The idea that there are multiple versions of you living throughout the multiverse is an intense thought by itself, but in the beautifully written Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana, the introduction of a tangible alternate Earth brings actual change to our world in a myriad of ways.
Tara Krishnan is an Indian-American girl living in an extremely white Connecticut town. Her junior year begins with her best friend leaving for Argentina, her parents’ relationship slowly moving closer and closer toward separation, and the discovery of an alternate Earth—the planet, Terra Nova. With all of the bad swirling around her, Tara joins a new group of friends and chugs through her junior year with one constant thought: what is the Tara on Terra Nova doing right now?
This book was one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in a long time. Khorana manages to cram a wide variety of heavy topics—race, friendship, parent-child relationships, physics, cult ideologies, socioeconomic status—into one enthralling first novel. The story follows Tara as she tackles the problems that come with another year of school, but it also gives the reader a picture at the world as a whole through the introduction of Terra Nova.
By giving Tara a tangible, yet invisible, parallel, Khorana delves into the world of teenage self-doubt and self-questioning—a struggle to which almost everyone can relate—without making it seem like an add-in. The worldwide discovery of Terra Nova is a major plot-point, and while Tara isn’t the one making the discoveries, they still play a major role in her life. The existence of an alternate Tara forces to wonder about every decision she makes, even though the two will never meet. Even though Earth Tara will never know for sure if a Terra Nova Tara even exists.
It’s a tough concept to explain—one that I’m sure is not coming across clearly enough in this review—which is what makes this book even better. The writing is so elegant and exact that all of these complex ideas come across with perfect clarity. I wish I had the writing prowess that Khorana exhibits in this novel.
Overall, Mirror in the Sky is an amazing novel. It will make you smile, cry, think, and wonder what you might be doing in the various alternate universes that exist in space-time. I encourage anyone and everyone and their Terra Nova doubles to read it.