A teenage girl learns the terrifying truth about her physically painful visions of another girl’s life.
Elissa misses her old life, before the hallucinations, the pain, the mysterious bruises and the endless doctor appointments for a condition most people think is attention-seeking behavior. Finally, a specialist offers brain surgery to end her visions. But when Elissa finds proof that one of her visions was real, she discovers her condition isn’t just a brain malfunction. The visions are a telepathic link that lead Elissa to her newly escaped, tortured twin: Lin, a Spare, is viewed as nonhuman. Elissa, unwilling to let the scientists catch Lin and hurt her again, runs away with her, giving up normalcy for good. Each twin brings tools to help them as they barely evade authorities—Elissa has convenient, high-tech false IDs that double as no-limit credit cards, and Lin has electrokinetic powers—in an action-packed, tense chase. Lin’s lack of compassion and trust for anyone except Elissa and Elissa’s naïve worldview test their newfound bond. Their only hope is to get off the planet by manipulating and taking advantage of Elissa’s love interest—a complex character despite the forced romantic subplot. While escaping, they discover the secret purpose of Spares, and the ending resolves the standalone plot in a way thematically consistent with the girls’ growth.
Moral dilemmas and character development distinguish it from the crowded dystopian field. (Science fiction. 12-17)