s budding and devolving codependent relationship. We are taken for more than a few dark turns by an author famous for dark turns. I’m a longtime fan of Welsh’s work, but I have to admit that I’ve found his recent books hit and miss. Recent novels have entertained, but lacked the gut-punch of Marabou Stork Nightmares, Filth and Glue. The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins is different from his other novels, but reveals a skilled author straining the old vinegar and aiming it at fresh targets.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Reading Badger

    “The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins” came as a surprise for me. While you can see strong female characters throughout Welsh’s books, this was the first one for me where there were two female leads, each strong but fucked up in their own way. The story begins with one of the protagonists, Lucy Brennan, personal trainer extraordinaire, disarming a gunman chasing two unarmed men. Her bravery is recorded by the second protagonist, an overweight artist, Lena Sorensen, who quickly begins to idolize “The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins” came as a surprise for me. While you can see strong female characters throughout Welsh’s books, this was the first one for me where there were two female leads, each strong but fucked up in their own way. The story begins with one of the protagonists, Lucy Brennan, personal trainer extraordinaire, disarming a gunman chasing two unarmed men. Her bravery is recorded by the second protagonist, an overweight artist, Lena Sorensen, who quickly begins to idolize Brennan. Sorensen becomes a client of Brennan, and the two begin to get closer and closer. The differences between them and their belief systems are shown from the perspective they both had on a pair of Siamese twins (part of a reality show they watch) and said twins sex lives. As the story evolves, we get to see insights on both their lives and what got them to where they are now: why Brennan is obsessed with winning and not showing any weaknesses and why Sorensen is overweight and has low self-esteem. As almost all of Welsh’s books, the ending is something else, and I will let you discover that on your own, but it is anything but predictable. The book is easy to read, the action flows quickly, and it is in some ways quite educational as it is clearly seen that it was well researched. As a badger’s final thoughts on this book, it is not for the faint-hearted, the language is sometimes cruel, but necessary, the subject is a little controversial, but it did give me a very good feeling and perspective at the end.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eddie

    Irving Welsh has moved from Edinburgh to America and based his latest book in Miami. At its heart though it is still about how we live and if one has read his previous books there is a comparison to be drawn between the nature of an addition to drugs, as with his Leith novels (Trainspotting etc), with the nature of an addiction to fitness. The main character Lucy is tough and uncompromising. She works as a personal trainer and is obsessed with calories and exercise. Her own workouts are hard, Irving Welsh has moved from Edinburgh to America and based his latest book in Miami. At its heart though it is still about how we live and if one has read his previous books there is a comparison to be drawn between the nature of an addition to drugs, as with his Leith novels (Trainspotting etc), with the nature of an addiction to fitness. The main character Lucy is tough and uncompromising. She works as a personal trainer and is obsessed with calories and exercise. Her own workouts are hard, boxing and martial arts training, and she lives an existence that doesn’t have room for anyone else. Yet as we discover she is trapped on a road that she believes the is only one as she is terrified to stray of it, even one tiny bit. Just like a drug addicts in the Leith novels are trapped in a particular environment that is difficult to escape. For me the book is about American culture and how it feeds into a particular type of individualism and ultimately traps Lucy into maintaining a persona that deep down isn’t her.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lee Anderson drunkonbookz

    Mixed martial artist and serial calorie counting personal trainer, Lucy Brennan, finds herself in a car accident on a highway one night. Things spiral out of control and before Lucy knows it she's disarming a gunman and pinning him to the ground until the Police arrive. Meanwhile all is caught on camera by another motorist. Meet camera woman, extremely overweight artist, Lena Sorensen. Who soon becomes obsessed with Lucy. But as their lives carry on, who really is obsessed with who? Both women Mixed martial artist and serial calorie counting personal trainer, Lucy Brennan, finds herself in a car accident on a highway one night. Things spiral out of control and before Lucy knows it she's disarming a gunman and pinning him to the ground until the Police arrive. Meanwhile all is caught on camera by another motorist. Meet camera woman, extremely overweight artist, Lena Sorensen. Who soon becomes obsessed with Lucy. But as their lives carry on, who really is obsessed with who? Both women have dark pasts and different coping mechanisms, Lena -food, Lucy -exercise. One thing they do have in common is a current news story of conjoined twins, Amy & Annabel, one that is in love & the other is objecting to the relationship. The conjoined twins will have u hooked! Along with Lucy's mission to help Lena loose weight. The end is a shocker & is for u to discover when u read this book!!! 3 stars

