by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC provided for review. Thank you!
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. 'A sickly child', her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father's connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she's always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father's name seems inextricably linked to it.Amidst the frenzy outside the institute's walls, Lyra - or number 24 as she is known as at Haven - and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven's purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever...
Okay, I have to confess I’m one of the few people that didn’t find the format of this book amusing or surprising. That’s because I’ve already read a book like this, though it was a poetry book. That book was about the passions of the poet. One half about love. The other half about POLITICS! For God’s sake! Our politics sucks more than any politics in the whole world, so I have no idea why I read it.
Anyway, back to Replica.
I started with Gemma’s side, I read five chapters, but after those five chapters I needed a break because I found Gemma’s POV too slow and she was kind of whiny.
So I turned to Lyra’s side. I fell in love right away with her story. Lyra’s the replica. Her story begins with the rumor that someone escaped Heaven. We come to know how the replicas are treated, how is their life inside the Heaven Institute. And how her world is turned upside down when something terrible happens in the island.
Her story is heartbreaking and I loved how it reminded me Delirium. The awe of discovering the world and the beauty of discovering her feelings. Lyra and 72, her companion, are seeing the world outside Heaven for the first time. I loved Lauren Oliver’s writing about it. I loved how “pure” they seemed.
There were some twists and turns, some terrible revelations and a hopeful ending.
Then I went back to Gemma. And here’s when something went wrong.
You see, I loved Lyra’s story and I loved her and 72, but once the boring part of Gemma’s story ends, her story is the once that carried the most shocking revelations. I seriously wish I read her whole story first.
But since most of those revelations were hinted with Lyra’s POV, they weren’t too surprising anymore.
I even skimmed some paragraphs because I already knew some of those things.
I’m writing this to say that if you’re planning to read Replica, I’d recommend you read it alternating chapters, that way you’ll be discovering the twists and turns on both sides at the time. I wish I did that. But if you want to read their separate stories, then start with Gemma.
Except for that, Replica was a great book. Lauren Oliver’s writing is neat and past paced. Every character, on both sides, is well developed and likable.
Some of the twists were surprising and shocking, but some others I already expected them.
I loved how this book felt like science fiction and contemporary thriller at the same time. It was highly enjoyable. That being said, I can’t wait to know what will happen in book 2!
I do recommend this book. I think both sci-fic and mystery readers will enjoy at least one part of the story.