The Different Girl

The Different Girl

Book - 2013
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"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"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Dutton Books, c2013
ISBN: 9780142423653
Branch Call Number: TEEN DAHL
Characteristics: 230 pages.


From the critics

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Dec 21, 2014

This book will make your mind wander...

Jun 12, 2014

One of the most utterly unique and intelligent YA books I've ever read. Don't let the "YA" fool you. And don't let anyone tell you this book is bad because "I didn't know what was going on" or "it had no ending" or "nothing happened, it was boring". This book makes you think, makes you work for information and that's what makes it so damned good.

It takes talent for an author to so steadily and subtly deal out information without either spoiling things far in advance or feeling stilted and unskilled. Dahlquist gives you just enough to keep you moving forward looking for more and more and more. You learn along with the main character and it's delightful to put together the puzzle of her life and to look back on what you've read and realize what the author's been giving you all along.

My husband picked it up when I was half-way through and got sucked in and we had to fight over who got to read it. I try to recommend this book to anyone who will listen to me.

Aug 05, 2013

I will attempt a no-spoiler review for The Different Girl, and hopefully describe why it was just okay.

A lot of the book revolves around the education of the four girls, with that routine interrupted when a shipwrecked girl arrives at the island (the "Different Girl"). The pace of this learning is very slow, and any thought-provoking insights are easily lost. Did the arrival of the girl change the other four, or were they already changing?

The arrival of the girl (or the storm that washed her ashore) also triggers the second part of the novel, which accelerates the pace towards the ending. This part went well enough.

This leads to another point, the end. No spoilers, but there basically isn't an ending either. Major change, yes, and picking up the pieces in the aftermath, but then it just stops.

Finally, the overall theme without spoilers. Things aren't as they seem from the beginning, with clues about what is really going on. Nothing is stated, however, as the book keeps solidly to one girl's point-of-view, and she never really gets it. So the book ends with the mystery more-or-less resolved, but never stated. Sherlock's summing up would have been out of place, but would have wrapped the story nicely.

There you go - a few nice bits, but slow and no resolution means I can't recommend it to anyone. (Jul 7 - Aug 4)

amcewen10 Jul 28, 2013

Definitely made me want to know more after the last page.

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