Title: Strange New Girl
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher/Year: Random House Publishing 5/8/18
Length: 272 Pages
Series: Brave New Girl #2
Dahlia 16’s life is a lie. The city of Lakeview isn’t a utopia that raises individuals for the greater good; it is a clone farm that mass-produces servants for the elite. And because Dahlia breaks the rules, her sisters–the 4,999 girls who share her face–are destroyed. She and Trigger 17, the soldier who risked his life for hers, go on the run, escaping into the wild outside the city walls. But it turns out Dahlia has one remaining identical, one who shouldn’t even exist.
Waverly Whitmore is teenage royalty, a media sensation with millions of fans who broadcasts her every move–including every detail of her wedding planning, leading up to the day she marries Hennessy Chapman. Waverly lives a perfect life built on the labors of clones like Dahlia. She has no idea that she too is a clone . . . until she comes face to face with Dahlia.
One deadly secret. Two genetic sisters. And a world that isn’t big enough for both of them.
This story continues as we see what it’s like living outside Lakeview and trying to keep things a secret. Waverly is quite possible the most noticeable face out there and ironically the Administrator doesn’t even know what’s happened – meaning that Waverly has 5000 identicals. This story takes us from seeing Dahlia and Trigger try to escape Lakeview, to getting ‘discovered’ by Waverly’s friends as a means to get out of Lakeview (without even knowing who Waverly is mind you) and then figuring out how everyone can move forward once everything comes to a head.
We left off book 1 seeing the car pull up to the Witmores house and seeing Waverly in shock, her mother Lorna freak out, and Hennesy and the others really confused. From there, we see eyes become open, and we get to see things unravel and yet get pulled together all at the same time.
Lorna is forced to explain what she went through with her husband years ago to have a child, giving Waverly’s father a shock of a lifetime since the decision wasn’t his to go the route they did. We watch Waverly come to terms with the notion that she’s a clone and as a result, she’s not able to have children, and she has an expiration date. We see her also being forced to take a back seat to her wedding etc since there were events that have taken place that force Dahlia into the role of lead.
There’s also the undertone that continues here of young love – Trigger and Dahlia have a story line of their own that we want to root for, that we want to see flourish since they are a couple that’s fighting the odds to be together. They still don’t know what the future holds for them, but what they feel for each other is real. Just what Hennessey and Waverly have.
Then there’s the political bit of the story. Knowing that the Administrator has recalled all of Dahlia’s genome, 4,999 girls to be euthanized, yet we learn that the intention isn’t that at all. It’s for the girls to be sold at a discount price now since killing them would mean a significant loss of revenue. There’s a battle between what Waverly’s mom means to do with them and what Lakeview will do and we have to hope for the best since we know that neither can be trusted.
At the same time, we see Waverly truly come to terms with what she is, and what that means for her once the truth is out. She’s not the original, so she essentially is a clone with no rights, and that means that whatever she wants to do isn’t possible. She also has her eyes opened by the other clones in her family’s employ to the notion that clones are fully capable of free thought, of being unique and of being normal, and it’s a quest that she takes on to help prove her point. When Dahlia inadvertently forces her hand to make a grand statement that they want to make clones people, well the crap hits the fan yet again.
From this point on it’s a rollercoaster. There’s a plan crafted to make everyone in the world know the truth about clones and that they are fully capable of being the same as everyone else. there’s the education to the folks in Lakeview that what they’ve been told their whole life is very far from reality and that they should have a chance at something more.
Trigger, Dahlia, Hennessey and Waverly take it upon themselves to try to change the world, and that’s not an easy pill to swallow. There’s going to be destruction. There’s a high chance at failure, and we know that there’s no way for a complete happy ending. At least we should hope for the best, and if you read this second book of the series, you’ll get to watch how it plays out. Enjoy!