Losing Brave

Book Summary

Losing Brave by Stefne Miller and Bailee Madison

*The article contains spoilers from the book: Losing Brave.

The book Losing Brave by Stefne Miller and Bailee Madison starts as the Brave sisters arrive at the bus station in the morning to prepare for a trip with their Nana, they have no idea that just one of them will leave that day. Payton exits the bus station bathroom and informs Nana that she has no idea where her twin, Dylan, is and an investigation soon starts.


Dylan, Payton Brave’s 17-year-old twin sister, has now been missing for more than a year. Payton has tried to carry on with her life as a perfect girl who hangs around with only the best people at school. But that’s starting to feel a little artificial to her. She decides to rename herself, Poe.


Payton was discovered in the bus station’s employees’ restroom after Dylan went missing. She has no recollection of what happened.  And now she spends a lot of time in her room’s darkish closet.


When her gorgeous candy-red apple Volkswagen convertible catches fire and burns, she replaces it with an ancient Winnebago. Because she is class president, she has her own parking place, so she parks it in all its magnificence. She eats there for lunch, and soon many of the less popular students are hanging out with her. Dylan’s ex-boyfriend Cole is one of them. He remains close to Payton, telling her that Dylan would have wanted him to keep an eye out for her.


Payton was present when Dylan vanished, but her recall of what transpired is hazy. Although the investigation has not brought any results, she is aware that she may be the key to understanding Dylan’s rationale for her departure from their family.


The body of another missing girl is recovered from the lake. She resembles Dylan, and things get scary and more terrible than ever as the investigation names the two cases related.


Payton has no idea how dangerous she is putting herself in as she begins to explore some of her memories around this incident. To make matters worse, she has developed an affection for Dylan’s boyfriend as the two become closer as a result of their shared grief over Dylan’s death.


When another girl goes missing in the region, she becomes obsessed with her sister’s case, reopening Dylan Brave’s case. 


Poe does her own investigation and suspects Joshua, a boy who continues hitting on her. She is certain that Joshua is the kidnapper.


Poe discovers three barrels on the shore, and it is proven that there are bodies within each barrel, with DNA matching each of the missing females.


Poe’s Joshua theory, however, is proven incorrect when, while following Joshua, she ends up at the home of Brody, a man who the Brave family took in and treated like family. She witnesses Brody beating up Joshua, but Poe is then captured by him. She sees all of these photographs of herself, Dylan, and the two other kidnapped girls. She begins to fear Brody and realizes he is the true kidnapper.


Brody reveals that his father, who was constantly drunk, used to drive by the Brave house to watch the twins play because he was their biological father. But their mother refused to allow him to visit the girls since he was always intoxicated and she didn’t think it was safe for them. Brody’s father took out his rage on him. Brody sought vengeance and murdered Dylan. The other two girls were there for entertainment purposes only.


Poe attempted to flee, but Brody also attempted to kill her. When Brody gains the upper hand and is about to kill her, Joshua protects her and fights back until he is knocked out. Brody is going to kill her again, but Cole saves her. Brody is knocked out after being whacked in the head with a wrench. Poe also passes out.


Brody is shortly arrested, and Joshua and Poe are rushed to the hospital. This is when things become complicated. When she wakes up, she recalls the day Dylan was murdered and understands that the twin who was murdered was not Dylan.


Payton pretended to be Dylan that day so Dylan wouldn’t get in trouble for something she had done. Dylan had to pretend to be Payton as well. When they discovered Payton had gone missing, Dylan lost all recollection of that day and was convinced by everyone that she was Payton, although she was actually Dylan.


No one knew because she and Payton had the same DNA, but they don’t share the same fingerprint, and Dylan was never fingerprinted.


Cole and Dylan discuss everything, and it turns out that Cole knew right from the beginning. They reconcile and decide to travel to Europe together. Before she goes, there is a funeral for Payton, during which Dylan gives a eulogy and announces that she will be known as Poe for the time being.



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