Any of you who have been following me for a while know that it took me a while to read Replica. Now, it is not because I didn’t like it, it was just that October was an extremely busy month for me and I hardly had any time to read! However, I was finally able to finish it, so keep reading for my review!
Replica by Lauren Oliver
Good reads synopsis:
From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica is a “flip book” that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra’s story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.
Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. 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.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her 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 replicas and a completely new set of questions.
While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.
*I received an ARC from the Indigo Fall Preview Event
The length of time it took me to read this book does not necessarily show my opinion of the book. In fact I rather enjoyed Replica, I thought it was interesting and fun. It is science fiction so there were many pharmaceutical and medicinal words that had to deal with the “research facility” which at times required further research (not complaining though, it was fun).
The “flip-book” aspect itself was very fun. Even though I did not alternate perspectives, I enjoyed flipping the book back and forth and finding the connections between the narratives. I decided to read Lyra first followed by Gemma for no particular reason. I just chose to read it like this!
What I liked
The characters: I enjoyed reading both Lyra and Gemma’s stories. Even though many parts intertwined within the two and there was some overlap, they each had their own unique experiences and perspectives. I think Lyra’s characteristics perfectly reflect her life in a closed of facility. She is a curious soul with a knack for finding and discovering ways to use opportunities that fly past her. She may think herself as lost and dumb, but she is in fact very intelligent and observational. Her internal conflict dealing with her own humanity is often an excuse she uses to complain about her problems. I thought her romance within the story was very cute. There is not too much focus on it, but in the few scenes that are there, I found it adorable. Gemma has more typical teenage problems. She has strict parents who don’t allow her out of the house much. She only has one friend, April and is a target for bullies at her school. And although her life may seem dull, it turns into an adventure and mystery over one spring break. I think what I liked the most is her quirkiness and awkwardness. She always has so many things going on her head, some that come up at not the right moments. Many of them about boys. Overall Gemma’s story was more action packed, I believe and it had more information about the actual plot of the story. This is probably because she understands the world better than Lyra.
The Romance: There is not a lot and I usually tend to like more (I’m a hopeless romantic, let me be) However, there are only a couple romantic scenes in this book and it seemed to be enough for me. I think of the two Lyra has the cutest romantic connection and Gemma has the more humorous one. Lyra, does not understand much about the world or romance, so seeing her discover these new feelings within her is cute. Gemma definitely has the more hilarious romance because her mind is always racing about the various possible situations in which she may find romance.
What I didn’t Like:
The pace: I think it is really slow at the beginning of both stories. Lyra’s first couple of chapters are mainly just her wandering around in Haven. Gemma’s are mainly her complaining about her parents and limited freedom. Gemma’s chapters are more intense than Lyra’s mainly because she knows how the world works, but there are still moments that drag on until we can get the information we need to move on.
The action: It is minimal. There are definitely suspenseful moments within both stories and the ending scenes are fantastic, but I feel as if it needs more. This is more of a personal peeve because as a fantasy reader, I see more fight scenes and magical battles. But it could have more explosions at least. Even the scientific laboratory, Haven is not fully explored since Lyra does not spend much time there as I thought she would in this book.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I read the ARC so there may have been some changes to the story, but over all I liked the book. It was an enjoyable read, the stories were cute and inspired many questions about humanity and what it means to be human. I loved the “flip-book” aspect of it and I am looking forward to the next one called HELIX.
Favourite Quote: “You are mine and I am yours.” (You can definitely tell now that I am a hopeless romantic)
SO, have any of you read REPLICA? If so, comment and tell me what you thought of it, I would love to know!