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Variants #1


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Tessa is a Variant with extraordinary abilities. She could be a hero, but all she wants to do is fall in love ...

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 with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. There she trains with other Variants, such as long-term crush Alec, who each have their own extraordinary ability.

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.

320 pages, Paperback

First published May 23, 2013

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About the author

Susanne Winnacker

5 books543 followers
Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals.

Her YA thriller IMPOSTOR will be published on May 28, 2013. It has been optioned for TV by Warner Brothers!
I don't read messages on Goodreads. If you want to contact me, please send me an email to this address: books(at)susannewinnacker(dot)com
Here's my official Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/SusanneWinna...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 489 reviews
319 reviews1,892 followers
July 14, 2014
actual rating is 3.5 stars!

totally didn't expect to like this as much as I did, but damn, that was really good. X-Men meets Veronica Mars, definitely. Although the variations/mutations aren't wholly original, since many are featured in X-Men, the training and discovering who has which powers, etc was a lot of fun. If Mystique were to solve a crime, I'd imagine it'd be very much like this book, and that's a good thing. The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of, aside from some other tiny qualms, was the romance, which had a few red flags; for one, the guy feels like he needs to protect the main character when they aren't even dating, and is pretty overprotective as it is. He's also not entirely likable, and the relationship kind of takes a traditional role in the 'me-man, you-woman' way. That, and the angst in this particular relationship isn't really for me, and more time than I had cared for is focused on it. He also kissed the MC while he had a girlfriend, and the MC also made some questionable decisions regarding his relationship with his girlfriend in general that I couldn't get behind. BUT I also loved that their relationship was built over classic horror films, because that's the best way to get to my heart. I just hope I feel differently about the romance as a whole in the sequel, or that it takes a twist.

ALSO!! I totally thought the killer would be someone else, which is actually a really big deal for me, since I'm right about those things 95% of the time. So definite props to Susanne Winnacker, because I really thought it would be going a different way and had tons of reasons why.

overall, this was really surprising and in the best way possible. Really fun, quick, and well-written read. And the main character kicked a guy in the balls because he came on to her after she protested, so yeah, you should read this.
Profile Image for Whitley Birks.
294 reviews355 followers
May 28, 2013
See this review and more on Whitley Reads

My Reaction: Does anyone remember the Agent Cody Banks movies? Or the Spy Kids movies? Remember how, even though they were silly, the appeal came from the fact that it was kids doing spy stuff? Running around, jumping off helicopters, fighting bad guys, investigating shit, being awkwardly suave, and – most importantly – ENJOYING BEING SPIES?
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Yeah, this book is nothing like that. Tessa may be an agent of the federal government, but fuck if you’ll be able to tell that while living in her head. The fact that she’s an agent who’s been training for this for years doesn’t seem to have any impact on her. She could be a random chick-with-powers who decided to investigate a serial killer and this story wouldn’t have played out any differently. And that’s fine, she can be a teenager, but not when the book was sold to me as “X-men meets super spy.”

• Tessa spent more time wailing about her mission than she does actually participating in her mission. In the first few pages she’s all “Yay, I’m an agent! I can turn into people! I can’t wait for my first mission!” “Hey, we got a mission for you. Impersonate this dead chick and make the killer think he missed.” “What? Impersonate someone? THIS IS SOMEHOW A TOTAL SHOCK TO ME AND I WILL NOW ANGST ABOUT IT.” Yeah, it’s that confusing. And then she continues the angst-train throughout the book.
• Two years of training, did you say? Piffle. Tessa acts like she’s had two minutes of training. She’s completely unprofessional and verging on too stupid to live. Her investigative skills are a joke. She can’t act to save her life (literally) and her one go-to move the entire book is “Oh, I have amnesia. Please explain our relationship to me.”
• The whole idea was to use Tessa as bait and draw the killer out, under the theory that he’d be nervous about “Madison” giving him away. Fine plan until Tessa started up her “Nope, I don’t remember a thing! No, really, let me emphasis how littler I remember” parade. How is that supposed to help?
• Tessa’s powers make no sense. They stop and start working at the convenience of the plot, and no attempt is ever even attempted to explain why.
• Tessa has all of exactly one fight, and she accidents her way into winning it. She doesn’t even get in any good hits. She doesn’t even dodge on her own, it’s just her powers suddenly acting up. She wins when the bad guy trips.
• At first I thought that the symbolism was painfully obvious, but no. It’s painfully not even symbolism. Like, you didn’t even put in that much effort. Which would be okay, I suppose, except no one brings up the obvious option. These dead people have A’s carved onto their chests and one dead girl was having an affair. How can you not at least mention The Scarlett Letter? And when you find out what the A stands for, oh, that’s not symbolism either. That’s just a guy’s name. Who names their organization after themselves? Even Magneto didn’t do that.
• Tessa couldn’t stop thinking about her boy troubles and how hot her boys are and muscled chests and kisses and rock-hard abs and ENOUGH ALREADY, WHY ARE WE READING ABOUT THIS AND NOT ABOUT THE SERIAL KILLER, ARE YOU JUST HIGH? Man, there’s boy crazy and then there’s “author trying to shoehorn in as much sex appeal as possible in a book that seriously doesn’t have room for it.” And this book really didn’t have room for that. Tessa spent so much of the book just crying over kisses and shit that the plot had to solve itself, because she sure as hell wasn’t going to get off her ass and do it.
• The female side of the love-polygon is downright insulting. It’s basically “Why is he with that bitchy slut? She’s ruining him. That bitchy slut must have tempted him.” Tessa, maybe he’s a thinking adult who can make his own choices and you should stop hating on every other girl in the room.

Rants and Raves:
Girl spies kick ass. I don’t understand why people don’t get this. GIRL SPIES KICK ASS.

I don’t understand why this book bothered to make Tessa a spy and then completely divest her of any ass kicking ability. She makes a valiant stab at claiming to know martial arts, but then she proceeds to flail her way through every fight and can’t even do 20 push-ups without crying about it. Do you know how un-hard it is to do 20 push-ups? A couch potato could do it with some grunting and groaning, and a trained martial artist should be like “huh, that was kind of a weak warm-up, what else you got?”

Then everyone falls all over themselves talking about protecting Tessa and how she needs to be guarded and how OMG, BUT IT’S SO DANGEROUS AND SHIT.


I know she’s just a teenager and I’m not expecting her to be Chuck Norris with a Vagina, but it’s not the greatest sin in the world to create a character that can take care of herself and then have other people back off and let her do it. This book has the perfect chance to create a kickass heroine and then completely drops the ball, then compounds the issue by making it unclear how much training she’s actually had or not. And then compounds it further by having Alec just about heart-attack himself to death at the thought of his precious little not-girlfriend being in harm’s way.

Enough of this, authors. Enough. If we can’t even let our women spies be competent then what are we coming to?
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
588 reviews3,514 followers
April 11, 2015
1.5 stars

This was me for the entire book.

Imposter is what Splintered would read like without the awesome world-building. You know, if we just had the love triangle, Jeb and his dickish tendencies, and Al from Unhinged, who is perfectly okay with sticking her head in the sand and letting a whole world die if she can be normal, goddammit!

Tessa is, hands-down, one of the most annoying heroines I have ever met. She's a Variant, which means she has a special power (i.e mind-reading, telekinesis). However, our darling heroine just wants to be normal and have a normal life. Screw the fact that her Variant—the power to change into whoever she wants—is the envy of everyone, even the bitch who's dating the guy she likes (Remember Taylor from Splintered? That is a goldmine of shit right there. I'll get to it later), and all the spy organizations are just itching to get her hands on her.

"That was one of the moments I wished I were just a normal girl. A girl who could go shopping and hang out with her friends instead of doing the kind of work that would terrify a normal person."

Have you tried doing what Hannah Montana did?

Because having a minimum-pay job, a sucky car that only runs half the time, and telemarketers who call you right in the middle of fucking class is so glamorous. I've never been fond of the special-person-just-wants-to-be-normal trope anyway and the fact that Tessa is so fucking whiny about it just makes me hate her even more.

Plus, I don't understand why she's portrayed as such a fucking special snowflake. What makes her Variant so special? Yes, she can shift into anyone she wants, but throughout the narrative, her power fails at the most crucial moments and she sucks at keeping her cover (she's supposed to pose as Madison, a girl who was murdered, in order to find the killer). Kate, another Variant a.k.a the bitch, can read minds. Isn't that just as effective and from what I've seen, she doesn't fuck up. She is far more competent than spesual little Tessa.

Tessa's also too soft-hearted. I know that sounds like a compliment, but not in this context. Upon finding out about her mission, Tessa constantly laments over Madison's death, like how she's never going to graduate, get a husband, and have 2.4 children. I know it's supposed to make me see how wonderful Tessa (she cares!) is, but it only made me all the more frustrated with her. Where's the fire? The sense of justice that will finally let this poor girl rest in peace by catching her murderer? I wanted to shake her and scream, "Stop fucking whining!" Find something constructive to do, like practice your Variant so your cover won't get blown.

But wait! Who has time for practicing when she might very well die without having been kissed!

"If I get myself killed, I'll die without ever having kissed a boy. Pathetic, huh? Bards will sing about the old spinster Tessa."

I have not faced idiocy of this level since Nora Gray from Hush, Hush.

But her bubbly BFF totes agrees. In fact, it was her idea because she's the bold one while our beloved heroine is a shrinking violet/Bella/Nora. So they cook up this scheme to get Alec, the guy she likes, to be her first kiss by posing as Kate, his girlfriend.

Oh yeah, forget the implications that you're making him cheat because you know in your heart that you're perfect together! And you know, Kate doesn't understaaaaaand him like she does.

"It wasn't fair; she didn't even like him the way he was. She didn't like the same movies, didn't like the way he dressed, didn't understand how it was to grow up without loving parents the Alec and I did."

And she's a bitch, so it's okay.

Kate: "Nice shirt. Pity that you don't have any real breasts to speak of."

She's gorgeous too. How dare she be prettier than Tessa!

"Instead I had straight blonde hair, strange coppery eyes and long legs. My t-shirt strained over her bigger chest and my jeans were too short for her body. That was a reminder of her superior looks that I really didn't need. She had breasts to show off."

Don't fret though. Tessa is an equal opportunity slut-shamer. Any girl that goes near her precious Alex is a slut.

"Jealousy burned in my stomach. I knew he was only trying to gather information from them, but I didn't like it, especially the way Franny half shoved her impressive chest in his face.

Remind me again—am I supposed to sympathize with this girl? If so, I probably shouldn't be fantasizing wanting to do this to her:

Oh, and she fails in her noble quest anyway. She freaks out when she's in Alex's room and shifts back her normal form. See previous point on practicing.

In addition, she—you GoT and The Mortal Instruments fans are going to love this—has the hots for Madison's brother.

"Even with half the chicken casserole inside him, his abs still formed tight ripples beneath his shirt."

"Devon flashed me that grin I'd been on the receiving end of so many times in the last few days. His eyes reminded me of a cloudless summer sky and I loved the deep dimples that appeared each and every time he smiled."

"I could just imagine what Major would do if he found out I'd failed the mission because I wanted to smell Devon."

Disturbing incest vibes aside, she could jeopardize her whole mission. And just because she acknowledges it's stupid, doesn't mean it's any less stupid.

It's partially because of her stupidity that I never got a sense of urgency from her mission. She's supposed to be catching a murderer, but she just swims through Madison's life, half-heartedly looking for leads and wistfully think how cool it'd be if this was her family. She uses Madison's computer to log into the FEA, the Variant corporation she's part of, and doesn't erase the computer's history. And this happens:

"Even in the dark, I could see that my hair was definitely not blonde. I'd forgotten to change back to Madison before checking the window. That could have ended badly."

Can I kill her now? Please let me kill her.

Other than Tessa, Alec got on my nerves too. He's like a Jeb clone, being overprotective and freaking out when Tessa is sent on a dangerous mission to investigate a murder. Similar to Jeb, he has a girlfriend but lusts after our heroine anyway. He later explains that his and Kate's relationship is of reason, not love.

(God, I miss Cory Moneith)

What reason? Because she's hot and you don't have to take so many cold showers while thinking of Tessa?

"That was the first time I realized how much I wanted to keep you safe," he said. "It was the first time I met someone who understood me. Nobody understands me like you do."

Someone get me a glass of water. I think I'm gagging on a piece of cliche.

FYI, he says that (and makes out with Tessa) before he breaks up with Kate. Then in the end (because there's some wangsting in the middle), he gets together with Tessa because he tired of fighting his feelings for her.

Cause I can't fight this feeeeeling any longer~

The worst part is, Tessa doesn't even feel guilty about it. And this is the girl who keeps whining about how it isn't fair that she's lying to Madison's parents.

Fuck this shit.

ARC provided by Netgalley
July 26, 2016
X-men meets Agatha Christie. I seriously got a LOT of X-Men feels out of this book, but this is not a bad thing. I really liked this book.

This was a fast, enjoyable read. It's a light YA sci-fi that does not aspire to more than it is. So many books of that category I've read lately have overreached or have been overambitious in their plot and premise, this does not. The setting is contemporary and easy to understand, the concept of the Variants is well-explained and does not go into so much detail that it creates confusion and collapses within itself. There is no Bigger Message that makes me want to roll my eyes as I read; it's light fiction, and should properly be kept that way. There is an underlying plot, but it is not overreaching on a grand scale, and never overwhelms the main plotline. It is more of a setup to the next book(s) in the series, and it is so unobtrusive that I didn't mind the setup at all. Too many books try to setup the sequel to a ridiculous extent (Regency romances are particularly guilty), but this book is very restrained in building the intrigue, and I find myself looking forward to the sequel, something almost unheard of in light YA fiction these days.

The premise: present-day United States. The beginning of the book is set in Montana, the headquarters of the FEA, an acronym for Forces with Extraordinary Abilities. These are special people born with special powers, think X-Men mutants. Their special abilities vary, from Alec (the projected love interest) with extraordinary strength) to her friend Holly (invisibility); there are a wide, wide range of abilities, and how these abilities manifest and work is not completely understood. The author makes this clear that this concept is not fully understood by the agency or by the scientists involved in the agency itself; they just work with these special people, the technicalities are not fully understood. Thank you. I'm glad to have this out in the open instead of having a long, convoluted half-assed explanation of how these things work. Keep It Simple, Stupid. That's just fine with me.

Tessa is one of the Variants. Her ability is particularly promising, she can absorb other people's DNA and use it to turn into anyone she has touched. Her abilities are simply and briefly explained: "[as] far as FEA scientists could gather, my DNA incorporated foreign genetic instructions into its own unique strand as dormant DNA that could be activated when necessary," and her skill is a ridiculously useful one: as she is told by the Major in charge, "I don’t have to tell you that some people in the Department of Defense and the CIA are licking their fingers at the prospect of having your talent at their disposal. [You are] the perfect spy—the ultimate weapon."

Tessa doesn't feel like the ultimate weapon, though. She has only been at the Institution for two years, abandoned by her father as a young toddler and by her abusive and neglectful mother, who hates Tessa's abilities. Her self-esteem is low enough for her to feel scared, lonely, and not ready for her next assignment: that of becoming Madison.

There's been a serial killer targeting people in Livingston, Oregon. His or her latest victim is Madison, who is about to die. Tessa's mission is to become Madison and investigate the murder as an insider. After Madison dies of her injuries early on in the book, Tessa assumes her place. Even though she has spent much of her life outside of the Institution, her life has been difficult, and she finds it hard to keep herself apart from Madison as she incorporates her life. Madison's life is so different from anything Tessa has ever known: loving parents, a caring twin brother, friends. Not only that, Madison herself has secrets of her own that Tessa gradually uncovers over the course of her investigation. Tessa knows to hold herself apart from her family, but they grow on her, and she is torn between her enjoyment of her new "family" and her guilt at deceiving them. This normal, loving family is so vastly different from her childhood. Tessa's memories of her own childhood are much more painful...her memories run along the lines of abuse: "...like the day my mother’s third husband came home drunk and locked me in the closet, forcing me to listen to him beating the crap out of my mother. Or the day my mother said she wished I’d never been born," and this mission is enjoyable to her, no matter how much she tries to distance herself.

"I couldn’t remember a time when I’d been happier. The smile seemed to be permanently carved into my face, my muscles aching from unfamiliar use. Was this how my life could have been if I had been normal? In that moment, I wished more than anything that I could keep them, that I was more than an impostor with a borrowed family."

Madison's body gradually becomes so familiar to her that it doesn't even feel strange to look into the mirror and see her face instead of Tessa's own, but still, deep down she knows that she is just a hollow imitation of the dead girl. I expected less complexity from her character, and was pleasantly surprised at her character development and how much I enjoyed watching her grow in such a short amount of time. Her actions are sometimes a little silly and out of character for someone trained to be a spy/assassin, but given her short time in training and her age of sixteen, her flaws can be overlooked.

The only character that really bugged me about this book is Alec, her friend and fellow Variant on whom she has a major crush. He is overprotective with her, having known her since she joined the Institution, but his overprotectiveness feels more like he is patronizing her. He constantly reminds her that this is a mission, he constantly dismisses her observations as false. Alex knows about her difficult past and anticipates that she will be attached to her new "family, he often reminds her needlessly "You still realize that this is a job, right? Sometimes I think you forget that.” He is arrogant, condescending, and wishy-washy. He has a girlfriend, another Variant, yet freely admits his feelings for Tessa. He even acts on his feelings with Tessa, kissing her, flirting with her...while still with Kate. Not cool. And then afterwards, “It shouldn’t have happened. It was a mistake.” Oh hell no, that's not something a girl wants to hear. I was angry at Tessa for her constant mooning over Alec, but gradually she comes around and realizes that she deserves better than that.

There is a long list of very credible suspects, and I truly enjoyed playing armchair detective as I read this book. So many times, I find myself saying, in truly childish, gleeful fashion "OH, HE'S THE ONE! I KNOW IT," only to be sidetracked by yet another credible suspect later on. The plot-building and mystery goes along at a credible pace, there were no unreasonable assumptions and irrational jumps to conclusion that isn't supported by some kind of evidence or a rational assumption. I never felt that the mystery or suspects were overdone; in so many detective novels, evidence A jumps to evidence B and character C only to have the culprit be character Y because of reasons ASKFDJKSDGJ. This book is not like that. The mystery and reasoning are completely feasible.

I really had to giggle at the minor subplot because it was so X-Men-ish. I wanted to shout "MAGNETO" at one point reading towards the end. Lest I make the story sound too silly, it is not. It's a quick, fun read, and if you have a couple of hours to spare, I highly recommend it and I will be looking forward to the sequel.
Profile Image for Experiment BL626.
209 reviews352 followers
July 22, 2016
A girl who can take on anyone’s form takes the place of a victim to hunt the serial killer who killed her? What an exciting blurb! I’m all in.

Woah was the blurb was somewhat misleading. Half of the book was about the heroine’s boy troubles. Ew.

+ the characters

Tessa spent the first quarter of the book, i.e. the ENTIRE beginning, bemoaning about her unrequited love for her friend, Alec, who had a girlfriend. But wait, it’s okay for Tessa to pine for Alec because his girlfriend, Kate, was a bitch and Alec deserved better. Alec deserved Tessa. They’re good friends, gosh darn it. They belonged together. Ugh! Tessa not only lacked inner strengths but apparently some self-respect.

Alec, on the other hand, lacked respect for girls because he pined for Tessa too and treated Kate like she was not even his girlfriend or even a friend. His poor treatment of Kate was to the extent that I didn’t understand why he and Kate were a couple in the first place. Their entire relationship was a sham and a hugely contrived obstacle between Alec and Tessa.

The book was a quarter in before the plot commenced and Tessa began her mission, but not without my patience half depleted. Things were good from there on for a handful of chapters, till the boy troubles reared their ugly heads again to topple the plot. Alec had successfully completed missions, and with his training and power he could obviously handle danger. But with Tessa on the field for the first time, he let his heart take control and often got distracted from what he was supposed to be doing, which was protecting Tessa in the shadows and investigating. That was not his heart taking control; that was his dick taking control.

Tessa could barely handle her ability, let alone any danger. The book successfully persuaded me why someone with her ability was highly coveted but not Tessa herself because the damn girl was so incompetent it would not have taken a New York minute for someone to discover that she was a fake.

My suspension of disbelief was kicked in the knee by the fact that Tessa had two years of training. Two years! What the fuck was she training for? Instead of being trained as a spy, it strongly seemed more like she was trained for the role of Victim #1 in some B-rated teenage horror movie. Not Victim #4, but Victim#1 because the girl lacked so much common sense that there was very little chance she would not be the first victim. Case in point, she chased after her stalker in the middle of the foggy night without any weapon, and it was far from the first time the dumb-ass unnecessary put herself in danger. The book teemed with examples of Tessa’s TSTL-ness.

The other characters were no better. Though no one was stupid as Tessa, they all felt flat as characters. In addition to Kate, Franny was the stereotypical mean girl. Obviously, she must be slutty and gossipy too. Ryan was the popular abusive jock. Jocks, nice? As if. Phil was the isolated nerd with such poor social skills that he came off as a creep. See how the pursuit of intelligence is detrimental to one’s life? Say no to studying! The cast even included a handsome young teacher whose marriage was failing and who was having an affair with a student. Let’s throw in illicit sex to spice things up! Speaking of which, there was also Devon, Madison’s brother. Madison was the victim whose life Tessa assumed. Devon was so nice and handsome that Tessa felt tingly. OMG, where is the barf bag?

+ the plot

The only good thing the book had going was the mystery plot which I did like but the way things were revealed and ended left me disappointed. The mystery wasn’t much of a mystery because it focused too much on a limited number of characters and didn’t explore things with the other characters who were equally suspicious. The investigation was a joke. Our good guys stumbled onto the bad guys.

In Conclusion

I rate Impostor 2-stars for it was okay. The book was good enough that if you set your expectations low and turn off your brain, you’ll reap a decent amount of enjoyment.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,867 reviews69.2k followers
June 25, 2014
3.5 stars

Also reviewed for Addicted2Heroines

There's lots of comparisons to the X-men in the reviews that others have written on this, and it's easy to see why. You have (basically) a school for children with mutations, only it's run by a shadow agency in the government instead of Professor X. These kids are trained to go out on missions to uncover crimes committed by other 'evil' mutants...er, Variants.
So. Yeah, I can see the X-man angle.

Tessa's mutation allows her to absorb anyone's genetic code and turn herself into an exact replica of them.
Hello, my name's Mystique, and I'll be your server this evening. Would you like to order an appetizer first?
Tessa's variation makes her the perfect agent to take on the latest assignment. Someone is killing girls in a small town, and it looks like another Variant might be the culprit. His last victim is in a coma, and the doctors have said there's no way she's going to pull through. The plan is simple. Tessa absorbs her DNA while she is still alive, and when she dies, the agency will replace her with Tessa. Family and friends will believe that their prayers have been answered, and Tessa will be in place as the perfect undercover agent.

