For all of her 13 years, or at least for as long as she can remember, Bee (short for Beatrice) has never felt comfortable in her life, as if she doesn't really belong. She keeps to herself, and the isolation has led to loneliness and depression. She doesn't even feel she can confide in her mother, who wouldn't understand. The one place in which she does find a bit of comfort is the gardens, where she can be close to the earth and the growing plants.
One night Bee wakes up to find an exact double of herself standing in her room. The girl whispers one sentence, "You are me," and then disappears. Bee is confused, unsettled and even a bit intrigued. She goes to the one person she believes might have a clue: her strange fellow classmate, Haze, who is rumored to think he's an alien. Haze knows exactly what Bee has seen --- a doppelganger --- and it has been said that to see this is to predict one's death. Bee regrets turning to Haze at all.
But then Haze comes to her to talk, and she starts getting to know him better. She also meets another loner, Sarah, who is a bit of an outsider as well and believes herself to be the reincarnation of a slave from the 1800s. The three begin to form a special friendship, find some happiness, and feel like they do belong in their own unique way. Suddenly, though, Bee gets sick. Haze and Sarah put some clues together and figure out the mystery behind Bee's double and her illness. Their lives will never be the same.
The person responsible for this very unique and unusual book is the renowned Francesca Lia Block, the award-winning bestselling author of numerous titles. Right away I noticed Block's ability to create intensely vivid descriptions using a minimum of words and not wasting space with extraneous material. This approach, though seemingly simple, in fact creates quite intricate results. She also has a mysterious and pensive writing style, giving the reader a feeling of being lost in a misty, symbolic dream. Fans will be happy to know that Block is busy working on many more projects to entertain readers and give them plenty to think about.
--- Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman