Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Dystopian
In a world where everyone is the same, one girl is the unthinkable: unique. The second and final book in this high-stakes, fast-paced sci-fi series from New York Times bestselling author RACHEL VINCENT.
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.
Rachel Vincent's Strange New World is the second and final installment in the Brave New Girl duology. The story picks up right where Brave New Girl left off with the shocking meeting between what will become co-protagonists Dahlia 16, and 18-year old Waverly Whitmore. Since the story now alternates between the two characters, let's begin with Waverly. Waverly is known as the people's princess. She's got her own TV crew and millions followers who keep track of everything that she does, including her run up to her pending nuptials with Hennessy Chapman who she adores wholeheartedly.
Waverly also has two supportive parents and lives the 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. Waverly must face the truth about her own beginnings, her own choices, as well as that of her mother's before she is able to move forward and stand against the Administrator who knows her secrets. If you are looking for a character who grows the most, I would have to say that would be Waverly.
For Dahlia, the big lie about all the things that she's been told, including the reason for Lakeview, is ready to bubble up and blow things wide open everyone. Dahlia is part of a group of 5,000 clones who all look alike and were made for a certain job. After Dahlia and Trigger escaped, Dahlia believes that all of her sisters have been destroyed which leads to questions as to why Waverly is still alive, and what makes her so special. In this world, there aren't supposed to be any individuals. There's not supposed to be conception by old ways any longer. Only by cloning. Or, so Dahlia was told.
Dahlia, who is really the original, not Waverly, and Trigger who is a special forces clone with superb understanding of technology, are supposed to be manufactured clones which are sold around the country as part of the Administrator's "business plan." The issue? All clones have an expiration date, except for Dahlia. The story really gets twisted when Dahlia accidentally gets Waverly's wedding day tattooed on her arm and has to pretend to be Waverly until the time when she is able to have it redone.
Dahlia takes an unexpected stand against the treatment of clones which will definitely set things up for a really good ending to the series. Dahlia's stand opens the eyes of Waverly who goes from a spoiled princess, to someone who finally sees the world through the eyes of those less fortunate than herself. While Dahlia spent 16 years of her life in isolation from the outside world, Dahlia lived the American dream. As Waverly teaches Dahlia to be more like her so she can pass the public's scrutiny, she also begins to grow closer to a servant named Julienne and learns what Lakeview does to clones right before they send them out into the public for various uses. I'll admit. Dahlia definitely was the character who grew the most, and had to in order for this final installment to work.
In the end, this is a entertaining finale with just the right mix of romance, action, suspense, and adventure. I think that I am still on the fence over the idea of using clones to work jobs that supposedly nobody else wants. Imagine a future where out of control corporations are allowed to clone as many workers as they want. Imagine that clones humans out of work forever. Would there be a resounding anger against this idea? Or, would society be happy that they no longer had to deal with low skill job sets? I dare say that I hope I am not alive when that day arrives.