Tessa is a believable teen who struggles with the morality of pretending to be a dead girl. She feels horrible that this wonderful family is eventually going to be crushed when they find out that their daughter never really made a miraculous recovery. Yet, she understands that in order to catch the girl's killer, she has to continue with the charade.
It's deep stuff, man...

I'm gonna be honest, I didn't care much for the romance in this. For some reason, it just never interested me.
The short version is that she's in love with another Variant in the agency.
Looking back on it, I think I fell for a few mutants when I was younger, too.
He's not much older than her, but he's a full agent, and they really aren't supposed to be fraternizing.
Oh. And he also has a girlfriend. A really really mean girlfriend.
There's a lot of longing glances from her, and a lot of mixed messages from him. So, not my favorite part of the story.

This is one of those books that (even though it was good) didn't leave a lasting impression on me. I have a feeling that it will do well with the audience it is intended for, but it's not going to be one of those crossovers that grabs the attention of adult readers as well.
Maybe I'm wrong?
I'll definitely recommend it to the kids in the neighborhood, though.

Thanks to NetGally for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
957 reviews738 followers
May 28, 2015
I like Impostor. I like it because even with X-men-like characters, the book didn't have a larger-than-life plot (e.g. throwing down the government, saving the world, etc.) but focused on a specific one, i.e. murder mystery. Which, in my opinion, has been delivered convincingly.

The first few chapters was kinda off-putting and didn't put me in sync but later on, it got better. The romance/love triangle, in those few pages, made me think that this book will just ruin the plot. But, alas, it did not. The characters were fine. Though, some characters weren't explored very well. But these characters didn't pose as cardboard cutouts, fortunately. They all have integral roles in the story.

The mystery was the best in this book, I daresay. I have a theory who's the murderer but I got it wrong. I thought I'm on the right track since this book is being obvious. So I went on the other way around and damn I've been tricked and I didn't see that coming.

I like Impostor but it didn't totally impressed me. The writing is good yet sometimes it tends to be boring. There are scenes that felt like fillers and there are scenes that showed how complicated someone life is-- being entangled in webs of lies, deceit, dirty secrets and such. I like that.
Profile Image for Estelle.
37 reviews19 followers
December 4, 2013
For more reviews, check out my blog Reading in the Dark

Imposter by Susanne Winnacker was very underwhelming and disappointing for me. I was initially drawn to the cover and blurb and I was highly anticipated for its release. At first glance it seemed that Imposter could do not wrong. Awesome abilities? Check. A murder mystery? Check. Action and suspense? Check. I really wanted to like this book. It started off on very strong foot and I was engrossed during the first chapter. In the first scene we immediately find the main character Tessa in a dire situation struggling for life:

“The straitjacket corseted my body so tightly my arms tingled and my fingers turned numb. I sank beneath the water’s surface, the weights on the jacket dragging me down. I gasped, and a spurt of liquid spilled into my mouth. Chlorine burned my eyes as I watched the distance between me and the surface growing. Blurry shapes moved above. They were watching me.”

Tessa had an ability or a “Variation” that allowed her to shape-shift into any human at will, provided that she touched them beforehand to assume their DNA. Housed with other teenagers with Variations into a secret government facility called the FEA, it was quite reminiscent of “X-Men”. Even though the first chapter was decent, I felt that I was reading a different book afterwards.

Besides the wonderful setup and beginning I really don't know what else to say here, except that I managed to read the whole thing and narrowly avoided a DNF. The book at least still kept me interested to find out the identity of the killer (although I found it to be very underwhelming from all that build up). The plot had so much potential. I loved the idea of a character assuming the identity of a victim to catch the killer and I was looking forward to a spine-chilling, suspenseful read. Sadly I was let down by the characters.

After that awesome beginning, I eventually disliked and even hated Tessa. A main character doesn't have to be likable of course, but I couldn’t engage or connect with her at all. She kept on swooning over Alec so often and I was sick of her endless thoughts about him. It was also convenient that his girlfriend Kate had to act like a bitch and ended up being a caricature that I couldn't take seriously. After receiving the mission Tessa was worried about how dangerous the mission was (fair enough) and that she might die before having her first kiss (wait, what?!).

Furthermore, she even impersonated Alec’s girlfriend just to try to get him to kiss her. I felt that part was unnecessary and absolutely cringe-worthy. I understood that she was only 16 years old but for heaven’s sake, would it kill to have slightly better priorities? As a reader who is only one year older and technically part of the intended target audience for YA fiction, I was constantly frustrated how Tessa's continual obsession - I mean romance - with Alec took up a lot of space in an already short novel. Their relationship felt very tacked on and undeveloped, even though they were meant to be friends since childhood. I didn't like how the descriptions of his physical appearance took precedence over almost everything else about him. I found Alec’s personality to be very one-dimensional and unappealing as he assumed the over-protective role over the heroine and kept demanding to be with her everywhere at all times.

Also, there was part when she had to train with Alec in self-defence after receiving the mission and I thought, really? You have to wait until a killer is loose before learning how to defend yourself? Weren't you meant to be trained for most of your life in a top secret government facility for these kind of dangerous missions? That section just felt contrived as if it was purely there for the sake for their relationship without furthering the plot. Also, the writing was very simplistic and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing on its own, it certainly didn’t help with the dull characters and plot. Ultimately I felt indifferent to the twist at the end and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Overall, Imposter didn't live up to my expectations because it wasn't executed very well. Perhaps it’s just me being very cranky during exams as many other reviewers have had far more positive experiences. Well sorry Tessa, it's not you it's me. Perhaps I may try Winnacker's other books in the future as she does seem to have a knack of coming up with great ideas.

Profile Image for Veronica Morfi.
Author 3 books401 followers
June 26, 2014
Rating: 5/5

Let me begin this review by saying that the love I have for this book is endless. Impostor hit the trifecta for me: a suspenseful mystery, a beautiful love story and a kick-ass heroine. What's not to love?

So, this is the story of Tessa. Tessa is a Variant and like others of her kind she has special powers and lives and works in the FEA, a kind of FBI agency but with Variants. When a serrial killer hits a small town in Oregon, Tessa is sent there to take the place of his latest victim, pretending the girl never died but instead lost part of her memory.

This book was a surprise. I picked it up with no expectations at all, even though it was pitched as Veronica Mars meets the X-Men. Many books have an awesome tagline just to turn out to be a disappointment, but not Impostor. Unraveling this well-woven mystery was a delight. It makes me wish I could erase this book from my memory just to experience it anew. I loved how everyone was a suspect and had a motive. I kept guessing until the very end, making my own theories about each character.

Another thing I loved about this book is the love story. I hate it when a mystery is all about the love story and we never get to see much serial killer action. That wasn't the case here. If there is one thing FEA knows how to do is its job, and the agents' main goal is to find the killer. Yes, there were sweet and frustrating moments between Tess and her boy but none of them overshadowed the main plotline, which was the mystery.

Finally, my ultimate instalove in this book was Tess. She is an amazing MC. I was immediately drawn to her. The things she's been through and the person she had to become made me love her and root for her happily ever after. She was kick-ass in her own way, curious, smart, caring and most of all flawed. Another thing I loved about her is that thoughout the book she learns how to love and accept herself the way she is and starts making hard decisions for her own good.

All in all, if you haven't read this book, what are you waiting for? It's perfect for mystery fans or any kind of paranormal fans for that fact, also has the whole FBI/secret agency conspiracy theme that I always love in movies. I seriously can't recommend this book enough. I believe so far this year, this is my top 1 book. I can't believe I am lucky enough to have read it just as the sequel came out. Talk about good timing...
Profile Image for ❤Ninja Bunneh❤.
263 reviews174 followers
March 1, 2014
I have a secret confession to make. Most of you know I love creepy and horror. I also love X-Men aka Hugh Jackman half naked.
So when I started reading Imposter, it tickled me blue.

