Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late?
Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.
Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.
Hardcover, 274 pagesPublished May 28th 2013 by Razorbill(info grabbed from GoodReads)
So, I hated this book. I hated it so much, I don't even want to go through the effort of writing a proper intro paragraph. Quick summary: Tessa is a variant with the power to change her appearance into anyone she touches (like a cross between ANIMORPHS and Mystique from X-MEN). She is part of a special faction of the FBI called FEA, which is a collection of variants formed for the purpose of fighting crime. Woop, sounds cool -- but this book is really about Alec and Tessa's relationship and petty hate between girls.
I find it rather pathetic that Tessa's relationship with Alec can be summed up with the Taylor Swift song "You Belong with Me," but without the upbeat music. Nope, it's just a girl whining about how she should be with a guy because she is less of a primped up skank. She seriously thinks she's entitled to Alec because she gets him, because liking the same movies and being great friends means you are meant to be. No, that's not how relationships work. The only saving grace for any of the characters in this book is that Alec tells her off because he does have a girlfriend.
Everyone adores Tessa. They love her so much, they're giving her a super special top secret mission even though she's still a minor. And for what reason does everyone love Tessa? Because she is abnormally average except for having a Variation like everyone else at this FEA summer camp? I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would love Tessa, because there is nothing really likeable about her. She is jealous, she is impulsive, and she isn't remarkably talented other than having a cool variation. It drove me crazy that I couldn't stand the main character, but everyone in the book does without reason.
Everyone, except Kate. Who is conveniently Alec's girlfriend and placed in the hateful bitch trope without any depth. Kate has no reason to hate Tessa; she just does. If there was a bit more feeling or a history there, I would have enjoyed that whole bit more. But alas, this character solely exists as a foil to Tessa, to show how "girl-next-door" and plain Tessa is. And so we're supposed to not feel so bad that Tessa is attempting to be a homewrecking tramp.
The girl on girl hate in this book is so rampant and petty, it is unreadable. The mystery is not very mysterious or even what the majority of the book seemed to want to focus on. Nope, it seemed rather intent on focusing on Tessa's pity party over not feeling ready for such a mission and pining over her taken best friend. The end.
Final Thought: NOPE
This review is also posted on GoodReads