Mar 27, 2013

The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist Review

The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist
Release Date: February 21, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 240 pages

Four nearly identical girls on a desert island. An unexpected new arrival. A gently warped near future where nothing is quite as it seems.

Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl—the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck—suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.

Sly and unsettling, Gordon Dahlquist’s timeless and evocative storytelling blurs the lines between contemporary and sci-fi with a story that is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the final page has been turned.

The Different Girl is well different.  I'm not a big fan of sci fi, but the premise of this book really intrigued me. The first 50 pages of the book are a bit difficult to get through, but that's because you are given a look into the day in and day out life of the characters in the story.

The Different Girl centers around four identical androids who have different colored hair to differentiate between them.  They are looked after by their caretakers Robbert and Irene.  The androids are Veronika, Caroline, Isobel, and Eleanor.  The story is told from Veronika's point of view.  And I must say it is interesting to read a book from an android's point of view.  Especially when the android believes that they are human, and their lives are normal.  Now unfortunately for the reader, we never find out what the purpose of the androids were.  We never find out why or even how they were created.  This was a major letdown.

This book is probably not really for your average young adult reader, and I'm not even sure it's for your average sci fi fan.  There is a mix between sci fi and contemporary, and personally I don't think it worked out very well for this novel.  I think that it gives a good message about friendship, and accepting people for their differences.

My favorite part of the book was Veronika's interactions with May.  May is a human girl who found herself on the island that the androids were on after her ship was wrecked.  May's reactions to the androids were probably what your average person's would be.  First there was fear, then anger, then a mild curiosity, and finally acceptance.  It was very entertaining to see her relationship with Veronika evolve.

I think I can see what the author was trying to do with the story because there were elements of mystery, and there was a build up.  What really kept me going was the story seemed to be leading up to this big reveal, to find out exactly what was going on with the androids.  But unfortunately there was nothing.  I was left with more questions than answers.


1 comment:

  1. Boo. I've heard pretty mixed reviews, mostly negative though but I have this one on my shelf and haven't read it yet. Unfortunately, I'll probably feel like you and I HATE feeling like I have more questions than answers. Great review!

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

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