Tessa is what's called a Variant, able to transform herself into anyone she touches. She can assimilate someone's DNA and that's all she needs to become them.

 photo superhero-movie-gifs-x-men-first-class-livejournal-cee-tallis_zpse1be9f17.gif

Tessa is an agent for the oh-so-secretive of course FEA, otherwise known as Forces with Extraordinary Ability. There's a killer on the loose, perhaps a rogue variant, and Tessa is assigned to help catch the perp. Her job is to morph into a girl named Madison, the perp's latest victim who is about to die. All pretty awesomesauce so far, no? For a minute. Then teen angst and bullshit kick in.

Tessa has a major thing for Alec, who has a girlfriend but secretly also has feelings for Tessa, but he's a hot/cold douche, and I hated him. However, Tessa doesn't act like such a golden girl either. She morphs into his girlfriend to try to steal a kiss. Really?!?! Both of them are complete relationship morons and deserve each other. This relationship crap was a major sore point and totally diminished the book for me.

Aside from her total lack of sense in the male department, I found myself understanding Tessa. She was abandoned by her whole family due to her special gift, living at the FEA for the last few years. She's thrown into a very loving and caring family impersonating their daughter. This causes her to become torn between doing her job and finally feeling loved. I truly found myself feeling bad for her.

Throwing out the the dumb-ass relationship teen crap part, this is a pretty good book. I do predict a love triangle for the next one in the series. It's pretty much foreshadowed in your face. However, I actually wouldn't mind seeing this other guy's side of things. I'll be keeping a few bunneh spy eyes on this series.

If you like an X-Men kind of vibe albeit a less mature one, you may enjoy Imposter. If that fails, you can always just imagine Hugh Jackman.

 photo tumblr_lz7c3eTVTX1qc8ivao1_500_zpsfaa12988.gif

3 Ninja-Bunneh-X-Men

(This arc was given to me in exchange for an honest review)
Profile Image for Melanchallina.
193 reviews110 followers
August 29, 2018
Легкая и занимательная история, представляющая собой смесь «Естественных» и «Людей И��с». Есть неточности, ляпы, герои далеко не идеальны, но книга настолько маленькая и занимательная, что на все это не обращаешь внимания.

Не смотря на то, что злодей угадывается почти сразу же, читать все равно интересно и от каждой страницы получаешь удовольствие. Тесса неплохая героиня, но слишком уж… типичная. Знаете, такой типичный литературный подросток: и прошлое у нее тяжелое, и отношения не клеятся… нет я понимаю все это, бех таких вот пунктиков герои были бы скучны, но ведь даже такие шаблоны можно преподнести интересно и оригинально. А еще ее эмоции через чур запутанны и порой неуместны. Не могу сказать, что мне понравился Алекс. Ему как герою, наоборот не хватило эмоций и чувств. И вроде парень всем хорошо, но нет. Зато Девон был восхитителен. Очаровательный герой.

Вообще книга мне понравилась в первую очередь за суперспособности, уж слишком я большой фанат Марвел. И хоть «Самозванка» не сравниться с невероятной вселенной моих любимых комиксов, я с удовольствием прочитаю продолжение, когда оно будет. Надеюсь там автор раскачается и поднимется на новый уровень.

Моя оценка: 7/10
Profile Image for Jodi Meadows.
Author 23 books4,620 followers
February 17, 2013
My official comments:

With its compelling mystery and intriguing characters, Susanne Winnacker's IMPOSTOR kept me reading late into the night. I really enjoyed it!

My unofficial commets:

This book is so fun I can't even!!
Profile Image for Aly.
2,527 reviews
January 31, 2023
This was an okay book. The variant part was the most interesting and I liked seeing the different kinds of powers they each had. Being able to shapeshift into other people would be pretty cool and I would definitely not use it for my own purposes...

The mystery was pretty easy to predict, there weren't that many suspects to begin with. I also didn't like the romance and wanted her to go after someone else. I'm not a big fan of the love interest being with someone else and then they magically change their mind. It doesn't make a lot of sense and I think she could find someone who wanted to be with her from the beginning.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews710 followers
June 4, 2013
Moments of this could be so frustrating because outside her taking on someone else’s body, this is really just another book of a girl who doesn’t fit in. So, frustration? There were many: I hated how she kept on droning on and on and on about what a hotty Alec was. My frustration’s made worse by the moments of clarity on her part when she’d see how she could be (pathetic?). Plus, there’s also no real explanation to why Alec was the way he was. When it came to her he’d be hot then cold then hot… and why again? Then there’s the best friend goading her on one direction then the opposite nary a moment of her saying Stop. Think. Consider. But really, its the girl loves boy and everyone knows it drama that was the worst.

That aside it’s their abilities and what they do with it where things got better. I like how they’re all X Men, but instead of it being school of a different sort… we have them doing something with what they’re taught because for her it’s a baptism of fire of sorts. And what’s she found herself in? A small town that’s shocked by one murder after another, there she’s to become one Madison.

It’s here that the little dramas of this girl’s life becomes the focus of things; less about catching the bad guy and more about figuring out how this girl fits into the bigger picture… but the closer Tessa looked, the clearer it was that the Maddy’s not just little small town girl after all. Suffice to say, there’s more than one discovery Tessa wishes she had not made.

I just wish we had more though on the baddies and their why’s. One bad guy in this one and what he could do had me taken aback because the reveals on his end had me scratching my head asking, ‘Is that all?’ All those other people and what could have been their roles… had me wondering more too… as there’s very little reasoning why they were suspects or whatnot. Then when one thing happened then another, everything fell too neatly into place... and I wasn’t buying it. It’s the brother (not brother) who was the most interesting to me… otherwise, this was OK sometimes, but frustrating in others.

2 reviews2 followers
May 7, 2013
This book was so great! I received it after winning a giveaway, and it is WONDERFUL. I picked it up and realized I couldn't put it down. It's one of those books that hooks you in; Tess is a wonderful character, the plot is amazing, and the writing is tense and intriguing. It's the perfect blend of romance and thrills to keep you craving more! Definitely a must read!
Profile Image for Mitch.
355 reviews605 followers
May 31, 2013
Man this was dull.
Profile Image for Darius Murretti.
392 reviews56 followers
September 21, 2018
Actual 4.4 stars -- a keeper --will be rereading --will be pursuing the series

I started out thinking that this was going to be a very corny lame romance and then it just kept getting more and more awesome and magnificent .15 ish Tess has a "gift " if she touches someone she become an exact clone of them . So when a high school girl is stabbed and arrives unconscious at the hospital with little chance of survival the secret government agency that TESS works for decided to send he in on her first mission : To impersonate the dying girl and go live with her family and attend her high school as an undercover detective to find the attacker (who is a serial killer)

Lie agatha christie this is a "who-done-it" with suspicion shifting around. Tess can never tell who might kill her ( she is now Maddie ) 1) Maddie's brother 2 ) Maddie's old boyfriend 3) This weird kid who lives in the neighborhood .

But That's not all ! This touched me much more deeply.When Tess ( as Maddie ) emerges from her coma and Maddie's parents come in the room and start weeping and showering Tess with love . Tess bursts into real tears because she (TESS) is being loved for the first time in her life . ( Her own mother hated her because she was a freak and dumped her at the government facility for "Variants " and never came back top see her .

Another gripping element of the story. There is tension at first that Maddie's parents and ( handsome ) older brother will notice TESS is NOT MADDIE (their daughter and His sister) but some imposter which would compromise the mission as well as causing them pain of knowing Maddie is dead .

