Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Review: DupliKate

Cherry Cheva
September 2009; HarperTeen; 978-0-06-128854-8 (hardcover)

Summary: Kate is your typical stressed senior. She's determined to get into Yale sot hat she and her boyfriend Paul will attend college together. But that doesn't leave much time for Kate, amidst SAT prep, favors for recommendation-writing teachers, and a personal statement that's got Kate blocked. So when she falls asleep in front of her computer which is frozen on a lame simulation game, she's shocked to wake up to a duplicate version of herself named Rina. Could this be the way for Kate to achieve her goals? Or is Rina a wake-up call for Kate?

A combination of sci-fi and chick lit yields a fast-paced and fun read. Kate is like so many teens, trying to do too much because she doesn't know her limits. This doesn't mean she's irresponsible about what she takes on; often it's Kate who's staying home to study while Rina goes out with Kate's friends, even with her boyfriend Paul. But slowly, Kate realizes that perhaps her goals are not what she really wants. This natural realization lends some extra weight to the storyline, which is otherwise peopled with stock characters and is relatively predictable. But as Kate moves through the novel, you find yourself rooting for her to figure things out, wondering how her story will turn out. This could be a gateway sci-fi book for girls that haven't discovered the variety of that genre. Try handing this book and Scott Westerfeld's Uglies to a teen and see what happens!

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