Review: Replica by Lauren Oliver

Title: Replica
Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 544
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Source: Free ARC from HarperCollins

Rating: B+

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from HarperCollins via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Summary: Lyra and Gemma are strangers, but have more in common than they realize. Both of their lives are tied to the Haven Institute, neither of them knows the whole truth about the institute or even themselves. But after the institute is attacked by a protestor, the truth comes to light, and they both begin to find their true selves.

Review: This book is actually two books in one, the same story (essentially) told from two different perspectives – Lyra, who has lived at Haven her whole life, and Gemma, whose father was co-owner of the company that primarily funds Haven. The author says that you can read this as two separate books back to back, or a chapter from each. Since I was reading an ebook, I read them as two separate books, and that worked just fine for me. I can’t imagine constantly going back to the table of contents every chapter to bounce between the two books. It would break the flow for me, and I wouldn’t be able to lose myself in the story so much. Might work for you though. 🙂

The ebook presents Lyra’s story first, followed by Gemma’s, so that is how I read it. While I enjoyed Lyra’s side of the story, it fell a little flat for me. Perhaps because, as replicas who were raised to believe they weren’t people, who had never experienced the outside world, their personalities – Lyra and 72 – didn’t have as much depth or range. Kind of like reading a story from the perspective of a small child. Gemma’s story, however, filled in a lot of the blanks and was more full of life. Lyra’s story was much more introspective, and Gemma’s was more complex. Of course, by the time I read Gemma’s story, I already had all the info from Lyra’s, so that probably had a lot to do with it feeling more “complete” as well. Perhaps I would have had the opposite experience if I had read Lyra’s story already informed by Gemma’s. 🙂

It was interesting and unique approach, and I enjoyed it. I’m glad to discover it’s a series because, though it was relatively long, it could have been longer. I would have liked to see it end further down the road, when they had more answers. I’d like to see what happens to the relationships of these two couples. And I’d really like to see the scientists at Haven get their just desserts. And I will definitely be reading the next in series to get those answers.

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