Then there's the romance which as I said started out stereotypical and boring but that too stepped up as the book progressed and became intense . She even fell in love a bit with Maddie's handsome brother and they had a hormonal moment while watching a movie together which would have exposed Tess . 😁👍
61 reviews19 followers
December 4, 2013
Intended Audience: YA

Sexual content: Mild

Ace/Genderqueer characters: None

Rating: PG-13 for violence, death, and language

Writing style: 3/5

Likable characters: 2/5

Plot/Concepts: 3/5

All Variations are unusual, but Tessa’s is particularly useful for detective work. When a girl named Madison becomes the third victim in a string of murders, Tessa is ordered to use her shapeshifting abilities to take Madison’s place and help find the killer.

Maybe it’s because superhero movies are so popular in America, but I forgot I was reading sci-fi about halfway through this book. Variants are basically another take on X-Men, the Incredibles, and other superhero mutants, complete with references to the theory of evolution. This kind of alternate universe is so familiar that the author doesn’t bother explaining how it works, which means that the murder mystery and especially the subplot of teenage relationships takes center stage from the first chapter. Tessa works for the FEA, an organization that parallels the FBI but sticks to cases which may involve rogue Variants. For some inexplicable reason, it is also full of teenagers.

The mystery itself wasn’t bad. I got pulled back and forth enough that by the end I was no longer confident I knew who the killer was. The most enjoyable aspect of the book was watching Tessa grow attached to the life she’s stolen from the dead girl, Madison. Due to the melodramatic writing style, I wasn’t as emotionally invested as I would have liked, but I did like Tessa because despite being at the mercies of teenage angst, she felt committed to bringing justice to Madison’s family from the beginning. It was seeing their despair over losing their daughter that gave her motivation to put her romantic dramas aside and focus on the case.

Not that she always succeeds in doing this, of course. Sexual attraction is everywhere in this book. Almost every male mentioned in the story is large, chiseled, and athletic. Breast size and muscle tone are a main part of every single character description, and not even the HEA headquarters is safe from high school style drama and gossip. Basically the sex appeal of every teenage or young adult character is treated as massively important, and tied to that, the gender roles are also pretty Hollywood. Sure, Tessa knows martial arts and can use her Variation to fight in clever ways, but the men she interacts with are always treating her possessively—grabbing, forcing kisses, trying to make decisions for her. Alec has been her friend for years and seems like generally a nice guy, but he falls prey to this attitude even when he’s not flip-flopping about his relationship with Tessa’s rival, Kate.

Did I mention the melodramatic writing style, complete with a scene which involves shattering a mirror and getting blood all over the floor during an identity crisis? The vocabulary was also quite repetitive in places. Apparently everything “blossoms” onto people’s faces, including scowls, and whenever Tessa shape-shifts the exact rippling, shredding, twisting sensation must be described in detail using three –ing words in a row. Every single time. It was fairly concise otherwise, at least, but could have used some thorough polishing.

The story gets darker than I expected toward the end. Tessa spends so much of the book thinking about her romantic troubles that when things get serious with the killer it comes as a bit of a shock, especially since some of the most disturbing and graphic descriptions are thrown in during the climax (ex: blood squirting, internal organs, etc).

There’s very little here for the asexual or genderqueer audience, and although the story was entertaining, it could have been done much better. The parts that annoyed me didn’t annoy me too badly, but on the other hand the parts I liked weren’t that great either.

Imposter will hit the shelves at bookstores near you, July 2013
497 reviews2,420 followers
March 11, 2014

I applaud all authors that manage to make me use my brain while reading my books. I'm a really lazy person, and it's a miracle whenever I really rack my brain for answers, even if I never manage to guess anything correctly.

This book was about Variants--a group of people with special abilities. Tessa's Variation is shape-shifting (so cool), and her first mission is to pose as Madison (a dead girl) to find the killer that roams around a small town in Oregon.

Reading this made me think of Teen Titans (don't judge me), Justice League and, of course, X-Men. It brought me back to the good 'ole days when we had cable in our living room.

The story seemed a bit generic, but was overall very entertaining and kept me reading. I definitely wanted to keep turning pages to find out who the killer was, and what his motives were. The concept was very interesting and it'd be nice to learn more about the other Variations in future books.

The book began with too much romance in the beginning, but it became more bearable and eventually semi-likable as the story progressed. There was definitely enough kick-ass-ness in the story that covered up the slightly annoying romance.

Tessa was a good character, but nothing special. I thought she was often too confused and emotional, but her Variation definitely kicks ass, so bonus points for her! Alec was the love interest and her guy best friend. I have a soft spot for male best friends, so I really liked Alec, aside from the fact that he was very secretive (to the point that he was my prime suspect at first) and moody.

I enjoyed the book, but nothing really special. I don't know if there were really things that the book lacked, or because it was really short (288 pages), but I'm not really satisfied. Off to wait for the next book, and hopefully it'll be much better!
Profile Image for Bèbè ✦ RANT  ✦.
405 reviews133 followers
December 22, 2013
**Copy received from the publisher for an honest opinion and does not influence my review in any way.**

Real score: 3.5 Stars

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Super girl with special powers that can transfer her into anyone that she wants? And she works for Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. The summary sounded so good and I could wait to start reading this.

I wouldn't say that the story disappointed me but I expected a little more from it. It's a well written story but there is nothing memorable about it. The feel of the story feels... ordinary. There is mystery but the way Tessa was behaving was mostly concentrating on her emotions and how she felt about herself instead of actually getting to mystery-solving part.

I still would consider reading the next book in this series just to find out what will happen and hope it will be more exciting :)
Profile Image for Alice Rachel.
Author 22 books282 followers
May 31, 2016
I loved this book! So interesting and hard to put down. I would almost take down stars because I know this series doesn't end and authors shouldn't give up on their characters... But this book was really good so I'm giving it the 5 stars it deserves. Can we please have an ending to this series? I guess not... The publishers care more about making money than about giving readers the ending they deserve... : /
Profile Image for K..
3,595 reviews1,001 followers
February 18, 2019
Trigger warnings: murder, death, .

Once again, I have been burned by the book recommendations of 15 year old girls. Although at least this one was just sort of aggressively mediocre rather than downright BAD. I guess that's progress??

Anyway, as many others have said, this book is kind of like a cross between X-Men and Veronica Mars. The protagonist absorbs people's DNA when she touches them, allowing her to transform into them. She also works for a covert branch of the FBI that trains kids with these special powers. She's given her first case - to take the place of a murder victim who was found on the brink of death, and claim that she's had a miraculous recovery to try and catch the murderer. And, like, all of that stuff was pretty solid. I didn't guess who the killer was going to be, and there were plenty of twists and turns.

That being said, the first...third?...of the book was almost exclusively focused on her romantic interest in her best friend, who has a girlfriend and can't seem to decide whether he likes the protagonist or not. So all of that standard teen melodrama I could have done without, especially the part where Tessa shifts into the form of Alec's girlfriend in an attempt to get him to kiss her. That was just...yeah, no.
Profile Image for Kimberly (Book Swoon)  .
437 reviews31 followers
July 24, 2013
Impostor by Susanne Winnacker is a fun and suspenseful young adult story that combines fascinating elements of Sci-Fi and romance with the page-turning ability of a thriller. It involves some great action, a world inhabited by super-humans with really unique powers known as Variants, just the right amount of romance, and a murder mystery involving a serial killer that kept me guessing until the end.


When I read the summary for Impostor, I knew I had to grab it up. Being a fan of X-men and Science Fiction Thrillers, I thought Impostor sounded like a fun and exciting read. The cover of course is gorgeous, and the fact that the story revolves around Tessa, who is a teen Variant training to be a spy, and involves a serial killer made it a hit with me.