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hayley Gullen

    I've always enjoyed Irvine Welsh's female characters - they've always been the dry-witted, long-suffering and ruthless counterpoints to his male wasters. It was good to see a book where they took the lead. Having said that, however, I struggled with the believability of the two lead characters. Lucy, the almost psychotic personal trainer, is just that bit too ruthless. Some of Lena's decisions towards the end, in addition, didn't chime with the knowledge of her that I'd established in the first I've always enjoyed Irvine Welsh's female characters - they've always been the dry-witted, long-suffering and ruthless counterpoints to his male wasters. It was good to see a book where they took the lead. Having said that, however, I struggled with the believability of the two lead characters. Lucy, the almost psychotic personal trainer, is just that bit too ruthless. Some of Lena's decisions towards the end, in addition, didn't chime with the knowledge of her that I'd established in the first and middle parts of the novel. It was still a gripping story, though, with the tension really ratcheting up with the dramatic twist about halfway through. Welsh remains one of my favourite authors.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    It's no secret I am an Irvine Welsh fan. A huge fan. And after reading this novel, I remain so. By removing the action from his native Scotland, Welsh becomes only slightly (infinitesimally) less luminous and shocking in his writing than when he is comfy at home. And so is the case for "The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins", which sees the setting shift to the USA. South Beach, Miami to be precise. This adventure was unlike Welsh's other works that I had previously enjoyed, yet it was perverse enough It's no secret I am an Irvine Welsh fan. A huge fan. And after reading this novel, I remain so. By removing the action from his native Scotland, Welsh becomes only slightly (infinitesimally) less luminous and shocking in his writing than when he is comfy at home. And so is the case for "The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins", which sees the setting shift to the USA. South Beach, Miami to be precise. This adventure was unlike Welsh's other works that I had previously enjoyed, yet it was perverse enough in its approach to rate a five on my Goodread-ometer. Dark, gnarly and full of the unexpected, take a fantastic ride with a narcissistic and downright horrible personal trainer and a host of other dodgy characters so typical of a Welsh ensemble. Deliciously bizarre romp.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    This is the first time I have ever read anything of Irvine Welsh and I must say it was quite confronting. I wouldn't think this would be a read for the "fainthearted". It really was quite in your face with language and themes that were shocking and dark. Whilst not disliking it I'm not really sure what I thought of this book. I didn't really like the characters and I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with the resolution of the story. I guess though as the blurb says this book has it all...food, sex, This is the first time I have ever read anything of Irvine Welsh and I must say it was quite confronting. I wouldn't think this would be a read for the "fainthearted". It really was quite in your face with language and themes that were shocking and dark. Whilst not disliking it I'm not really sure what I thought of this book. I didn't really like the characters and I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with the resolution of the story. I guess though as the blurb says this book has it all...food, sex, murder, suspense and revenge. I give it 3.5 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mauoijenn

    *NetGalley book review* Nope. I made it about 40% into it and was still baffled by what I was reading. Not for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    Lena and Lucy are thrown together by a random event. They are like chalk and cheese, one is a stick thin personal trainer the other a blob of an artist. Both women are damaged, scarred by the past, and each has a different coping mechanism - eating to excess or compulsive exercise and casual sex. They begin a strange friendship in which the power balance is constantly shifting. This being Welsh we also have a mounting tension and escalation of seemingly innocuous trends until we reach a crescendo Lena and Lucy are thrown together by a random event. They are like chalk and cheese, one is a stick thin personal trainer the other a blob of an artist. Both women are damaged, scarred by the past, and each has a different coping mechanism - eating to excess or compulsive exercise and casual sex. They begin a strange friendship in which the power balance is constantly shifting. This being Welsh we also have a mounting tension and escalation of seemingly innocuous trends until we reach a crescendo of violence and death. Throughout the book we have a parallel theme of Siamese twins and the will they, won't they saga as they contemplate going under the knife to be separated. One of the twins will have a relatively normal life, the other has at best a 40% chance of survival. Lena and Lucy's relationship is in some ways similar - will they excise the link, and if they do will the weaker woman go under? But who is the weaker woman? Profane, bleak and funny - exactly as you would expect from Mr W - but this book in my view is not as good as his work set in the dives and dregs of Scottish low life. A three at best.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Vaughn

    I think I liked this more as an audiobook than I would have just reading it. The narrators did a fantastic job.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer B.

