“Desperation is a hard foe to fight against, because the desperate never stop.”
The Rule of One is a Young Adult dystopian novel which takes place in a near-future version of America which has been ravaged by over-population. To compensate, the US has instituted a strict one child per family rule. Twins Ava and Mira were born in secret in their home, and both live out their lives under Ava’s name, taking turns going to school and keeping a constant distance from others in order to avoid detection. As was bound to happen, their secret is eventually discovered and their lives are turned upside-down when they go on the run.
The authors of The Rule of One are twin sisters, so this gives them excellent insight into the relationship between Ava and Mira; the girls obviously love each other deeply, but like any sibling relationship, there is conflict and resentment at times. The fact that girls are forced to literally share an identity only heightens this; there is no breathing room in this relationship. Exploring this relationship between the sisters is one of the highlights of the novel.
While the writing is engaging, the twists aren’t terribly shocking, at least to an adult audience. However, the story is very fast-paced, and the emotional journey of the sisters is sufficient to keep me turning the pages. Fans of the young adult genre, particularly of authors like Suzanne Collins or Veronica Roth, will find this a worthwhile read.