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Cover image for A million miles away
A million miles away

First edition.
New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
Physical Description:
306 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Shortly after her boyfriend, Peter, is deployed to Afghanistan, high school senior Michelle dies in a car crash and when her bereft twin, Kelsey, connects with Peter she is unable to tell him the truth as, through their separate woes, they support each other and begin to fall in love.
Conference Subject:


Call Number

On Order



Twin sisters Kelsey and Michelle Maxfield look identical -- but they couldn't be more different. Kelsey is the captain of the dance team and loves her cute college boyfriend, Davis. Michelle is a free-spirited artist and flits from one guy to the next, the latest a soldier recently deployed to Afghanistan. Despite their differences, Kelsey and Michelle can't live without each other--until, in an instant, everything changes.
When Michelle dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. As the only one who knows about her sister's boyfriend, Peter, Kelsey takes it upon herself to find him and tell him what happened to Michelle. But when she finally connects with Peter online, he thinks that Kelsey is Michelle and says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey can't bear to break his heart with the truth, so she lets Peter believe that she is Michelle.
Kelsey keeps up the act, pretending to be her sister, and soon she can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.
Lara Avery delivers a breathtaking story of love and loss that is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.

Author Notes

Lara Avery is an editor at Revolver and the author of Anything But Ordinary , which Booklist praised for its "tender and lyrical prose." Raised in Kansas, where A Million Miles Away is set, she now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Kelsey Maxfield's identical twin sister, Michelle, is killed in a car crash during their senior year just after Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, has been deployed to Afghanistan. While coping with the loss and trying to get back to normal, Kelsey stumbles upon a Skype session with Peter. Not sure how to tell him about Michelle's death, she decides to keep it a secret and leads him to believe that she is Michelle. Kelsey carries on the long distance relationship. Eventually, she gets up the courage to relay the message through a video, only to find out that Peter never receives it, which leads to more problems. While the story holds true to the deception between Kelsey and Peter and is somewhat romantic, other issues are introduced when Kelsey finally comes clean, making the plot feel uneven and disjointed in places. The adult characters are forever absent and more wrapped up in themselves than the teens. Wondering how Peter will react to the deception will keep readers interested. VERDICT Those who are looking for something similar to Nicholas Sparks will appreciate this light romance.-Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI © Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

Kelsey's identical twin, Michelle, has just died in a car crash. Peter, Michelle's boyfriend stationed in Afghanistan, doesn't know, and Kelsey can't bring herself to tell him--so she impersonates her sister on Skype, falling for Peter as she gets to know him. Their ensuing romance is artificial and the conclusion is too tidy, but Kelsey's grief feels authentic. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Kelsey begins impersonating her deceased identical twin sister, Michelle, in a misguided attempt to protect Michelle's boyfriend, who has recently been deployed overseas, but her lies lead to heartache when she finds herself falling for Peter. Kelsey and Michelle are identical in appearance alone; by senior year they are largely uninterested in each other. So Kelsey doesn't pay much attention to Peter when he mistakes her for Michelle at a party, dismissing him as another of Michelle's dramatic flingsa notion Michelle rejects later that evening. The following day, returning home from dropping Peter at the airport to begin his deployment, Michelle dies in a car accident. Kelsey finds herself responsible for informing Peter of the devastating news. Instead, reasoning that grief might weaken his focus during his tour in Afghanistan, she impulsively begins impersonating Michelle. This deception eventually requires Kelsey to familiarize herself with her sister's life, leading her to a new appreciation of Michelle and her passionsand even inspiring Kelsey to make some changes in her own life. The weighty moments of discovery and understanding are bittersweet since the chance for the twins to share a renewed reciprocal intimacy has passed. But the developing romance between the Kelsey-as-Michelle character and Peter is predictable, and most of the other secondary characters feel underdeveloped. Though it reaches for emotional moments, the novel isn't especially memorable. (Romance. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

High-school seniors and identical twins Michelle and Kelsey are as different as chalk and cheese. Michelle is an iconoclastic artist, scholar, and free spirit, while Kelsey eschews academics for the cheerleading team and partying. But when Michelle is killed in a car accident after delivering her new boyfriend, Peter, to the airport for a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Kelsey is bereft without her other half. She rejects her parents' efforts to get her help and becomes more and more isolated, until Peter sends Skype requests to Michelle's laptop. Kelsey realizes he doesn't know about Michelle, but can't bring herself to break the news. So begins a romance based on false identity. To Avery's credit, it's remarkably easy to suspend disbelief while reading this compelling romance, despite a plot with so many moments that defy logic. But love and grief aren't logical, and Avery captures Kelsey's dilemma with compassion and verisimilitude, pulling readers into both Kelsey's complex emotional web as well as the rural Kansas landscape. This is definitely several steps above the standard romance; Avery is a voice to watch in this genre.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2015 Booklist