    This is the first book by Irvine Welsh that I have read. Just the name alone suggests a trashy novel, but it's written by the same guy who wrote "Trainspotting", so it should be good, right? As for "Trainspotting", I haven't read the book, but I've seen the movie. I found it overrated and quite silly, honestly. Then again I often find sad things funny and funny things sad. In short, it's got nothing on "Requiem For a Dream", which is a great book and a great movie. Anywho, I was intrigued by the This is the first book by Irvine Welsh that I have read. Just the name alone suggests a trashy novel, but it's written by the same guy who wrote "Trainspotting", so it should be good, right? As for "Trainspotting", I haven't read the book, but I've seen the movie. I found it overrated and quite silly, honestly. Then again I often find sad things funny and funny things sad. In short, it's got nothing on "Requiem For a Dream", which is a great book and a great movie. Anywho, I was intrigued by the Floridian setting in this one (I'm from Florida) and in all honesty, was looking for a bit of a trashy read. I was not disappointed. The writing is trashy. Here we have a British man trying to sound like an American woman. He sounds totally British, though, and the American syntax sounds contrived. Add to the mix that the female lead just sounds like a man trying to sound like a woman, which just doesn't work, no matter how much a man she actually is. However, the story is strange and comically dark (though nowhere near babies crawling on ceilings funny), and it's a fast and entertaining romp.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anastasiaadamov

    At times I found this book to be deeply offending and disturbing piece of literature. To read it trough is to go trough a series of thought provoking and nerve wrecking chapters. Some times reading was a battle and an up hill climb. In the end it was not what I expected and I'm glad for it

  25. 5 out of 5

    Neil Harkins

    Reading an Irvine Welsh book is like a literature osmosis of certainty for me. No matter what the genre, era, location, characters or dialogue; I will love it! It took me about two weeks of post-reading reflection to admit it but I just didn't love this book. Loving something makes leaving it hard, not thinking about it harder and never having it again devastating. That's how I know I didn't love this book. To keep things in perspective, I read it cover to cover (or 0% to 100%) in a little over a Reading an Irvine Welsh book is like a literature osmosis of certainty for me. No matter what the genre, era, location, characters or dialogue; I will love it! It took me about two weeks of post-reading reflection to admit it but I just didn't love this book. Loving something makes leaving it hard, not thinking about it harder and never having it again devastating. That's how I know I didn't love this book. To keep things in perspective, I read it cover to cover (or 0% to 100%) in a little over a week. It was entertaining and I did care what happened to the main characters at the end. There were 1 or 2 bits that made me laugh out loud and there were a couple more that made me shift uncomfortably in my seat. Table stakes for an Irvine Welsh book. Reading the first 20 pages was like seeing your best mate at school in his new school uniform- no longer the same as your's. I never got comfortable identifying with the protagonists (30-something females) or setting (Miami beach). Natural for a 28 y/o Edinburgh male? Maybe. Although the absence of Welsh's trademark colloquial narrative and location references, feeling more like rock concert-style name dropping, makes me feel like I wasn't the only one... To me Lena and Lucy would be more at home in a Martina Cole book- on the gritty side of realistic but lacking the finely-woven complexity of a Renton, Bruce Robertson or Terry Lawson. It is grossly erroneous to suggest Welsh doesn't have the convincing female voice in his repertoire- Nikki (Porno) and Tianna (Crime) for a kick-off. The hallmarks of background, development, revenge and redemption were all present but not at their potent best. Concurrent storyline metaphors and cultural references lacked Welsh's usual adroit subtlety. It would be lazy and borderline racist to infer Welsh favouring the sunny boulevards of Florida to the piss-soaked pavements of Leith has anything to do with this, however, it is clear where he is more at home (in literature anyway) The ending is undoubtedly complete and satisfying. Like having one last good shag with a girlfriend you know you will never marry? Perhaps If you think this review is overly scathing then you are right. You can only judge Irvine Welsh books on the his own genius. A deviation from this? Yes. A downward trend? Never. As a wise man once said- "It is easier to criticise the mars bar supper from Ethiopia than Hampstead" Neil Harkins, Addis Ababa

