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Scarlet and Ivy Books In Order

Publication Order of Scarlet and Ivy Books

The Lost Twin (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Whispers in the Walls (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dance in the Dark (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lights Under the Lake (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Curse in the Candlelight (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Last Secret (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

“Scarlet and Ivy” is a series of young adult novels by American author Sophie Cleverly. The first novel of the series was “The Lost Twin” a highly popular and critically acclaimed novel that was such a success that it spawned an entire novel series that is still ongoing. Sophie Cleverly was born in 1989 in Bath, a small town in Maine. Growing up, she was very much interested in children’s literature and read the likes of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett who incidentally write both children and adult literature. Her “Scarlet and Ivy” series has been greatly inspired by “The Graveyard Book” and “Coraline” by Gaiman and “Tiffany Aching” by Pratchett. What she especially liked about these novels was that they were beautiful, sad, scary, and funny all at the same time. She was quite the reader and would visit the city library and borrow as many books as she could to read during the week. In addition to these, she would also take as many books as she could from the older classes bookshelves, as she had already read all the books in her class. It is not surprising that her novels have been compared to Nancy Drew as she absolutely loved to read the likes of The Famous Five, Nancy Drew, The Baby Sitters Club and Goosebumps. Of these series she collected and read nearly every title. Aside from detective fiction she also read a lot of mystery novels which made her believe that she wanted to become a mystery author when she grew up.

Sophie had the passion to write stories from a very young age and was penning stories from the time she could write. In fact, English was one of their favorite subjects in high school and hence it was with great pleasure that she learned that one could take a university course in exactly the same discipline she had craved all her life. Sophie Cleverly decided to undertake a bachelors in Creative Writing and would then proceed to do a masters specializing in young adult fiction. “The Scarlet and Ivy” series was long in the pipeline as Sophie got the inspiration for the novel when her university lecturer gave the class an exercise. The professor asked them to create a setting in which a character is coming back to a room that they had last been in years past. She imagined her character as a girl coming back to a room with twin beds though it was not clear who the owner of the other bed was. By the end of the course, she had developed something of a secret diary and an idea for a lost twin for the lead. She felt that there was more to the story and that she needed to tell it.

The “Scarlet and Ivy” series are boarding school stories themed on girl power. The novels start with Ivy the lead living an unhappy life as she has to cope with the death of her sister a terminally scatter brained aunt that is her guardian, and then a move to a boarding school. Ivy has taken up her sister’s spot in the boarding school and now has to pretend to be Scarlet even as she works to try to find out the mystery of the notes that her deceased sister left to her. Sophie combines the theme of boarding schools with Gothic and mystery to make for some great narratives. However, rather than introduce the archetypal pathetic fallacies of creaking doors and gargoyles coming down into town, she puts the elements in the background and lets Ivy and Scarlet take center stage. The boarding school is full of all manner of mysteries from skeleton mouths to taxidermied dogs that provide the uneasy palpable feelings and bring life to the school. Ivy the lead character is often torn between acting as Scarlet her brash sister and being the shy person that she truly is. The other characters of the series are also intriguing in how they give Ivy a hard time though they are not at heart bad persons.

In “The Lost Twin” the first novel of the series, Scarlet dies and the head teacher of the school demands that Ivy takes her place. Ivy needs to find her sisters diary that was lost and does not want anyone to find out that she is looking for it. She soon discovers that Scarlet was more of a trouble maker than she had ever thought she was. Scarlet had been attending Rookwood, a creepy boarding school when she died of influenza leaving Ivy her twin sister devastated. Ivy secretly becomes Scarlet in disguise as she sets out to investigate if there was any foul play involved in her sister’s death. However, she needs to put up an act that involves becoming something of a rebellious girl while trying to track down the blanks in her sister’s diary. But now that she is deep in the investigation, she has to deal with a group of girls led by the evil Miss Fox, that seemingly had a grudge with Scarlet. However, she is soon confronted with the question of whether her twin is really dead.

The second novel of the “Scarlet and Ivy” series “The Whispers in the Walls” is a thrilling novel about Ivy and Scarlet that go from home to the Rookwood boarding school. It is a weird place since in the introduction to the series, the head teacher had removed Scarlet from school, taken her to an asylum then forced Ivy to pretend to be her elder sister. In the novel, the twins find themselves right back in the creepy school even after numerous attempts trying to convince their parents that the school was no good and that they should rather stay at home. It is thrilling and mysterious novel with a brand new mystery for the Scarlet Ivy duo, who are now investigating the death of their mother who died while they were young. It introduces a new weird principal who seems to be hiding something from the twins. The Whispers on the Wall is an excellent mystery with a great plot and great characterization that grabs one from the scruff of the neck and never lets go till the last page.

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