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Brave New Girl | except she’s not so brave

Braveness is typically associated with people who show no fear and walk straight into danger. Protagonist Dahlia 16 spends more time running from danger than actually facing it. She’s no Katniss or televised Clarke Griffin. She’s not even a Sarah Manning (Orphan Black).

The title is a reference to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

I love stories about clones and genetic engineering, which is what drew me to Brave New Girl. BNG, however, is a smörgåsbord of every Mary Sue cliche.

  • How does she always manage to escape without getting caught, except for the very end?
  • If there are cameras everywhere, how is it possible for her to have gotten away with all she has?
  • Considering the life Dahlia 16 was supposed to have lived, wouldn’t the clone who took her place be considered flawed since she was not as docile as her clone counterparts? Like, how did no one gather the fact that there had been a switch/mistake? And how was it that, if the geneticists were not supposed to work under the table for other clients, the existence of Dahlia 16’s genome as not just a clone but a standalone girl was accepted all these years later — considering the fact that the Administrator’s children were essentially friends with this alleged standalone clone?

I have so many questions that, regardless of the sequel’s existence, are unlikely to be answered due to the fact that we are out of Lakeview, the poorly-developed world Vincent left all our answers hanging in.

The premise had so much potential. Here’s what I would have loved to have happened instead:

  • Guy likes girl, but girl isn’t romantically interested in the guy because — GASP! — she’s not interested in men. Make romance more complicated than guy-likes-girl, girl-likes-guy bullshit. What if she’d been romantically into her best friend, Poppy, who is also a clone? Like, it sounds problematic and shit but is no different than dating someone with the same name as you. Just…complicate things. Throw in a twist.
  • The cameras are illusions to brainwash the clones into believing they’re being watched 24/7. If you’re going to add lifetime surveillance to a plot, it needs to stick. It’s like giving a character a child or pet: You can’t mention the child/pet once and then forget about it; you have to take care of them.
  • Start the story elsewhere: Perhaps Dahlia 16 makes it out of Lakeview because she’s “graduated” — like, I don’t know?? I have issues with stories that essentially “rescue” the female lead because of the existence of 1) a guy and 2) romance. It perpetuates Disney’s damsel-in-distress culture.

Basically, there are way too many plot holes for the story to function.

I literally can’t with this book. I don’t know. Yet still, I want to read the sequel because I do want answers re: this standalone chick.

Brave New Girl | except she’s not so braveBrave New Girl by Rachel Vincent
Series: Brave New Girl #1
Published by Delacorte Press on 9 May, 2017
Genres: Dystopia, Fiction, Romance, Science fiction, Young adult
# pages: 255
Format: Hardcover
Source: Book Depository, Giveaway
Goodreads

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