  26. 5 out of 5

    JK

    My favourite thing about Welsh's writing is that every single one of his characters are fundamentally flawed. In fact, most of them are close to monstrous, and he explores their dispositions to a wonderful degree. Seeing these psychopaths dissected on paper is absolutely delectable, and it's these scrutinisations of incomprehensible psyches that attracts me to Welsh time and time again. I wasn't disappointed in Lucy and Lena. They each had their necessary depravities, and the plot moved itself My favourite thing about Welsh's writing is that every single one of his characters are fundamentally flawed. In fact, most of them are close to monstrous, and he explores their dispositions to a wonderful degree. Seeing these psychopaths dissected on paper is absolutely delectable, and it's these scrutinisations of incomprehensible psyches that attracts me to Welsh time and time again. I wasn't disappointed in Lucy and Lena. They each had their necessary depravities, and the plot moved itself along well as we learned where these came from for each of the girls. Welsh uses different narrative styles to depict whose story is being told at a certain time, and this is something I particularly enjoy in his novels. The story is typical Welsh - heavily adult, shocking, and macabre. Many dislike his penchant for the grotesque, however it's another thing I love him for. The novel doesn't shock for the sake of it, but each scene is there for a purpose, whether to move the plot along, or to convey a message. Welsh uses his characters and plot to challenge our attitudes towards everything from the media, sex, body image, and most of all, celebrity culture. He forces us to think outside of the box about the controlled media bubble we live in, along with all of our other modern obsessions; it feels confrontational and passionate, as our pre-conceived ideas are blasted out of the water. The Siamese twins aspect comes into play with the heavily broadcast story of two conjoined girls from Arkansas. Their tale seems so irrelevant at the beginning of the novel, playing on televisions in the background, or printed in glanced at magazines, but this quickly becomes symbolic of Lucy and Lena's developing relationship, and their own similarities and contrasts. The symbolism of this built at the same pace as developments in the plot, which worked really well in allowing the two to interweave. This is the first novel of Welsh's that doesn't involve his native Scotland, or a Scottish character, in any way. It's hard to blame him when he's been living in America for so long, however the fact that the book is heavily satirising American obesity, reality TV, food and fitness, seems quite poignant to me. Abhorrent, thought-provoking, and with absolutely fascinating characters, Welsh impresses me yet again. Roll on the next one!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Three stars a bit generous but two too harsh. Read this for book club. Haven't read anything else by Welsh and, as other reviews have intimated, this probably helped me to view it more generously as I believe this fares poorly compared to Trainspotting, Filth etc. TSLOST seemed to me to be a way for Welsh to channel some of his more sadistic fantasies under the guise of a compelling novel. Positives: it is more original than other crime/thriller novels and not predictable, which has to be a good Three stars a bit generous but two too harsh. Read this for book club. Haven't read anything else by Welsh and, as other reviews have intimated, this probably helped me to view it more generously as I believe this fares poorly compared to Trainspotting, Filth etc. TSLOST seemed to me to be a way for Welsh to channel some of his more sadistic fantasies under the guise of a compelling novel. Positives: it is more original than other crime/thriller novels and not predictable, which has to be a good thing for fans of this genre (not me). However the characters and the plots were unconvincing, even within the context of the novel - things were poorly explained or half-baked allusions were made to imply something or other (e.g. the 'sex lives of Siamese twins' parallel). If one wanted to be generous, one could argue that Welsh is leaving things open for interpretation and rumination, but it seems more as though he just couldn't quite be bothered to make things tie up effectively. His use of Miami dialect is also quite cringe-worthy. I've never been to Miami but I strongly suspect that people don't speak like they are in a dodgy 90's crime novel, as this novel would suggest. I understand that Welsh now lives between Miami and Chicago, but if he must make dialect a defining feature of his writing, he should probably stick to Scottish. All that said, I would conceivably recommend this to some people - if they enjoy slightly wacky, screwed up thrillers (which I think lots of people do!).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ro Capriles

    The novel's most interesting trait was the effort the author had to make to emulate an American woman's discourse. It was entertaining, but sometimes it was too excessive, like it was trying too hard. For example, the email exchanges sometimes felt very out of the blue and didn't contribute to character development (as I'm sure it was what they were intended to do).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Catherine M