Tessa is a Variant. She is able to absorbed the DNA of anyone she touches and to mimic their appearance. Abandoned by her mother as a child, she is recruited into a secret government agency devoted to working with Variants. Known as the FEA (Forces with Extraordinary Abilities) Tessa is trained to use her unique abilities as a Variant to become a spy. In order to help track down a serial killer who is terrorizing a small home town, she is asked to pose as Madison, a teen who was the killer’s latest victim.

Can Tessa stop a killer from striking again? What happens when lines become blurred, and Tessa’s life and Madison’s become irrevocably entwined? Where does the role of Madison end and the real life of Tessa begin?

Remember everything you read about Madison. From now until we find the murderer, you’re Madison. Tessa’s dead.

Tessa’s dead.

Something gripped my insides and twisted. If I could vote to determine who should live and who should die-Madison or me-there was no doubt about the outcome. Madison had parents, a brother, relatives, even an ex-boyfriend who loved her; I had nothing.


TESSA may be a Variant with the ability to morph into anyone she wants, but she has all the feelings and insecurities that every normal teen has. Abandon as a child, Tessa yearns for the things she never had as a child: a family, love and acceptance for who she is. You could easily feel Tessa’s conflicted emotions as she struggled to maintain her impersonation of Madison, all the while trying not to lose herself in the role. It was easy for me to empathize with Tessa, especially as she took on the role of Madison and was experiencing for the first time what it was like to be loved and accepted by family and friends. How easy it would be for Tessa to completely take over the role as Madison.

I could stop being Tessa and just be Madison. Her body already felt like home, her family like the one I’d always wanted.

Could I live the lie for decades?

But one troubling thought haunted me. It wasn’t me they loved, it was Madison.

Tessa’s character really tugged at my heart. Yes, she has a lot of “teen moments" in Impostor, but I found her character to be an endearing one. It was great to see her character grow, and to realize that no matter who she is on the outside, it’s the Tessa on the inside that counts.

SWOON FACTOR Crush. It's a lot of: "I like you, but I can’t have you" and then there is some fabulous kisses.


There is definitely a romance brewing between Alec and Tessa, and it’s the kind where one of them is fighting the attraction more than the other.


He shook his head, as if it scared him just thinking about it. “I’ve tried to fight my feelings for you because I thought you were too young and because of Major...but I just don’t care anymore. I’m tired of resisting, tired of fearing the consequences.”
**See Kiss Spoiler below**


Yes, I’m a Sci-Fi nerd. I actually loved suspending belief for a moment, and enjoyed all the fun and unique abilities the characters had in Impostor. In fact, I suspect Susanne Winnacker may introduce a whole new band of misfits variants (Abel’s Army) in her next book, which I would love to see.


Well, to be honest, although I really liked Alec’s character, the boy does protest too much! It was frustrating that every time Alec was becoming closer to Tessa, he would protest and push her away emotionally.


I really enjoyed the ending of Impostor, and Susanne Winnacker did a great job of keeping me guessing as far as to who was the serial killer. I had my suspicions, but was never totally sure until the ending. I would suggest Impostor to those of you who are looking for a Young Adult read with a light Sci-Fi atmosphere, a touch of mystery, and romance.

RECOMMENDATIONS Try MILA 2.0 by by Debra Driza or The Rules by Stacey Kade

MY RATING 4 Stars. I really liked it!
Profile Image for lina.
112 reviews42 followers
February 9, 2017
Сейчас очень много книг, в которых у персонажей имеются супер способности. Их все считают их другими, фриками, ненавидят и презирают их. Это книга такая же. Но мне все равно захотелось прочитать ее. К тому же книга была слишком маленькая..

Тесса имеет способность. Она может простым прикосновением копировать внешность другого человека. Таких людей называют Иными. ФБР сотрудничает с такими людьми. У них имеется секретное отделение - отдел экстраординарных способностей. Прошло два года с тех пор, как Тесса там находится. Она нашла там подругу, друга, которые ее поддерживает и в которого она, как обычно во многих книгах, влюблена. Но, конечно, что-то ей мешает сделать первый шаг. И как вы думаете что это? Да, это девушка. У Алека есть девушка. Их отношение начали развиваться после их первого задания, но и в этом есть какой-то тайный секрет, который еще нам не раскрылся, как я поняла.

И безусловно что-то случается. В маленьком городке Орегона появился убийца. Он убил троих людей и четвертую девушку, но она по невероятной случайности осталась еще жива, но это не продлится долго. И Тессе приказывают занять ее место, перевоплотится в нее после того, как она умрет, жить ее жизнь и в тоже время найти убийцу.

Книга интересна, ее можно прочитать за день. Но в этой книге были и минусы. Например, в самом начале, когда Майор говорит Тессе, что он отвезет ее в больницу завтра и через страницу он говорит, что они выезжают через полчаса. Хмм. И так же мне бы хотелось, чтобы в этой книге прописали как появились эти Иные, т.е. как появились у них эти способности. Они ведь должны были как-то взяться у людей, разве нет? И это забавно что ли, что везде, во всех книгах, где есть у кого-то способности, люди презирают таких людей. Но это же замечательно иметь какую-то способность! Я думаю, что многие хотели бы иметь что-то подобно, а везде описывается презрение к таким людям.

Понять, кто убийца можно почти на середине книги, если внимательно поразмыслить. Стоило ожидать, что это этот человек убил людей. Я рада, что Мэдисон убили. Когда Тесса жила ее жизнью у меня сложились не очень теплые отношение к ней (Мэдисон). Она многое скрывала от своей подруги, не с кем ничем не делилась, имела второго парня...В общем та еще девушка. А ее брат-близнец мммм я надеюсь, что ему смогут уделить больше (!!) внимание во второй книге. Очень бы этого хотелось.

Ну, а теперь насчет любовных отношений. История довольна типична. Парень и девушка дружат друг с другом, поддерживают друга друга, в общем все как обычно. И да, они влюблены, но пытаются это скрыть, потому что что-то мешает им признаться в своих чувствах. Могу сказать, что поведение Алека было немного глупым (хотя чего стоило ожидать): сначала он ее игнорирует, потом показывает свои чувства, целует и после этого говорит, что это ничего не значит, снова игнорирует и наконец-то признается в том, какой он был осел, что любил и любит ее и бла бла бла. Похоже, что это был спойлер... Простите. Мне не хватило побольше чувств между этими персонажами...не знаю даже, может каких-нибудь неловких моментов между ними, да побольше.

Как я поняла есть еще продолжение. Я прочитаю его. Интересно узнать, что за чертовщина может произойти дальше.

Profile Image for Just a person .
995 reviews294 followers
May 12, 2013
I like the premise, I mean a girl who can make herself look like anyone else, working with other variants, all with unique powers. It is X-men meets a shapeshifter, but like one of my buddies said-- shapeshifter type named Tessa, dejavu anyone? But she is different enough that it def doesn't feel like I am reading Cassie Clare.
I was also a little confused about Alec. It was obvious that Tessa liked him, but he has a girlfriend so I don't know what he was thinking. I know they are really close friends and have been for a while, but I think that Kate, his girlfriend and another variant, was rightly jealous when they were together. These things get themselves worked out sort of after lots of heartache. But the cheating is just hard for me to deal with, no matter how much I am cheering for a couple. They had this undeniable chemistry, build up, and the friendship to back things.
Speaking of taboo relationships, I didn't like the mystery guy in the plot line. I think it sends a message that kind of relationship is okay, when some things, no matter how romantic forbidden love is, some lines shouldn't be crossed.
But on to the characters. I felt for Tessa, and while it was weird, it was also very normal how she got used to, and transitioned right into Madison's life and adopted it as her own. She had a built in family, friends, and people who loved her. She didn't seem to have a lot of that before coming to FEA.
It is sad but universal how Tessa wanted to forget certain parts of her past, and embrace the new identity. I think many of us, I know I do, sometimes dream of being able to start over or live someone else's life, and Tessa gets this chance. Seeing her deal with not losing herself was heartbreaking but I got to see her grow so much through it.
I liked the theme of friendship, especially the value of female or same sex friendships in this one. Holly is her best friend from FEA, another Variant, and I appreciate how their friendship continued even when they aren't physically near each other. They still supported each other, and I loved that. I also liked to read about what Tessa learns from picking up the friendship between Ana and Madison.
The pacing was really good for most of the book but there was a part about 3/4 of the way through that it dragged a bit for me, but as the ending and tying up the loose ends of this plot line started it picked right back up. Speaking of the ending, there is def room for a sequel with pieces of information that came out at the end, but it is thankfully not a huge cliffie. It is just a nice and tied up ending with big sequel potential.
Impostor did a great job at the suspense. I didn't know who the killer was and I had different moments where I was suspecting quite a few of the people in the book. It did a great job with that.

