‘Replica’ by Lauren Oliver.
Publishers: Harper Collins and Hodder and Stoughton.
Published: October 11th, 2016.
“She wanted to understand. And this single fact made her feel more human than she ever had before” – Lyra.
A Masterful novel that explores the issues of individuality, identity, and humanity.
The Haven is 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 subjects: Lyra, aka number 24, and the boy only known as 72, manage to escape.
Encountering a world they never knew existed outside their secluded upbringing, they met Gemma. As they try to understand Haven’s purpose, together they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. As a lonely teen, her life to date has resolved around 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 Institute.
Hungry for answers, she decides to leave the sanctuary of her home to travel to Florida; only to stumble upon two replicas amidst the frenzy outside Havens walls. Gemma suddenly has a completely new set of questions…
While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story.
From New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic and masterful novel that investigates issues of individuality, identity and humanity. Replica, by Lauren Oliver, is an intriguing YA dystopian/Sci- Fi novel set in the present-day about human cloning that offers readers an unforgettable experience. Replica is a unique ‘flip book’ that contains two stories in one. Turn the book one way and read Lyra’s story. Flip the book over the other way and read Gemma’s story. The unmistakable parts of this astounding novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey whilst forming a larger interlocking story. “The novel will question what it means to be human whether we can or should pursue the ability to manufacture the things we can” – Lauren Oliver.
“One girl will see the world for the first time and another girl will never see the same world again” – Lyra.
After weighing our options, we decided to read Replica separately. We did this by starting with Lyra’s story. In our personal opinion, we would have rather started reading the side labelled ‘Gemma’ rather than starting on the ‘Lyra’ side first. This would help you to develop a greater insight on the Haven Institute before the story line developed into Lyra’s experience at the Haven Institute.
Replica has a unique variety of amazing characters; starting with the two main characters Lyra and Gemma. Personally, we wouldn’t be able to say which character we loved the most as they are both very remarkable in their own ways. They are both strong, independent and rare individuals; regardless what they choose to identify themselves as. We also experienced three exceptional male characters: Jake, 72, and Peter. They are portrayed as brave, headstrong and supportive to the main character’s roles including, the swooning romance uncovered throughout both stories!
One of our favourite features of Replica would be how Lauren Oliver approaches the subject of how far humanity is willing to go with the advancements of modern science. Scientific discoveries are astonishing when they cure illnesses however, this does not excuse people to treat living organisms inhumanly for their own purposes. Lyra and Gemma’s lives are discovered to be intertwined with the Haven Institute research facility located on a private island. Gemma’s and Lyra have a relatable link to the institute in which Lyra having grown up and “made” in and, Gemma being the daughter of someone responsible for its existence! The clones also known as ‘replicas’ are awfully treated as objects without feelings and objects that have a limited brain capacity by the nursed and doctors operating the facility. Does this make you consider who is actually inhuman here?
Replica, by Lauren Oliver does an amazing job demonstrating the difference between the inner struggle with outer appearance. For example, Lyra constantly perceives Gemma as a confident girl who clearly knows what she is doing. Meanwhile in Gemma’s mind, that illusion vanishes and its evident how Gemma is constantly nervous/scared and only acts on instinct hoping that something will succeed in her plans. Perspective is everything!
Naturally, we expected for both stories to not feel unbalanced at the end like they did as Gemma’s story continued on a couple more chapters whereas Lyra’s did not.
It’s unusual to find a book that gives you a choice regarding reading experience, and Replica does this remarkably! Lyra and Gemma’s stories will have you on the at edge of your seats; no matter what side you read first. The reading format where you were able to bounce back and forth between both stories was so ambitious and we were so overwhelmed in its deliverance creating a complete story without spoiling each girl’s unique perspectives.
Have you read and enjoyed Replica by Lauren Oliver?
What books have you read and enjoyed that you would recommend for us to read? We are constantly on the lookout for new books to love!
Replica by Lauren Oliver is a must read for those who enjoy dystopian/Sci-Fi YA reads!
Book Rating: 4/5 stars.