Replica by Lauren Oliver
Hello there my dear readers, I hope you’re all doing great.
I recently finished ‘Replica’ by Lauren Oliver and decided to share my review with you guys. So without further ado, let’s begin.
From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and is even perceived to be beautiful.
But up close the locked doors, military guards, and bio-hazard suits tell a different tale.
In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models more commonly known as clones, are born, raised, and observed in health, sickness and death.
But when an attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or number 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.
As they make their way through a new, harsh and menacing environment, they meet a strange girl named Gemma Ives, who has embarked on a dangerous journey of self discovery.
And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life.
A sickly girl, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life has been contained to 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 Institute.
Hungry for answers, and desperate to know who she really is Gemma travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two clones, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new line of questioning.
As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she uncovers horrendous truths about herself and her family’s dark history that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.
Two girls, two stories, one novel.
While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the plot of both stories.
Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters
Initially when I started reading the book, I liked Lyra’s character much more than Gemma’s.
In a practical sense, I should’ve been able to relate to Gemma on a personal level but I was having difficulty sympathizing with her character.
I always adored Lyra’s innocence, I just found it to be very endearing. Also, her love of reading and the English language was a bonus.
However, as the story progressed, I began to enjoy both narratives, especially as Gemma matured and developed.
I feel that Lyra’s development was a bit stunted, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t mature nicely throughout the story.
How I felt at the beginning:
How I felt near the middle:
How I felt at the end:
I’ve had mixed feelings about this book in the beginning. I wasn’t sure about the writing and I wasn’t quiet fond of Gemma either.
However, the more I got into the story the more interesting it became and soon enough the book was fast paced and exciting and really engaged my attention.
Now, problems that I had with the book:
I felt that the writing was slightly awkward. Some sentences were worded strangely which in turn prompted me to reread them a few times before moving on.
But as the book progressed, I adjusted to the writing style and soon found myself enjoying the narrative.
Another thing was that early on I was having trouble liking Gemma as a character, I found her to be somewhat superficial and oftentimes narrow-minded and judgemental.
I don’t blame her for it, since she grew up in such a contained environment but I still had trouble dealing with her at the start.
But later on, I promise you she does a tremendous amount of development and matures wonderfully to the point where I start to enjoy her character.
Another thing that bothered me was the chapter lengths. Now, realize that plenty of people like to have incredibly long chapters that are a minimum of at least fifteen pages but not me.
Personally, I prefer my chapters to be around five to fifteen pages mostly because I’m doing most of my reading around my schedule like in between my classes, during car rides or in waiting rooms.
I tend to get interrupted a lot and this often leads to me having to stop in the middle of a chapter and then picking up later and trying to find my place on the page which is honestly just tedious.
That’s why I prefer to stop at the end of chapters instead of on a random page and the book sadly did not cater to that need but I managed to overlook it, for the most part.
There is a romantic element to the story, both heroines have a love interest to be with by the end of the novel.
Now I love a bit of romance with the main story line, it makes for nice sweet and slow moments in the story, to calm things down.
But in Replica I felt that the romance was added in for the sole reason that since it was a YA novel, there had to be a romance.
And it also felt rushed, in the sense that both girls end up with their significant other close to the end.
And it added for a good break in all the action but I think the book would’ve worked just as well without it.
Oh, just to let you know, Lyra’s love story, in my opinion is the fluffiest of the two.
And another thing that got to me me was that the plot twists were very predictable, at least in my opinion.
One last thing, the formatting was clumsy.
Originally you’re supposed to read the chapters alternatively in the book.
This means that you’re flipping your book over multiple times and this can become uncomfortable.
You could choose to read one story before the other but that way you end up missing a few key details in both girls stories.
I found two graphic guides down below that might help you decide on a reading order, I followed the first one.
And now for what I liked:
Despite the predictability of the story, I still enjoyed the book because it had a very interesting concept and the ethical implications made it all the more engrossing.
The POV’s were well written and very distinct from each other. Oftentimes when authors switch between different POV’s the characters all come out sounding the same but not here.
Both girls have opposite views on perception and reality and are diverse in their thought processes, making for an absorbing read, since both protagonists see the world in a different light.
The story is fast paced and captivating, even with its cliches, and is essentially a puzzle for you to solve before the end.
The romances while essentially unnecessary, make for a nice break in the story and very cute, so if you’re someone who enjoys a sugary sweet side plot then this a great read to pick up.
Overall, I did enjoy Replica in the end and I’m looking forward to the sequel ‘Ringer’ which comes out on October 3 this year, so keep an eye out for it.
And let me know what you guys thought of this review and the book and as always, happy reading!