Replica: A Review
Two girls. Two stories. One book. I was gifted Replica by Lauren Oliver for Christmas, and once I learned you could read the book one story at a time, or by chapter by flipping character to character, I was intrigued. The book is separated by Gemma and Lyra’s point of view; you start with one, and when you get to the other’s, you turn over the book to read the other’s perspective.
The Haven Institute is tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida. Far away, it looks serene, but up close the military guards and biohazard suits tell a different story. After an attack on Haven, Lyra, or 24, manages to escape. As she navigates the world she meets Gemma. Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life and has grown up lonely and overprotected by her parents. But her chance meeting with Lyra sparks new questions, and a quest for self-discovery. Read a full summary here.
This was a fast read for me, at just over 500 pages, the story line grabbed me from the get go. It was intriguing, suspenseful, and held my attention with its dynamic plot line. One downfall: this book does have a lot going on. It wants to be sci-fi, action, mystery, and teenage romance, but none of those genres are ever executed to their full potential. Keep in mind, this is the first in a series; I didn’t know that when I read the book and may have felt different about the ending if I had that knowledge.
The best part about the book is how the reader chooses to explore the story. A preface says you can read each character at a time, or flip between each chapter. Honestly flipping between chapters sounded exhausting to me. I started with Lyra and I was glad to have had. Many times with novels written from different point of views, I find that the characters become messed. If you do choose to flip between chapters, Oliver has successfully defined Gemma and Lyra; Lyra had been raised for cattle in an experiment that no longer valued humanity. This left her vulnerable and with a captivating take on the world. Gemma had been raised highly sheltered, and led to believe one truth that isn’t her authentic truth. This gave her character a needed edge and grit for the mystery storyline, but also with a distrust of the world.
I think Gemma’s side wraps up a lot of loose ends. As far as reading it chronologically, Celeste over at prettygeekery.com compiled a great reading order here.
Not my favorite book by Oliver, but an interesting read nonetheless. The second in the series, Ringer, is on shelves now.
Questions for you:
1) What’s your favorite novel by Lauren Oliver?
2) Do you think we’ll get to a point in our lifetime with human clones?
3) Have you read any other sci-fi or other genre about clones?