Alexandra Gastone isn’t really Alexandra Gastone. She’s a sleeper cell in a terrorist organization. She replaced the real Alexandra Gastone after a terrible car accident killed her and her parents. She’s sent off to live with the grandfather–someone who hasn’t seen the real Alexandra in years. Now she’s 17 and it looks like she’s finally about to be activated. What she didn’t count on was becoming attached to the life–and the people–that aren’t really hers.
Right off the bat the main character (Lex) seemed like she was really strong. At the same time, it was kind of hard to relate to her and I didn’t find myself connecting with her emotionally. It wasn’t a really bad thing, but I did feel like the book would have been better if I could relate to her or had some connection with her. I thought the premise of the book was very interesting. I’ve read a couple of books where they’ve replaced a person, but not one set in real life, so that was different. The cast of secondary characters were pretty great. I liked Albert a lot. Like, A LOT. He seemed like the ultimate grandpa and it made me wish that I had been the one to replace Alexandra Gastone haha. Grant was a cool guy as well if a little overbearing. It seems like he really loves Lex…which is actually something I always have a hard time with in YA. You’re in high school. Do you really know what love is yet? I know that there are countless couples out there who were high school sweethearts, or who even got married right after high school, but it happens MUCH TOO FREQUENTLY in YA. I think I’d almost rather read a book about a really strong bond between friends. That seems a little more believable to me at that age. Anyway, Grant was a nice guy and young love is at least better than insta-love in my book.
As far as the plot goes, I didn’t see some of the twists coming (which is good for me–I can usually sniff out a plot twist). The only part of the plot that I didn’t like was Lex’s identity struggle. It really seems like she should’ve had this struggle at least a couple of years ago…but maybe being activated changed something in her? It just seemed a little too contrived and “coincidental” to me. What I did really like is that Lex as a character was as smart as she should have been. I’m a little tired of female characters who have a weak aspect to their backstory just so they can have a special skill that no one else does. Lex’s backstory was really well fleshed out and so I found her character (and her character’s skills) believable.
Overall, I liked this book and I definitely plan on reading the next one.
Overall Rating: 4 (maybe more a 3.5, but I’m feeling generous)
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild (some underage drinking)
Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.