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The Rule of One by Ashley and Leslie Saunders

Publisher/date: Skyscape (October 1, 2018)

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: The Rule of One Duology

"Resist much. Obey little."

In a world with the population grown beyond it's capacity to sustain, the US has instituted The Rule of One. One child to each family, NO exceptions. That includes twins.

So when Mira is born a few minutes after Ava, her parents hide her away in the basement. She must pretend to be Ava every time she comes out, and her performance must be flawless. The smallest difference - an injury, a mannerism, could end to not only their deaths, but the death of their father as well, for keeping his second child.

And of course, as all YA books start, disaster strikes. They make a mistake. They are discovered. And they run in a backup plan their father has had waiting for years.

But they are not the same person. Ava is strong but subdued. Mira is rash and brazen. Mira wants to go back and save their father. Ava doesn't want their father's sacrifice to mean nothing. And during their journey, they are discovering that their parents hid even more than a daughter from the government.

"The United States was once the most idolized superpower in the world. Our power lay in our equality, our liberty, and our democracy of the common people," Rayla says, her quiet words emanating strength, drawing Ava even closer. "And look what we've become."

The writing style of this book is practically a political treatise, which is relatively common for dystopian books. But I found the writing to lack the subtlety that it takes to truly make an impact, to worm its way into a mind with the ability to change it. It's very in-your-face, the type of book that will only make the people who disagree dig their heels in.

SOAP BOX TIME. Being from the south here in the good ole' USA, I know that telling people they are wrong does not ever change an opinion. You must give it to them in breadcrumbs. They need to think about it and change their mind of their own volition. Books are an excellent way to introduce ideas in a non-confrontational way. But when you make a book confrontational, people often shut down. Many people will disagree, and insist that radical change is the only way. But that's how we got to this point, a completely divided country. Change does not come easily to most people, and if you want people to look at climate change as real (yes, many people still do not "believe" in climate change, believe it or not) you need to take a slightly less aggressive approach. Insidious is the best way. Don't agree? Tell me of one time you changed a person's mind by being aggressive. I'll wait.

Ok, I'm off the soap box now darling. I really wanted to love this book. It's my favorite genre, I like the take on twins. But this one just didn't do it for me. It didn't make me FEEL, and I really wanted to. I just never got invested fully in Ava and Mira, and their bickering kind of turned me off.

3 Stars, it was OK, I will read the reviews to see if the series gets any better before I decide whether to read the next book.

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