Book Review: Replica by Lauren Oliver — NO SPOILERS

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Young Adult; Sci-fi

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] Lyra – From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls. Gemma – Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learns terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Pros:

  • The format
  • These characters felt very real
  • Gemma’s parents had vices instead of just dealing and that’s realistic
  • The plot had me flipping pages so fast
  • There was still some teenage drama, which makes sense because even as this whole thing is happening, they’re still teenagers

Cons:

  • It was sort of predictable
  • It ended with so many loose ends – although there’s supposed to be another so I guess that’s okay
  • April was kind of a twat

Quotes:

  • “Normal is a word invented by boring people to make them feel better about being boring.”
  • “She knew that there were electrical currents in the body and was what she was reminded of now. of currents flowing between them, of thousands of lights.”
  • “When she was little, she’d liked to pretend that stars were really lights anchoring distant islands, as if she wasn’t looking up but only out across a dark sea. She knew the truth now but still found stars comforting, especially in their sameness. A sky full of burning replicas.”

My Thoughts: This book was incredibly unique. I wasn’t exactly sure how to read it, so I just read one chapter by Gemma, then flipped it over and read the corresponding chapter by Lyra, and so on. I thought it was really interesting that, for the most part, the chapters mirrored each other in some way.

From the beginning, I kind of had an idea of Gemma’s secret, but that didn’t stop my from being interested. The things that both sets of teenagers go through was captivating and suspenseful, as two worlds collided and revealed so many answers that they sometimes didn’t realize they were looking for.

As is the case with almost every other Lauren Oliver book I’ve read, I would highly recommend this book. Maybe don’t take it as seriously as some people are, but definitely go in with an open mind. It really is an incredible journey.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Lauren Oliver

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