** I received this book as an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All following opinions are my own. **
Title: The Rule of One
Authors: Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders
Release date: October 1st, 2018
Genre: dystopian, futuristic, teen
Page count: 258 pages
Goodreads synopsis: In their world, telling the truth has become the most dangerous crime of all.
In the near-future United States, a one-child policy is ruthlessly enforced. Everyone follows the Rule of One. But Ava Goodwin, daughter of the head of the Texas Family Planning Division, has a secret—one her mother died to keep and her father has helped to hide for her entire life.
She has an identical twin sister, Mira.
For eighteen years Ava and Mira have lived as one, trading places day after day, maintaining an interchangeable existence down to the most telling detail. But when their charade is exposed, their worst nightmare begins. Now they must leave behind the father they love and fight for their lives.
Branded as traitors, hunted as fugitives, and pushed to discover just how far they’ll go in order to stay alive, Ava and Mira rush headlong into a terrifying unknown.
My thoughts: This was a very enjoyable read! I love a good dystopian and this definitely did not disappoint! It gave me a lot of “Hunger Games” vibes even though they were very different stories.
I really enjoyed the authors’ world building. I thoroughly understood the world, it’s rules, and the punishments if those rules were broken. I felt the world was very well thought out.
The authors’ writing style was a high point for me as well and once I learned the authors’ are twins themselves (just like the main characters) it made the writing feel that much more real and personal.
The characters in this book were very well written. It is told through a dual narrative; alternating between the twins, Ava and Mira. Even though very similar to one another, they definitely shared their slew of differences that made each of them very unique. They did make decisions that angered me, but that wasn’t a writing style or character development flaw; just me as the reader screaming “NOOO” into my book!
The plot varied on moving fast and slow. Sometimes it was action packed and other times it slowed down to allow the essence of the passage of time to seep in. This normally annoys me in books because I dislike lulls or filler chapters but in this story, it didn’t feel like a lull or filler. It just felt long and exhausting which is how the characters felt in their long treck to Canada from Texas so I believe it was the authors’ intent to make the reader feel the same way as the characters by dragging a few parts out. It was very well done and helped me to better connect with the charcaters’ plight.
The one criticism I have is with the charcater of Mira. The book talked about her “change” and “coming into her own person” and taking on her own life that wasn’t “Ava”. I could see this change and a few scenes in the book did transform her or “harden” her as a character but I wish I could’ve seen more of that transformation. I wanted more backstory and scenes where I saw Mira pushed to her limit or have to make impossible decisions just so the juxtapostion between her playing “Ava” and her transforming into Mira didn’t seem so drastic or seem to come on so suddenly.
But overall, very much enjoyed this book and I do recommend it if you are looking for a futuristic dystopian with excellent world building! I am anxious to see where this series goes!