Monday, April 15, 2013

The different girl by Gordon Dahlquist

Veronika, Caroline, Isobel and Eleanor are four girls living on an isolated island with their caregivers and teachers Robbert and Irene.  They are four similar girls who can be told apart by the colour of their hair and the little things that make them different.  It is a quiet existence, with learning broken up with walks and naps.  Robbert and Irene guide them, asking them questions, helping them learn the right answers to their questions, something that sometimes appears to leave them frustrated.  The girls don't know how different they are - until May washes up on the island and they discover just how different she is.

This is one of those somewhat rare reviews where I am reviewing a book that I am not entirely sure I liked.  The idea behind the story is good, and keeps you wondering where things are heading for a while, but the story wasn't as absorbing as I would have liked, lacking the depth that such stories usually have.  It felt a little bit like the author was trying to say something, but lacked the skill or the depth of understanding to carry it off - don't get me wrong he did okay, but stories like this really need oomph, something with a little grunt behind it, an author who can really make the story come alive and grip you.

This will likely appeal to readers who like a little bit of mystery with their stories, a little developing dystopia in their science fiction, and stories that you can float along with without having to commit too much of yourself to the story.  Not a huge thumbs up, but not a huge thumbs down - a somewhat better than mediocre book that stands out a little in the field of similar books because it is told from a somewhat unexpected perspective.

If you like this book then you might like:
  • Beta by Rachel Cohn
  • Origin by Jessica Khoury
  • The selection by Kiera Cass
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  • Partials by Dan Wells

Reviewed by Brilla

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