I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Replica by Lauren Oliver
on October 4, 2016
Also by this author: Hana, The Spindlers, Requiem
Series: Replica #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. ‘A sickly child’, her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father’s connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she’s always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father’s name seems inextricably linked to it.
Amidst the frenzy outside the institute’s walls, Lyra – or number 24 as she is known as at Haven – and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven’s purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever…
I consider myself a huge Lauren Oliver fan. She is one of my favorite authors. Delirium and Before I Fall completely blew me away. I was hoping to have that much love for Replica, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
Replica has a really interesting concept. It’s actually 2 books in one or 2 POVs split up, however you want to look at it. You can read it however you like, cover to cover or alternating POVs. I chose to alternate, even though I had an eARC. It wasn’t as annoying to switch as I thought it would be. I enjoyed reading it that way. I was afraid that reading some of the same scenes twice would feel a bit tedious, but it didn’t.
Although Lyra and Gemma are in similar situations, their stories were very different. I think I enjoyed Lyra’s story a bit more. She was so…innocent? She has had this unfathomable life up to this point. I was definitely more invested in her story. I wanted things to be better for her. Gemma was also likeable. I just didn’t feel a huge connection with her. I didn’t love either of the romances either and that makes me sad. They were fine, but I just didn’t feel any sparks.
There’s a lot of mystery in Replica. Everyone seems to have secrets. No one is safe. This was the best part of the story for me. Unraveling the mystery with Lyra and Gemma was fun and sometimes anxiety inducing. There was a big twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. I love when that happens. We were left with a lot of questions, but a lot were also answered before the end of the book.
Haven and the concept of the replicas was really fascinating. It was almost eerie. There were snippets of backstory about Haven. You get glimpses of what life was like in Haven from Lyra and it was depressing. Since having children I have a tendency to get emotional in regards to babies and small kids in bad situations. There’s quite a bit of that in this book. It was sad, but important to the story.
Overall, Replica was a captivating read. I wish that I could’ve connected with the characters a bit more. I also would’ve liked it if the pace would have moved faster at times. This book was no Delirium or Before I Fall, but it kept me turning pages. I plan to pick up book two and hopefully unravel more of the mystery.