Replica (Replica #1) by Lauren Oliver
Goodreads Summary: Lyra
From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.
But 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. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. 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 child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose 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 human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family 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 other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Lyra is a clone. Created by the Haven Institute, she is monitored and under watch at all times. Thousands of clones like her live in the same area on the private island. Gemma Ives is an outcast at school. Her various medical problems keep her from participating in many school activities which results in her being labelled a freak.
This dual story isn't like anything I've ever seen before. The two stories follow the same timeline but from two different perspectives. Details that add to the other story are revealed so the two stories complement each other perfectly. I suggest reading Lyra's story first, as you get additional insight about Haven which Gemma's story lacks, but as I haven't read it the other way around I wouldn't know.
Lauren Oliver's characters are all imperfect. Through these two perspectives she paints a picture of characters with flaws, people who fight to solve their various problems. So many topics are covered, especially relating to our world and the ups and downs of it. I liked Caelum's character the best, and I'd like to get another book with more about him.
I wasn't entirely convinced by the romance. The characters seemed to go from "he/she is ugly, *describes features/characteristics*" to liking them. I understand that after they've spend time together and gotten to know each other more this happens, but it was a little too instant romance for me to agree. The endings also paled in comparison to the rest of the book. Too many things were left unresolved and I think it was too happily ever after. The conclusions seemed more like chapter endings rather than the end of a book.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Buy the book: Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of dystopia.