I’ve been reading a lot of WWII fiction lately, and decided to take a break and read something from the pile of ARCs that I picked up at SALC2017 courtesy of United Library Services. From the top of the pile I grabbed Brave New Girl by Rachel Vincent and IT WAS AMAZING! Seriously. If you love YA novels and the familiar ground of dystopian settings then you don’t want to miss out on this book this summer.
Title: Brave New Girl
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books/ Delacorte Press
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction, YA Fiction
Themes: Dystopian Future, Alternate Reality, Clones, Class Stratified Societies
Features: Teaser for Strange New World
My Rating: 4.5/ 5
Dahlia 16 is just one of five thousand girls created from a single genome to work for the greater good of the city. Meeting Trigger 17 changes everything for her, and when she can’t resist looking for him, even though that means breaking the rules, she realizes she’s flawed. And any genome found to be flawed will be recalled.
Getting caught with Trigger would seal not only Dahlia’s fate, but that of all five thousand girls who share her face. But what if Trigger is right? What if Dahlia is different? Suddenly the girl who always follows the rules is breaking them, one by one by one. . . .
I tired to do the recommended professional thing where you take notes whist reading a book that you intend to review. Pretty sure I didn’t do it right, but the notes I remembered to take are below:
- SO GOOD
Yeah – that’s it (I will work on this note taking thing). And, the best part is that even after sleeping on it I still feel the same! I can’t say how much I loved this novel, and how well I hope it does.
The only reason that I didn’t give this baby a 5 star review is because it covers a whole lot of familiar territory. The whole pretty girl has conflicting emotions, knows she is a danger to society, challenges the norms anyways and falls in love with a soldier thing has been done before. But, Vincent’s execution is playful, engaging, and different enough that in the end I really didn’t care. I can’t wait for the follow up novel, given the awesome plot twist and giant cliff hanger in the final pages there is so much room for this series to break away from the pack.
The writing was simple and engaging, and the characters were realistic personalities that I found easy to relate to. Not going to lie, I was rooting for Dahlia and Trigger before I realized what the implications would be! I enjoyed the focus on Dahlia’s internal conflict throughout the text and it was refreshing to see exploration and confusion without the heroine drowning in angst. A girl that can be beautiful, smart, compassionate and strong without having to first hate the world.
Given that this is a YA book I do think that there are some interesting lessons throughout such as an examination of class stratified societies, the commodification of human life, the existence and unfairness of double standards, the ethical and moral issues of cloning, and the need to logically question authority and versions of ‘truth’. I think that there could be some really great class and book club discussions as a result of this text. But, with deeper themes aside, you can focus on the surface level and enjoy a fun, face paced and gripping read.
The biggest challenge with reading this book as an ARC was that my copy didn’t have the teaser for Strange New World at the end, only a page saying ‘teaser to come’, . Which I need in my life. Like… now. I haven’t been this enthused about a YA series in a while and I think it’s going to make an amazing summer read for so, so many people regardless of age.
Would I recommend this book? Oh, heck yes! And you can be guaranteed that I will be lined up to get my hands on Strange New World when that comes out too!
Up Next: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay