Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn, isolated on a desert island but for their two adult caretakers. Each day is much like the last: The girls go about their day-to-day activities with calm precision, analyzing their surroundings to perfection. But when May, a very different kind of girl--the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck--suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.
If somebody asked me to make a list of modern YA novels that should be taught in an English class, this one would be at the top of my list. The Different Girl is extremely thought-provoking, exploring what it truly means to be human through the coming-of-age story of someone who struggles to understand humanity.
One of my favorite aspects of this novel is the unusual point of view. Veronika breaks several rules as a narrator: she isn't relatable or normal, and doesn't understand what's going on half the time. Her viewpoint is both limiting and liberating; it gives readers the opportunity to make their own inferences and put together the pieces by themselves.
A word of caution: this book finishes with a lot of loose ends, so I wouldn't recommend it to those who desperately need stories to have closure. I would, however, recommend it to those who enjoy unusual dystopian or thought-provoking novels.