Book Reviews

Replica – Book Review

Yes, I read Replica by YA/ Sci-Fi writer Lauren Oliver. And I did it because you are supposed to flip the book while reading it and that sounded like fun. 

For those who haven’t heard about it, Replica is a novel with two stories inside. If you hold the book in front of you, you might read ‘Lyra’ on the cover. That’s Lyra’s story, a cloned 16 year old girl who lives inside Haven, a big secluded facility where cloned kids are raised like lab rats. 

If you flip the book you will see ‘Gemma’ on the back cover. You can also start reading that story about an overprotected teenager whose father works with a mysterious research facility called Haven. 

The author encourages you to read Replica in any order you like, either jumping between one chapter of each story or reading one complete side and the other. 

  • replica-book-quoteTHE CRAZY SCIENTISTS AND ETHICAL IMPLICATIONSThere’s a reason I like Frankenstein so much. I love it when I get to question the ethics and the meaning of humanity. When science goes too far and it reaches the point where the ends no longer justify the means. And that happened with this book. (I wish I could say more but SPOILERS!).
  • GETTING TO KNOW THE CLONES. As I mentioned, cloned kids are raised like cattle inside Haven. That means there are teenagers who have never been hugged, never heard a story, never had a name, received a gift or played games. I found Lyra’s chapters really captivating because of this. I think the author had interesting point of views on human nature and they were cleverly portrayed in a bunch of naive cloned kids.
  • WELL WRITTEN POV’S. I think many books that include Point of View chapters tend to disappoint because the author wrote them without memorable distinctions. But in Replica I could always relate to the POV character. Lyra and Gemma have their own voices, feelings and prejudiced views of the world,which makes it easier to jump between both stories without confusion. 

  • TOO MANY CLICHÉS. Let’s check the biggest offenders: Absent Rich Parents ✓ Insta-Love ✓ I’m-not-as-pretty-as-my-mom syndrome ✓ Everyone-says-I’m-pretty-but-I’m-not disorder ✓ All the guys are incredibly handsome ✓ (I’m serious, the three main guys on this book are pure eye-candy). I don’t mind a couple of clichés through my books, but when I read too many of them I start rolling my eyes and immediately take the book less seriously. 
  • THE TWISTS ARE PREDICTABLE. One of the biggest twists almost took me by surprise… until the author started dropping A LOT of hints on the preceding chapter. So, none of the actual revelations (which were kind of cool) made me gasp or made me feel satisfied with my incredible detective work. 
  • UNNECESSARY ROMANCE. I think the author meant to use Gemma and Lyra’s stories to make the reader think about what it means to be human. And I really liked this concept. But somehow she decided to write about two girls who don’t think they are worth enough until there’s a guy falling for them. I get it, that love is awesome and brings out the best things in us, but there are MANY kinds of love that could have been portrayed: self-love, family-love, friendships… 
  • THE ‘TWO STORIES IN ONE’ GIMMICK. As soon as I heard that this book could be read in a weird way, jumping between chapters and characters, I was on board. But I don’t think this format improved my reading experience. I think it could have worked better with a normal distribution of POV chapters. I read the book TWICE just to try the two recommended methods and make my own conclusions:  
    • If you read Gemma’s side from start to finish (and then do the same with Lyra’s side), you will receive news of an important event before you can actually SEE it. You will also have a one-sided opinion about the replicas during half of the book. 
    • If you read Lyra’s side from start to finish (and then do the same with Gemma’s side), you might solve the mysteries a little too soon and have less fun. You will also get to ‘interact’ with some characters that haven’t been introduced yet.
    • If you read one chapter of each story, jumping between Gemma and Lyra, you will have to flip your book 34 times and it might be uncomfortable. 

So, with this information I made my own reading order. I already tried it and I think the story flows better when read like this. It let’s you enjoy all the new clues, get to know all the characters soon enough and you only need to flip the book 6 times! (If you want to give it a try, you can print the next image and use it as a bookmark. Or just write the numbers below on a post-it note!).

in-what-order-read-replica

  • People looking for a little sci-fi and a lot of being a misunderstood teenager
  • People who want to reflect about the ethical implications of cloning humans
  • People who want to solve a mystery involving clones, big pharma companies and hot guys
  • People who liked The Island (2005) movie.
  • People who want to read a book in a weird way

What did you think? Will you add Replica to your TBR? 🙂 Replica’s publication date: October 4th 2016 by HarperCollins

  • Many thanks to Epic Reads for providing me with a copy of this book to review!

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