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I Belong

Review: Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

Impostor SusanneTitleImpostor

Author: Susanne Winnacker

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Variants (Book 1)

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 274 Pages

ISBN-10: 1595146547 (Penguin Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-1595146540 (Penguin Teen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin



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.

Quick & Dirty: In this quick and easy read, a murder mystery is brought to life full of action, romance, and humor.

Opening Sentence: The straightjacket corseted my body so tightly my arms tingled and my fingers turned numb.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Impostor is the story of Tessa, a Variant who has special powers, and can become the physical appearance of others just with a thought. Tessa’s a part of the Variant secret agency that works for the government. When she gets an assignment to pose as an almost victim of an at-large serial killer so she can investigate, Tessa must intrude in someone else’s life in someone else’s house with someone else’s family. Can she keep it together long enough to find the killer, or will she be discovered as an impostor?

Almost immediately I could tell that Impostor was going to be a short, refreshing read, and I was right: I finished within 2 hours. The plot was very straightforward and clear. I was happy with the book, and as some mystery books are I could not tell who the murderer was right off the bat. You constantly change your mind and switch between suspects, so it was an engaging time for both the reader and the characters.

Although Tessa was an okay heroine, she wasn’t very thought-provoking and I found it slightly difficult to connect with her in a way that I did with Katniss or Bella. (The Hunger Games and Twilight) Her mind was very simple, ordinaryish. I look for extraordinary and insightfulness in my characters, and with Tessa I feel that fell a little short. I didn’t very much like Alec (Tessa’s love interest) either because he seemed so uncaring and devoted to his girlfriend most of the time. With most romances it happens gradually — in this one, it seems completely turned off except for slight lapses at random intervals where they’re acting like they’re hopelessly in love. This confused me. When these tiny lapses weren’t happening they were two friends, or two enemies, nothing more.

This novel was quick, but didn’t leave anything out. There were no plot holes and everything was detailed and explained, and from the start you are hooked in. It’s one of those books that you can read on a plane, or when you’re bored, just because you want to read something. And let’s not forget it is also a mystery —- and a good one at that!

Altogether this was a very well-done story! Maybe this can be a New Year’s present for yourself, now that you’ve been introduced to it? Is it extremely thought-provoking? No. Does it have a unique, never before seen writing style? Nope. But should you check it out? Most definitely!

Notable Scene:

A figure stood on the other side of the street, clearly watching my window. His hoodie hung low over his eyes and the evening fog obscured the rest of him. It was impossible to make out who he was. Spotting me, he took off running down the street.

It wasn’t Alec. Who was it? The killer? I doubted he had the audacity to show up in front of my house so soon after my return. It was probably just some curious snoop who wanted the rumors confirmed.

I rubbed my arms and let down the blinds, double-checking that the window was locked before I finally crawled into bed.

Variants Series:

1. Impostor

2. Defector (June 26, 2014)


FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of Impostor.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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