Review: The Phantom Twin by Lisa Brown

Crushed on by kelly, on March 13, 2020, in Comics/Graphic Novels, New Releases, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: The Phantom Twin by Lisa Brown

The Phantom Twin by Lisa Brown was released on March 3rd, and I know it was a huge release day, so I just wanted to make sure you all are aware of some of the lesser known releases, like this amazing graphic novel. Check out my spoiler-free review below.

Many thanks to First Second for the free finished copy sent to me for review, which in no way impacted my review below.

Review: The Phantom Twin by Lisa Brown

The Phantom Twin

by Lisa Brown
Published by: First Second
on March 3, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction
Pages: 208

A young woman is haunted by the ghost of her conjoined twin, in Lisa Brown's The Phantom Twin, a sweetly spooky graphic novel set in a turn-of-the-century sideshow.

Isabel and Jane are the Extraordinary Peabody Sisters, conjoined twins in a traveling carnival freak show—until an ambitious surgeon tries to separate them and fails, causing Jane's death.

Isabel has lost an arm and a leg but gained a ghostly companion: Her dead twin is now her phantom limb. Haunted, altered, and alone for the first time, can Isabel build a new life that's truly her own?


The Phantom Twin is one of those stories that is just really sad yet weird and you are so proud of the main character by the end. Such amazing growth. There are some tough plot points in this book, like exploitation and abuse, but I feel like the author took a lot of time and research to do the subject matter justice.

Jane and Isabel were born conjoined twins and they were exploited for this fact. They were a part of a traveling sideshow which was very common back in the turn of the century in America. One day a doctor decided that he would be famous if he could separate the girls. Jane wanted nothing more than to be her own person and get married and out of the carnival. Isabel was much more skeptical. She felt like the carnival was her home and her family, and she was also slated the be the twin to lose the shared limbs, which is a hard decision to make.

When things didn’t work out as planned, and Jane dies from the surgery, Isabel is left haunted by her twin, and alone in the world for the first time in her life. The graphic novel format was so perfect to express the haunting and the loss of Jane. Isabel has such tremendous growth and explores the themes of what it take to move forward after loss and tragedy.

The Phantom Twin is a totally bizarre and fantastic read and if you like historical fiction, gothic, and weird yet fascinating reads…I have a feeling you’ll love this one. The drawing style was perfect for this eerie story and the coloring was totally moody and I loved it.


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