Series: Scarlet and Ivy #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Cover2CoverBlog Review Coming Soon...
Ivy, I pray that it’s you reading this. And if you are, well, I suppose you’re the new me…When shy Ivy’s troublemaking twin Scarlet vanishes from Rookwood boarding school, Ivy is invited to “take her place.” But when Ivy arrives, she discovers the school’s true intention; she has to pretend to be Scarlet. She must think like Scarlet, act like Scarlet, become Scarlet. What on earth happened to the real Scarlet, and why is the school trying to keep it a secret?Luckily for Ivy, Scarlet isn’t about to disappear without a fight. She’s left pieces of her journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find. Ivy’s going to figure out what happened to Scarlet. She’s got to.But the staff of Rookwood is always watching, and they’ll do anything to keep their secrets buried…
The car slid through a pair of enormous gates. Beside them were pillars topped with stone rooks in flight, their wings spread wide and claws grasping at the air.
A long drive snaked its way up to the school, through a cloak of trees and past what looked like a lake shimmering in the distance. We came to a halt, and I heard the driver’s feet hit the gravel as he climbed out.
“Watch your step, Miss,” he said, pulling open the door. I smiled up at him as best I could as I clambered out with my bag.
Rookwood School loomed over me, huge and imposing. The bright-green trees that lined the drive looked lost in the gloom of the school. The walls were stone—the highest parts blackened by years of chimney smoke. Dark pillars stretched toward the sky in front of me, and crenellations framed the vast slate roof.
It looked like a castle. Or a prison.
It took all my strength not to turn and run back down the length of the drive. Of course, even if I had, I would surely be caught and punished.
Rooks flew past overhead, their loud caws mixing with the distant shrieks of girls playing hockey.
“Don’t just stand there gaping, girl.” Miss Fox was looking at me like I was an unexpected slug on the sole of her shoe. “Follow me, unless you think you have something better to do.”
“Yes, Miss… No, Miss.”
She turned round, muttering something that I couldn’t hear.
I followed her up the front steps, her sharp shoes clacking and pockets jangling. The front doors were huge and despite being ancient, they swung open without even the smallest creak when she pushed through them. Inside there was a double-height room with a gallery running all the way around. It smelled strongly of floor polish.
In the middle sat an oak desk and a somewhat lost-looking secretary. She was shuffling papers in what I thought was an attempt to look busier than she actually was.
Miss Fox approached the desk and leaned on it with both hands.
“Good afternoon, madam,” the secretary said quietly as Miss Fox’s shadow fell across her.
“Some would say so,” replied Miss Fox, glowering. “I have a child here. Scarlet Gray.” I started to correct her, but she waved an uncaring hand in my face and carried on speaking. “She will begin attending classes tomorrow. Sign her in on the register, please.”
Miss Fox must have been the only person who could pronounce the word “please” like it actually meant “.”
“D-do you want me to escort her to her room, ma’am?” asked the secretary.
Miss Fox blinked. “No, I am going to take her to my office to…fill her in. Get her signed up.”
She strode away toward the corridor, and I hurried after her. I risked a backward glance at the secretary, who stared at me with wide eyes.
We went past rows of doors, each with a little window revealing the class studying inside. The girls were sat in rows, silent and serious. I was used to a quiet school, but in here, there was an air of….
Like it was too quiet somehow.
The only sounds were our footsteps and the ever-present jangling from Miss Fox’s pockets. When we reached her office, she pulled out a silver key from one of them and unlocked the door.
The room was dimly lit and smelled of old books. There was a single desk with a couple of high-backed chairs and some tall shelves. That was pretty normal, but that wasn’t all there was.
The walls were covered in .
Big dogs, medium dogs, strange foreign dogs—their blank sepia faces stared down from faded photographs, each in a brown frame. In one corner of the room there was a stuffed beagle in a glass case, its droopy ears and patchy fur serving to make it look even more depressed than beagles do when they’re alive.
The most bizarre sight was a dachshund, stretched out in front of the small window at the back of the office. It appeared to be being used as a draught excluder.
, I thought, .
“Stuffed dogs, Miss?” I wondered aloud.
“Can’t stand the things. I like to see them dead,” replied Miss Fox.
She pointed a long finger at a nearby chair until I got the hint and sat down on it.
“Ivy,” I corrected automatically.
She loomed over me like an angry black cloud. “I think you have misunderstood, Miss Gray. Did you not read my letter?”
letter? “I-I thought it was from the headmaster.”
She shook her head. “Mr. Bartholomew has taken a leave of absence, and I am in charge while he’s away. Now, answer the question. Did you read it?”
“Yes. It said I was to take a place at the school…my sister’s place.”
Miss Fox walked around me and sat down in the leather chair that accompanied her desk. “Precisely. You will replace her.”
Something in the way she said it made me pause. “What do you mean, replace her, Miss?”
“I mean what I say,” she said. “You will replace her. You will her.”
2 Copies of Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin
(Runs May 1-May 31st; US & Canada only)
About the Author:
Sophie Cleverly began writing Scarlet and Ivy in her second year at university, where she studied Creative Writing. She knew she had to finish telling the story, and when she heard that the university offered an MA in Writing For Young People she realized it was the perfect opportunity. She lives in Wiltshire, England. This is her debut. Visit hapfairy.co.uk.
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