Monday, March 16, 2015

Duplicity by N.K. Traver

Release Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher & ARC: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 9781250059147
Ages: 13+

About the Author:
"HELLO, MY NAME IS NAT, and I write books about teens who like to get themselves in trouble and then expect me to get them out of it. I am completely incapable of planning anything (books, vacations, weekend outings, lunch). I'd like to believe this incapability makes my work random and quirky because let's be honest, I had no idea that was going to happen either. I'm represented by Brianne Johnson of Writers House, who can actually turn books into gold.

I love stories. All kinds. Especially ones with antiheroes and/or a tinge of something creepy. I'm very interested in why good people are good and bad people are bad and what makes them that way. I like reversed roles, rules, unexpected humor, sword fights, and the occasional "Awww" moment." Visit her website here

I haven't read a lot of unique YA fiction lately. It seems everything on the shelves lately has its foot in some other story already told. Such is not the case with Duplicity

Brandon is that guy that you see often and want to know more about even though you probably shouldn't, especially if you're a "good girl." Mysterious, tattooed, an apparent "bad boy," this seventeen year old is the truth to "there's more to a person than meets the eye." Hacking into bank accounts is just a hobby for Brandon, and one that he's particularly good at. With no attention from his inept parents at home, Brandon looks toward his cybertalents to make it through the day, and also a girl named Emma. 

The relationship between Brandon and Emma is believable. The good girl is always attracted to the bad guy. While Brandon still struggles with a recent breakup, he seems really into Emma and all of her kindness. At least she pays him some attention. 

While his new relationship with Emma builds, Brandon suddenly realizes that his reflection in the mirror is moving, and not only moving, but changing his identity. Slowly stripping away every piece of an identity Brandon has created from himself, the duplicate becomes more and more sinister. Before we know it, Brandon is taken inside the mirror and must find a way to break a code to escape. 

This was the area that I thought was the most creative and unique, though it did remind me a little of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wall-Paper," but for my students who love that story, I can now happily pass this book along as a pairing. Traver takes a lot of risk with this seemingly outlandish plot, but I do believe it pays off. 

Enough romance for female readers and a strong male POV for male readers, with plenty of twists and turns for both.

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