Review: Replica, Lauren Oliver

As you might know already, and if not, you will now, but I am a huge fan of Lauren Oliver’s work. I have read all of her young adult books and loved them to bits, so obviously I was impatient to get my hands on that one, and once I did… I wasn’t disappointed, at all.

ONE BOOK, TWO STORIES, A MILLION WAYS TO READ IT

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The originality of the story definitely lies in the way it’s written and, well, for a lack of better words, made. The fantastic Reg called this a reading experience in her review, and I have to agree with her completely. With Replica, you can read the book from two different perspectives, Gemma, and Lyra. For now, nothing new under the sun, books with multiple perspectives already exist. The difference here, is that you can choose to read everything from Gemma’s side, then everything from Lyra’s side, or alternate the chapters, just by turning the book around. This, for starters, was really original and what made me even more curious about this story. It’s definitely a reading experience you have to try for yourself. I made the choice of alternating chapters, and, if turning the book around all the time and using two different bookmarks might have been a bit annoying, I am glad I did this. Gemma and Lyra are living in the same world, and if they meet and share moments together, their stories don’t overlap too much, and don’t get too repetitive when they are together, because both characters are different.

GEMMA VS. LYRA : (ALMOST) NORMAL VS. CLONE

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On one side, you got Gemma, a pretty average, normal girl. She’s a bit insecure about her weight, she always feels part of the β€œaliens” in school, meaning that she’s not one of the popular kids, but she’s mostly okay with it because April, her best friend, is here for her. She has loving parents, even if her dad’s mostly away for work. On the other side, you got Lyra, a clone raised in Haven, an institute which we don’t know much about except that it’s on a remote island and they are doing experiments and…well, clones. As I got to know both of these characters, I grew fond of them, and, contrary to the popular opinion, I preferred Gemma’s side of the story. Not because she is normal, while Lyra doesn’t know what a car is or is a bit clueless about our real lives, but because, I don’t know, I had a better feeling with her overall. She was a realistic character with her own insecurities and fears, and felt well-developed enough for me. I loved seeing her grow and change as things happened in the story, and how her perspective on things, people, changed as she discovered the truth behind everything.

Lyra was an interesting character to follow as well, because she was so different. Being raised in an institute with no contact to the outside world, she has no idea how to use a cellphone and how to buy a ticket for the bus, but her way of thinking was definitely unique and interesting. Moreover, we see her growing and evolving as she grasps the concept of the world, the people, her own feelings and, just, everything. If I had my preference for Gemma, I also enjoyed reading Lyra’s side of the story.

MYSTERY, ACTION, AND MANY QUESTIONS.

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With clones in the synopsis, you can expect this book to have kind of a sci-fi vibe and leave you breathless with everything happening. But I felt like Replica was a bit on the quiet side. There were moments where the action was here, and the mystery just as well, but it wasn’t as action-paced as I thought it would. Maybe because, in the end, we don’t know too much about Haven and the whole mystery behind it all. There are moments where we uncover some things, but there still are many secrets left and interrogations to answer, which I hope we will get in the second book. Despite this, I still felt compelled to read, to know what was happening, and I think that reading the book with changing perspectives only made this feeling grow. There were some plot twists, predictable and not, but it didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. I think mostly what dragged me in during the whole story, was the concept. The concept of the two perspectives, the two different characters, and the setting, how their stories intertwined together and kept things interesting from beginning to end.

OVERALL

To be honest, I’m not sure how I can share my love for Replica and Lauren Oliver without screaming, or bothering you all. The author has a way with words that I love, it’s simple yet manages to make you feel close to the characters and drags you in the story and, feelings. I also love her imagination, from Delirium to this, and I think that Replica definitely has tons of potential to become a great story, and maybe one of my favorites. I’m eager to get to the second book and know more about Haven, know more and more about everything.

Final rating:Β  IT’S A HURRICANE!

Did you read Replica? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read it?

Did you read anything by Lauren Oliver, and if so, did you enjoy it? Share your thoughts in comments!


Lauren Oliver, Replica, Published by HarperCollins, October 4th 2016.

Β goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

Two girls, two stories, one epic novel

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 β€œflip 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 subjectsβ€”Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72β€”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.

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

54 thoughts on “Review: Replica, Lauren Oliver

  1. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this one, Marie! And thanks so much for the shoutout – I’m glad you agree with my use of that term. Reading Replica was definitely a unique experience, and it’s not just like… er, reading, I suppose. πŸ˜›

    I’m really interested in how the story in second book will be structured. Will it be also two perspectives, or will it be four? I think as Gemma and Lyra meet each other and spend time together it could be harder and harder to keep the POVs distinct to one another, but I suppose we’ll see. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I couldn’t help but think about your beautiful review while I was writing this πŸ™‚
      Oh yes, me too, I’m so curious, but also so…scared of how it’ll turn out. With that one, it was okay to read the story from both Gemma and Lyra’s POV since they weren’t together so much, the stories weren’t too repetitive, but here, I am scared they might end up feeling this way :/ I hope not. Do you know when it’s released? Probably in a long time… ? 😦