Bottom Line: Great premise and very suspenseful.
Profile Image for Lynne.
195 reviews25 followers
May 12, 2013
Tessa is different all right. She is a professional Imposter .... her variance is shape-shifting.

However, having been more or less estranged and orphaned by her family because of her abilities, Tessa now lives and works fulltime in a very secret division of the FBI called the FEA (Forces with Extraordinary Abilities). The FEA is an exclusive organization much like in The Incredibles or the X-Men .... and each of the members in this club have some sort of really cool and unique, super-human ability that will likely be somehow useful at some point in this book and/or series.

Along with learning the ins and outs of Criminal Investigations101, Tessa has been training her shape shifting ability for years now, sort of like studying to be Nancy Drew only with the super ability to actually become an exact replica of another human being.
Tessa has only *just* received orders for her very first official FEA mission.

There is a serial killer loose in a small town. Several people have died. The police haven't been able to solve it and it's time for the FEA to step in.
Madison, the killers latest victim, is in a coma from her injuries, miraculously, she didn't die from the brutal attack but sadly, she will, soon .... and it'll be Tessa's job to become Madison's Imposter.
This is what she has trained all these years for. To shape-shift into the dying, young teenager and BE Madison - to live Maddy's life - in every possible way and for as long as it takes - to help the authorities catch the killer .... before they strike again.

Imposter was a fairly fast read for me (as in, I read it too fast and I was sad when it was over). The story and the pacing was just great though, and I stayed on edge trying to figure out clues and deciding WHO the killer was.
I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and slow reveal as well as the display of human vs super human and I loved how the character/s evolved from basically insecure about life in general to more or less being badass and team players.
One drawback to being a team player though is that Tessa was almost too busy in her mission duty of being Madison that her own true feelings about life and love often got pushed to the back burner .. so I hope she has the opportunity to express her (love) life

And even though FEA call it a 'Case Closed' for Tessa's first mission, the true mystery has only begun. There are some unanswered questions and the door was definitely left open for there to be more to life for Tessa as well as her team of co-workers and friends..

I can't wait for the sequel!

Ages 15+ I recommend this book to young adults and adults alike. I think all ages will be able to relate and enjoy.

I won an ARC edition of this book from a Goodreads first reads contest. Thank you Goodreads and Penguin Group for the awesome chance to read this book in advance.
Profile Image for BookLoversLife.
1,801 reviews9 followers
January 1, 2014
Tessa is different, she is a Variant! Once she touches someone she absorbs their DNA and can turn into them. She mimics everything about them. Her mum abandoned her to the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a supernatural branch of the FBI, when she was little. They are her family now and they hone her unique abilities.

In a small town in Oregon where everyone knows everyone, there has been a rash of killings. The police suspect a serial killer but the FEA think it could be a rogue Variant. The serial Killer strikes again but makes a mistake. When his latest victim is found she is barely alive and the FEA know this is their only opportunity. Even though Tessa hasn't been out in the field before she is perfect for the job. Major takes her to the hospital to absorb Madisons DNA so she can be bait for the killer. When "Madison" miraculously comes out of her coma her family are thrilled. Tessa as Madison must play her part to perfection and try to catch a killer! What follows is a book that is unique and thrilling.

Firstly I have to say that I love this cover of Imposter!! It fits with a certain scene in the book and it portrays Tessas Ability perfectly. Secondly when I read the blurb of this I knew Id read it!!

I absolutely and utterly devoured this book!! It was ah-maz-ing. When I was reading it i was sucked into the story and could imagine everything Tessa went through. She struggles with her gift and the author did an amazing job of showing us rather than telling us. All her life she has wanted a proper family and when she is Madison she sees how a real family operate. It was heartbreaking to see her wanting them to love her instead of Madison.

I loved Tessa. She has a unique ability but she doesn't abuse it. I felt for her through the whole book. She has a crush on someone who is taken, she has no family to speak of and she is struggling to understand herself! She is the type of character you become invested in and cant wait to read about.

As for Alec, ugh, I wanted to yell at him and say make up your mind!! He was so hot and cold with Tessa and normally that bugs me but the way the author wrote it you just know that there is more to his story than meets the eye! I'm intrigued with him and cant wait to read more.

And the plot, well it was awesome. A girl that can change form and mimic someone perfectly, who is trying to catch a killer, it totally had me sold. I'm so ready for book 2 now though :)

Overall this is a book Id highly recommend. Its packed with mystery and intrigue, unique characters and a plot that will grip you and keep you thinking. You think you know who the killer is but then a curve ball is thrown and you're left thinking, hmm maybe they did it. Its cleverly written and one you need to read NOW. This is my first Susanne Winnacker book and going by her writing style it definitely wont be my last.
Profile Image for Nessie.
130 reviews31 followers
July 2, 2013
I have to say I'm kinda of biased for these types of books. I really love the whole undercover-live-in-someone's-life plot, it always seemed interesting. But this plot doesn't shy away from the mystery of the story. Even undercover at a home of a dead girl getting answers is harder than it seems. Every time you think you know who the killer is, it's someone else.

But what's the most confusing thing for me is the Tessa's relationship with Alec.
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Apparently they're suppose to be good friends.

I mean at first I thought Tessa was thinking too much and maybe Alec wasn't all jealous and overprotective but seriously didn't like her like that. But then he kept cockblocking other guys so I guess he did like her.

But then why is he with Kate if such a BITCH? I thought he would have more common sense than that.

And then for some reason Major and Summers have to feel like they need to get in between those two, like if they got together they would run off and destroy the world from all their love or something.

And then *SPOLIER* Alec gives in just for a moment ....

Then he's goes back into "No we can't we have to be platonic or it'll all go to hell" but he's still overprotective

Finally Tessa can't keep up with his shit and finally lets go or something

Oh right there's also all this other crazy stuff, BUT I NEED TO KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE so I'm starving for the next book.

Profile Image for Brie.
321 reviews48 followers
July 23, 2016
After slogging through a sub-par novel (coughthetruthaboutyou&me), I was pretty desperate to finally find one, JUST ONE, freaking ARC that I had requested that didn't make me want to punch myself in the face. Impostor was the book that restored my faith that not all of the novels coming out soon for young adults are absolute and utter shit.

Impostor is the grown up, less whiny, less annoying, less of a pain in the ass and all-around-just-better-without-really-having-to-try older cousin to Kirsten White's Paranormalcy. Tessa is one of the better heroines to live between the pages of a book in a long time. She's introspective without being selfish, smart, sassy and damn if the girl doesn't know how to put on a pair of Bitch Boots when the occasion calls for it. Tessa is awesomesauce.

This calls for a happy dance!

This was wicked fun, yet heart-wrenching; well-written, with an awesomely paced mystery and is a promising first book in a trilogy/series and I can't wait for the second installment.

I received Imposter as an ARC through Netgalley via Razorbill.
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