How did I get it?:
It was a gift from my sister, Beth!
Previously reviewed by the same author:
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.
I have read a few books by Lauren Oliver now although I’ve only reviewed one on the blog. I was so intrigued by the concept of Replica. Two separate stories that come together to make one. I was pretty much sold on that concept alone. I also loved the idea of it not being alternate chapters. It was one point of view and then the next. I was intrigued. It took me a while to get around to this book, but when I did, I was pleased I did. It took me a while to really invest in the story. When I had got engrossed, I really couldn’t put it down. It doesn’t matter whose story you start with, but I personally started with Lyra.
Lyra was born at Haven Institute. She interacted with doctors, nurses and replicas. Lyra was clever though. She learnt how to read and yearned for affection. When Lyra escapes after an attack of Haven, Lyra starts to realise what exactly Haven was doing to her. Gemma, meanwhile, has always been protected by her parents as she was a sickly child. Gemma rebelled against this protection and went away to search for answers about the secrets that her parents were keeping. There are some amazing supporting characters in Replica too. I loved Gemma’s friend Alice in particular.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the story as it is one with quite a few twists and turns. Both sides of the story have some clues towards the other character’s journey. It’s such a lovely reading experience when both stories meld together to find out what has been happening. I personally preferred reading Gemma’s story, but that’s not to say Lyra’s isn’t interesting. It is! It’s just I connected more with Gemma.
When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t sure if I’d read the next one, but as I got into it, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the story and I’m definitely intrigued to see what’ll come next!
Would I recommend it?:
A wonderful read that captured my attention despite it being over 500 pages!