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Literature / Angela and Diabola

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Angela and Diabola is a 1997 children's novel by Lynne Reid Banks. It's about two twin girls: Angela, who is good, and Diabola, who is evil.


Contains examples of:

  • Care-Bear Stare: The appropriately-named Angela telepathically sends her twin sister Diabola warm thoughts while the obviously devilish one is being soaked by the rain outside, because she's just that selfless. This act of goodness enrages Diabola so much that she sends in return the wettest, most wicked thoughts she can muster up, which are enough to make Angela convulse in shivers. Later on, Angela uses this power on other people. Inverted with Diabola, who can hurt and attack people with her mind.
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: Angela is so perfect that her birth is effortless and painless to her mother. Diabola's birth, by contrast, is agonizing.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: When Diabola first enters school at the age of six, she draws a number of extremely disturbing pictures involving people dying horrible deaths. Her principal praises the pictures and labels Diabola an artistic genius, while completely failing to grasp her obvious violent and sociopathic tendencies.
  • Meaningful Name: Angela and Diabola. Their parents originally named them Jill and Jane, respectively, but when the vicar baptized them, he blurted out the first names that came to his mind at the sight of them. After Diabola dies and her evil is absorbed into Angela, making the latter an ordinary, flawed little girl, their parents change Angela's name back to Jill.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Evil Twin Diabola terrifies her teacher by drawing an almost photorealistic picture of an execution. The school principal takes her in for special art classes, and Diabola freaks her out by drawing Diabola's family burning to death. The picture catches fire and burns down the school.
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  • Split at Birth: A couple who were supposed to have one baby end up with twins: one daughter who contains all the good of a human being, and one who contains all the evil of a human being. As children, among other things, they eventually develop superpowers; part of it seems to come from being two halves of the same person, like the Twin Telepathy, and another part of it seems to come from the sheer purity of their good and evil natures, like the ability to heal people or make them drop dead respectively. They're also respectively so charming and so intimidating that they have incredible powers of persuasion. At the end of the book, Angela kills Diabola, mostly by accident, and in doing so reunites the two halves. She's usually good but sometimes does bad things, like most people; she develops a mismatched eye that matches Diabola's; and she doesn't have either half-person's powers.

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