06 December 2012

The Different Girl; Gordon Dahlquist

The Different GirlThe Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's not clear at the beginning if this is a dysopian book, a religious book, a survivalist book, or even if it's set in the future, present or past - there's just clearly something a little wrong, a little different about the lives of Veronika, Caroline, Isobel and Eleanor. They live on a remote island with Robbert and Irene, they don't have school as we think of it, and they're orphans. That's all they know, and all we know. In some ways they're like Madeline, living lives in parallel.

Then one day, May appears. Veronkia finds her, having decided to do things a little different from what Irene wants (in itself something new); May was washed up on the beach along with a small bag of photos and other things. She's nothing like the four other girls, and this difference marks the beginning of life on the island.

I'm not going to go into this more, except to say that I think this book can prompt some interesting discussions with students. The biggest discussion will be about the ending, which is very abrupt: is this like the controversial ending to 'The Sopranos' or will there be a sequel (or more)?

ARC provided by publisher.

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