This was my second book for the Random Reader Challenge. I went in with some really skewed expectations because when I saw that it was a YA category, I immediately thought “OH YAY, MORE DYSTOPIAN FICTION!”…Need to get a better grip on literary reality here, not all teen fiction nowadays is based on dystopian worlds! Once I figured out that I wouldn’t be reading about a girl rebelling against society, I began to move on and get absorbed in the story.
While I blazed through this book in the span of just over a day, I have to say I wasn’t exactly thrilled with it. The first half had me really gripped, especially with the narration. It was very intriguing because it switched from chapter to chapter between two completely different points of view, the second one being a character that was not openly introduced. This kept me guessing as to who this mystery person was that was leading such a parallel life to the main character Rosie. I was actually amused because my initial guess, which I was so proud of myself for deducing, was wrong. The real answer was quite a twist in events and I was impressed that Katie Dale spun that aspect of the story so well.
The book is essentially about two girls that were switched at birth and who find out under very upsetting circumstances (although what nice way would there be to find that out?). This initially had me very intrigued and I was flipping the pages pretty quickly, wondering what would happen next. Towards the middle and going on into the end of the book, I got frustrated. The characters became less appealing to me, the storyline was being dragged out in a way that I didn’t find interesting, and the constant switching between two points of views while still remaining in the same scene became annoying. I will say that Katie Dale took on a rather difficult task of telling one scene from two characters’ perspective and making the scene progress at the same time. She did it really well, I just personally wasn’t a fan of the constant back-and-forth aspects.
The drama in the book did not solely revolve around the ‘simple’ being switched at birth scenario. There was Huntington’s disease to deal with, abandonment issues, teenage pregnancy, abortion, hasty marriages, unsteady young love, the occasional threat of a law suit and a desperate chase across airports and countries. I think it was all a bit too much towards the end. I finished the book mainly because of this reader challenge and not because I particularly wanted to. I do believe that the story had great potential in the beginning. I was enjoying myself thoroughly but after awhile I suppose I just found it tiring.
Ha. Ironically enough, I just spent some of my weekend chastising myself for always rating my books with a standard of three snitches. This time, unfortunately, it’s a bit different. I’m sure there are people out there who will love the book, I just don’t think it was personally my style. You should always give a book a chance though, and if some of the topics that were tackled in this book interest you, or you simply want to experience how Katie Dale’s interesting narration worked, then by all means give it a go!