Format: E-Galley, 544 Pages
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. 'A sickly child', her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father's connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she's always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father's name seems inextricably linked to it.
Amidst the frenzy outside the institute's walls, Lyra - or number 24 as she is known as at Haven - and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven's purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever...
Lauren Oliver's Replica is the first book in a new series that features two girls who find themselves searching for answers about their own identities in a world that believes genetic engineering goes against the Creator's intentions. Replica contains two narratives in one. You can either start with Gemma's story, or you can start with Lyra's. You can, I've been told, turn the book one way, upside, and read each characters stories separately, or one right after the other.
I started out with Lyra's story, so, let's talk about her journey to discovery first. Lyra grew up at the Haven Institute, which is located off the Florida coast. It is a place where clandestine research has been going on for years. It is a place where they create clones. Lyra is one of the Replica's that number in the hundreds. Each group of Replica's is color coded. Each group is experimented on and tested, really like lab rats. Lyra, like others, keeps getting sick.
Then a male Replica named 72 escapes, and later the institute comes under attack. Lyra and 72 find themselves escaping Haven & Spruce Island thanks to the help of a girl named Gemma, who looks exactly like one of her fellow Replica's, and her acquaintance Jake. Lyra's journey to finding answers is fraught with danger. She, Gemma, Jake, and Pete run up against powerful people who will do anything to silence the truth from getting out to the world.
Flipping over to Gemma's story. Gemma is 16 years old, and overweight. No judgments! She has been in and out of hospitals since she was a baby. She has had so many illnesses, that you start to ask yourself questions. Gemma's only true friend is April Ruiz. Gemma starts to question things after a brick is thrown thru a window at her house. What was her father doing that made him abandon his own company? When she begins to look into Haven, and takes off with a boy who has a curious reputation, things start to really push the envelope. Could she have spent any time at Haven? Is that why she has had so many health issues? Why does she look like one of the dead clones?
Here are two girls, each searching for answers to questions about their very existence. Each different from the other by way of social status and how they were raised. One is afraid of leaving her comfort zone, and then goes on a journey of discovery. The other has been hidden away from society, then finds herself deeply involved in a conspiracy that has already led to people's deaths.
Replica is structured so that you get two different
perspectives that sort of mimic each other. Gemma and Lyra's stories take place concurrently. But, the curious idea is that you can jump chapters back and forth until the characters actually do meet. If you have a hard-copy of the book if makes things so much easier. Not so much on Kindle.