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  2. Great review Marie. I really enjoyed Replica when I read it, although I read Lyra’s story first and then went on to Gemma’s. One day I’d like to go back and read the story in alternating chapters just to see if it changes my opinion of the book a little.
    I would have liked to see more of the sci-fi elements in this story though, there was a lot of development around Lyra and Gemma which was great but I’m hoping there’ll be more sci-fi and more of Haven in the second book.
    I’m definitely going to pick up some more books by Lauren Oliver now! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Beth! I get you on the sci-fi elements, I have to admit I expected a bit more of it as well, but I am hoping the second book will develop Haven and all the weirdness a bit more. I really enjoyed the character development in that one, and since it’s the first book, I’m hoping it’s setting the mood and the character before getting really intense πŸ™‚
      Ohh I can’t wait for you to read ALL of Lauren Oliver’s books! I hope you’ll love them πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, I’m willing to bet we’ll get more answers in the second book especially after the way this one ended after Gemma’s conversation with her parents. I wonder if it will still split things out between Gemma and Lyra given the two are now joining forces, if that makes sense.
        I hope so too, any recommendations for which one I should start first?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I think I’d recommend alternating chapters. It is a bit bothering to turn the book everytime, but I think that I enjoyed the story better this way, seeing it unfold from both sides, then colliding. I was scared it’d be repetitive this way, but it wasn’t, and it kept things interesting, because I always wanted to come back to the other’s POV soon ahah, it gave a bit of suspense I loved ahah πŸ™‚
      I hope you’ll enjoyt! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you liked Replica, it’s on my TBR, and I can’t wait to read it! I as well am a big fan of Lauren Oliver’s work- well, all I’ve read is the Delirium series, but it was great! Panic is actually one of my next reads, and I’m so excited for it as well. Great review!😊

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  4. A YA book with both parents that are alive?! Sounds like this would have been an auto-TBR add if I didn’t already want to read it haha.

    This was definitely one on my radar early this Fall but I just haven’t the time to go about reading it. That being said, I think I would be like you (and Reg) in that I’d go into this hoping for an immersive and enthralling experience second only to the plot and story itself. I’m certainly glad you enjoyed it and that the prose is something you really enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay, so glad you loved this one Marie πŸ˜€ It was my first Lauren Oliver book and I enjoyed it so much and definitely want to read more of her work! I looove how she wrote the alternating stories, so much work must have gone into that and it definitely paid off. I’m really excited for the next book!! Great review β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This book has caught so many people’s attention! It is however the first time that I hear someone that knew about this author’s past! And what I really liked about this review is that you actually flipped the book around a thousand time in order to switch between chapters, between characters. That’s sounds like A LOT of heavy-lifting and an arduous process. But I’m really happy to see that it was actually worth it! It definitely confirms that this book can be read in so many different ways! Awesome review, Marie! πŸ˜€

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, well it was a bit annoying, and well…some people definitely thought I was weird (read this on the train most of my time and seeing me turning the book every now and then, well… I think they labeled me as “crazy book lady” haha). I hope you’ll want to read it! Thank you so, so much Lashaan πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would have honestly been really intrigued by you, if I were to see someone flip-read a book like that πŸ˜‚ Making people think you’re crazy while you’re actually just enjoying a book is prreeettty awesome 😝

        – Lashaan

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You can totally scream at me and fangirl πŸ˜€ I admit what caught my attention was that reading experience. I hadn’t even read the blurb that the book was already on my wish list. But to know the story and characters make for a great book just adds to my curiosity. Great review, and your arms are definitely stronger after that lifting and flipping πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow this sounds incredible! And completely unique! I also love Lauren Oliver, so I’d have been excited about this anyway- but the idea is so cool that I simply have to get my hands on it! I’m also even more excited cos this is the first review I’ve read of the book and it sounds so good!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely need to pick up more of Lauren Oliver’s books. I read Delirium way back when and then added a ton of her other books to my TBR but haven’t gotten around to them yet. I especially want to get my hands on Replica because I love the whole set up. I’ve read one other book where there were interchangeable POVs set up in a similar way and loved it. Plus, I’m really intrigued by the whole clone storyline. Great review, Marie! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This book sounds so amazing! I’ve seen this book around and while sounded interesting, I never did check out what it was about and now, I can well say that I really need this book! It seems like such an interesting concept and I love the format of the book! The characters seem really great and your review has me completely sold. AMAZING AS ALWAYS! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely review, Marie! To be honest, I only skimmed your review because I haven’t read it yet – though, I plan to return to this once I’ve read it! I haven’t read ANY of Lauren Oliver’s books… but I think I should! Someone told me about Delirium awhile ago, and that premise really intrigued me.
    Which one do you think I should read first? Replica or Delirium? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I never write spoilers in my reviews, and if I do, they are hidden so unless you always highlight all texts you read on the computer, you’re good to read everything πŸ™‚
      Oh well to be honest I’d recommend Delirium first because that book made me fall in love with the author. I was intrigued by the premise, and the world-building and characters and feelings just made me fall in love with the story as well. I hope you’ll read and love it! πŸ™‚

      Like

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