By Erica Dobecki
Social media is an extremely overused application, oftentimes with the premise: “I use it to keep in touch with those from my past.” However, it is mostly used to self-promote, especially with Facebook. Currently, there are so many social media platforms that one could literally go on for hours just listing them alone. Welcome to the age of the smart phone.
Samantha Futerman and Anais Bordier were both originally born in Busan, South Korea. Samantha was born on November 19, 1987 and wait…so was Anais. They also happen to look exactly alike. Both were both adopted by different families in different countries: Samantha went to Verona, New Jersey, United States and Anais went to Paris, France. Even though the two girls were separated at birth, they came together through all of the various technological applications available to us nowadays.
While technology (or social media) has a way of dragging us apart by nixing face-to-face contact, it also brings many together. As Anais thought during their first Skype call: “I SEE MYSELF PIXELIZED!” Samantha originally had her start as an actress through short YouTube videos and that was how Anais’s long time friend, Kelsang, found what he thought was Anais’s doppelganger. Anais, however, used Facebook and Twitter to reach out to Samantha: there were just too many similarities.
The pure honesty of the memoir is amazing, especially from Samantha. She doesn’t immediately love Anais and admits to that. She is tepid and cautious. The novel does not have a ghost writer as well and that just brings out their natural emotions even more. The memoir is told from both Anais and Samantha’s points of view. You read the same story twice, however it does not feel that way. One example of this would be when the girls go to South Korea, Anais is upset, but Samantha has no idea. “I was backstage with Dan and Bobby, getting ready for our turn, when Ryan told me that Anais was freaking out and throwing up in the bathroom. I found her there kneeling over the toilet, crying. She said she was overwhelmed– everything was becoming super-real, we were leaving Korea tomorrow, and she didn’t know the next time she would see me.” Anais had been upset the whole time and it was incredibly obvious during her telling of the same event. “When I got back to the Hybrid Club Vera, Sam had no idea what was going on with me. The last thing I wanted to do was disrupt her shining moment, but I was completely overcome by my feelings. I found myself racing to the ladies’ room to try to compose myself. I was sweaty, nauseous, and extremely anxious, not sure if I could pull it together.”
The standout moments of the memoir also have large allotments: the social media interactions. Both Anais and Samantha put the interactions with not only each other, but other people, throughout the novel. This is extremely important: it is how they met. I commend them for leaving these beautiful and heartfelt moments throughout the book.
There were many moments in the novel that made me laugh out loud, especially with Samantha’s brothers. Andrew and Matt are a few years older than Samantha and the relationship she highlights with them is fantastic: “Mom told him [Andrew] Dad would be going to the airport soon. Andrew looked at her with total horror and asked: ‘He’s not getting another kid, is he?’” Matt had just as wonderful as a relationship with his little sister: “We were talking about adoption, and my brother said, ‘I don’t understand why you would adopt kids, if you can have your own.’…‘Sam, it’s a compliment,’ my father explained. ‘Matt doesn’t even think of you as being adopted.’… He considered me his biological sister, as much as he and Andrew were biological brothers.”
A documentary, which finished filming on December 5th, inspired the memoir about the meeting of the twins, called “Twinsters.” You can purchase the memoir here.
Anais Bordier has a degree in fashion design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and currently lives in Paris. Samantha Futerman currently is pursuing a career in acting and lives in Los Angeles, California. Her credits include Memoirs of a Geisha, 21 & Over, and Suburgatory.