The Rule of One gave off a Hunger Games rebellion vibe meets twin siblings.
In the near-future United States, a one-child policy is ruthlessly enforced. Everyone follows the Rule of One. But Ava Goodwin, daughter of the head of the Texas Family Planning Division, has a secret—one her mother died to keep and her father has helped to hide for her entire life.
She has an identical twin sister, Mira.
For eighteen years Ava and Mira have lived as one, trading places day after day, maintaining an interchangeable existence down to the most telling detail. But when their charade is exposed, their worst nightmare begins. Now they must leave behind the father they love and fight for their lives.
Branded as traitors, hunted as fugitives, and pushed to discover just how far they’ll go in order to stay alive, Ava and Mira rush headlong into a terrifying unknown.
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
What mainly stood out to me in The Rule of One is the twin sister relationship between Ava and Mira. The book is told in their alternating perspectives. While at the beginning it was difficult for me to tell them apart, what I appreciated is how their own internal differences are brought out as the book develops. As they realize they don’t have to pretend to be the same, their point of view chapters become more individualized, as they change into their own people.
Ava and Mira have always been drilled into being the same. Sharing their experiences so they can masquerade as Ava Goodwin. The Rule of One is set in this futuristic dytopic society where not only are people supposed to only have one child, there is severe climate change. The resources of the world are scarce and the government has turned oppressive. Ava and Mira’s very existence not only goes against every law in their world, but are a symbol of resistance against the current government.
Ava and Mira
As The Rule of One developed, it is easier to tell the differences between these twins. They are bound together in this co-existence, this never ending loop. But when you spend your life living for someone else, this newfound freedom can be challenging. Who are you without your twin? Without your safety blanket and free to express different opinions and walk away? This creates an interesting dynamic that you can witness unfold.
I think the last third was my favorite part of the novel. As the twins are more distinct individuals, and the hope of resistance is dangled, I loved where this book leaves you. And it’s fully responsible for giving me The Hunger Games vibe. The idea of a resistance needing a symbol, like a pair of twins, and the sacrifices you have to make. As well as the ways this role demands you to think larger than yourself.
While I enjoyed the world building, I am even more excited for the sequel. Not only because of my love for these more evolved characters, but because I’m sure the sequel will have even more world building, even more rebellion. I wish the rules of the world outside of Texas were more fleshed out, but I’m anticipating even more in the next one.