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Monday, October 03, 2016

Replica by Lauren Oliver

In my opinion, Lauren Oliver’s Replica is going to be a very popular and sought out YA book this fall. The format is incredibly original, the writing is very intelligent and the story is gripping and addictive.

Replica is the story about two very different girls, Lyra and Gemma, who tell a similar story from two very different point of views. Lauren Oliver made the very bold decision and separated these two point of views. Each story starts from one end of the book and meet towards the middle. This spring, when I briefly met the author, I asked her what was the proper way to read her book and she told me there is no right way. You read it however you like. You can read Lyra’s story straight through and then move on to Gemma’s. Or you can do the opposite. Personally, I chose to read one chapter from each story, flipping back and forth between the two. Timeline wise, the chapters line up very well so I really enjoyed reading it this way. There is some repetition when the two main characters are together, but for the most part, the two point of views offer different information and insight.

Between Lyra and Gemma, I don’t really have a favourite story. I enjoyed reading them equally. They both have very distinct and interesting voices and most often, I couldn’t wait to continue reading the same POV once I was done with a chapter instead of flipping over to the other side. Gemma is a sheltered teen who’s current goal is to go on a simple road trip to Florida with her best friend. But when a trivial event threatens her family, her father prevents her from leaving. Despite being very obedient, Gemma defies her parents and makes her way to Florida a few days after her best friend left. What she discovers in Florida opens her eyes to a whole new side of her father and his history with the pharmaceutical company he helped found. Gemma ends up breaking so many rules, that she can barely recognize herself after only a few short days.

All Lyra has ever known is a life full of medical and cognitive testing on an island off the Florida coast. She is a replica, or a clone, with a sole purpose, which isn’t very clear at first. She was raised in this medical facility called Haven with hundreds of different replicas. She considers herself one of the lucky ones since many subjects died at a very young age, and others don’t have the mental capacities to clean or feed themselves. The female and male replicas have always been kept apart and she has had very limited interaction with boys, except for the doctors and the scientists. Interestingly enough, both Lyra and Gemma have lived very sheltered and different lives but both of them have had very limited interactions with boys. So when Lyra hears about a boy, replica 72, who ran away, she’s intrigued by what led him to that decision. Eventually, she’s forced to work with 72 in order to find a way off the island. Lyra may be very naive but her capacity to learn allows her to mature very quickly as her world comes crumbling down.

The science experimentation going on at Haven might not be so far fetched, which makes the book very chilling and thought provoking. Lauren Oliver may have concentrated on the human developments in her story but the science aspect is also described very well. Fans of the TV shows Orphan Black and Dark Angel will love this new take on clones. Personally, I enjoyed Replica more than Oliver’s Delirium series. I can’t wait to see what comes next.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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