Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.
Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.
I’ve seen the plotline before. I knew that as soon as I read the synopsis. Nevertheless, I was still excited to read this story and see if it was as good as I hoped it would be.
It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad. It certainly wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, considering half the book was about a boy Tessa couldn’t have. A boy who already has a girlfriend and Tessa spends 3/4 of her time worrying about him.
But that wasn’t what bothered me.
This book was kind of slow in terms of pacing, but it got exciting at times–which I did appreciate. It was a fun read, overall. But does it live up to it’s Agatha Christie meets X-Men appeal? No way. The plot was interesting, but it could’ve held a lot more than it did. I enjoyed Tessa’s narration, and I actually grew to like her character though, which was great.
As for some of the other characters though, typical YA.
Overall, it was an okay read. But there was so much that was missing for me. I wished that there was more. More of everything. There were a lot of dimensions to the characters that could’ve been explored, and I would’ve really liked to know what happened in the end. I guess what I’m saying is that a lot of the book could’ve been taken away and a lot of something could’ve been put into that first book. Honestly, I do want to see where Winnacker goes with this, but I this book should’ve been a lot more. 2 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 274
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