    I had a customer come into my bookstore the other day, and we talked about our opinions on The Girl on The Train . I, of course, loved the book while she thought it was uninspired. Her words were, "I'm in my 70s. I don't have all that much time left and there so many other books worth reading more than this." And while I disagree on that particular book, I still think the sentiment remains, even for me who (hopefully) still has quite a lot of time left. That idea was kind of stuck in my head I had a customer come into my bookstore the other day, and we talked about our opinions on The Girl on The Train . I, of course, loved the book while she thought it was uninspired. Her words were, "I'm in my 70s. I don't have all that much time left and there so many other books worth reading more than this." And while I disagree on that particular book, I still think the sentiment remains, even for me who (hopefully) still has quite a lot of time left. That idea was kind of stuck in my head while I was reading The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins . There is so many beautiful and captivating stories out there...why am I wasting my time reading this? I think we can all agree that the plot is unrealistic. It's not like Irvine Welsh is trying to say that any of it is likely to happen. Sure, it's all possible, but it's not normal. The plot, the characters, all of it is unrealistic, but despite that the characters should still be believable. Lucy is a shallow psychopathic idealized anti-hero, clearly made from the male perspective of what a "hot female badass" looks like. She spews curse words and misogyny all while tearing down every person around her. Its despicable. There's nothing sympathetic about her, and even some of the worst anti-heroes are sympathetic if crafted well. Lucy was not. Welsh tried adding a layer of motivation for Lucy's cold ways, but I found it to be lacking. It was as if he had thought of the idea half way through writing the novel and put spurts of her past in throughout without making it a cohesive story line that was believable. Lena was a little more sympathetic. I understand her reason for gaining weight as depression and abusive relationships do that. I get the self hate and drive to be better. I hated how Welsh skewed her to be a stereotypical Midwestern American, while also trying to convey her inspired artistic talents. But my biggest problem with Lena was her character growth. (view spoiler)[ After Lena had been chained up in the apartment for a month or so and had lost a lot of weight, her narration completely changed. She sounded like Lucy. As if losing weight and getting "healthy" instantly makes people judgmental and cold. There was barely any sign of the sensitive artist she was previously depicted as. Again, the progression was not well crafted. (hide spoiler)] I haven't read any of Irvine Welsh's other novels. I've seen Trainspotting but haven't read it yet. From the sounds of it, his earlier work was amazing and very well done, but this...not a good representation of that. He reminds me of Chuck Palahniuk, both with that badass no-nonsense narrative and books that made it big in the 90s. Both pushing out lots of novels even still, although some just hit the mark. This was mediocre at best. I enjoyed the book, don't get me wrong. It was entertaining. But it was also not worth my time compared to the wonderful novels out there with better ideas, characters, and symbols. The symbols in The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins were pretty blatant. The comparison of the twins and Lena & Lucy. Welsh's (overdone) critique on American culture and relationship to food. The way Trauma affects people. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. It just didn't move me, make me laugh, or convince me of anything "real". I'll probably try some of Welsh's earlier work, but as for this one it failed to impress.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book has had a lot of bad reviews and I suppose I can understand why -- however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was very hard not to put it down. Firstly I'll start with what I found to be the biggest and most frustrating flaw; The dialogue - the dialogue was sometimes confusing because the author didn't use conventional ways of presenting it through quotations marks. I found it really irritating to begin with. I couldn't tell when dialogue began and where it ended and if it was This book has had a lot of bad reviews and I suppose I can understand why -- however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was very hard not to put it down. Firstly I'll start with what I found to be the biggest and most frustrating flaw; The dialogue - the dialogue was sometimes confusing because the author didn't use conventional ways of presenting it through quotations marks. I found it really irritating to begin with. I couldn't tell when dialogue began and where it ended and if it was continuing. The other thing that was really frustrating to me, was the way Welsh wrote the sex scenes to be incredibly graphic and crass. If I didn't know who the author was, I'd guess immediately that it was written by a man. Lucy Brennan was so incredibly offensive and irritating. I felt like the author made her go way too far. The language, the fat-shaming, the bullying--watching her unravel when things started going awry was probably the most satisfying adventure in the book. It was almost exasperating in parts and frustrating to see that she was constantly able to get away with so much without someone calling her for exactly what she was. In contrast, I loved Lena Sorensen from about a quarter of the way through and I knew she had to have had a pretty devastating backstory. The subplot is, of course, the teenage Siamese Twins in the media that are conflicted by the love of a boyfriend to one of the girls. The parallels of the two main characters and the siamese twins become more apparent as the book comes to a close. The story becomes incredibly good from the middle to the end - it was a gripping story that kept me feeling anxious to read on in any spare second that I had. Work lunch breaks, before bed, ten minutes before I actually forced myself out of bed in the morning and all Sunday afternoon. Perhaps the most satisfying part of this book was seeing someone's uppance finally come. It was seeing someone actually having to walk a day (and more) in another person's shoes and finally understanding and appreciating that everybody has a backstory and that everyone's shit shapes them in to what they become. Overall, I enjoyed this. The ending wasn't exactly as I expected, but it all kind of fell together and wasn't disappointing. Great book!

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