Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult
Hey guys, before I start my next book review, I just wanted to say that I am now back at university and so won’t be posting too regularly due to the demands my degree. Hopefully I will stay regular with my updates, but please be understanding of time constraints.
On to the review, of Replica by Lauren Oliver. This is a book about Lyra – “a replica” (or a clone) and a girl called Gemma. It is hard to give a summary of this book without giving away spoilers, but Lyra is a replica that has been made at ‘The Haven Institute’ whilst Gemma is a sheltered young girl, who becomes obsessed with finding out what the Haven Institute is, after overhearing her father’s conversations. This results in Gemma going on a road trip whereby she meets Lyra who has recently ‘escaped’ the Haven Institute.
The main selling point of this novel is the narrative style. The book has two halves, one tells the story from Gemma’s perspective, the other from Lyra’s perspective. This makes for a very interesting read, and you can read it however you choose, I decided to read a chapter of Gemma’s stay then a chapter of Lyra’s, then another of Gemma’s etc. I adored this style as it shows how influential a narrator is in how you see a story. You see the story through two sets of eyes rather than just one, meaning that that you, as a reader, become more objective as you are not being swayed by one character as you get two sides of the story. However, I would argue that this style of narrative meant the actual story was shorter, as the author, essentially, attempts to write the story twice, but from different perspectives, meaning there was less room for the story. I felt like this made the ending quite ambiguous, and, personally, I would have liked a bit more closure for the characters. A sequel would certainly be plausible.
Another thing I loved about this novel was the characters. Characters are so important for me in terms of enjoyment. They need to feel real, as well as have personality and need to be the sort of people you would root for, and I feel that’s what you get in this novel. My favourite character is Pete. He’s kind, funny and a bit of an outcast, and his relationship with Gemma is very compelling. What Oliver does well is making Lyra (the “replica”) a very 3-dimensional character. This, I believe, was intentional, Oliver was trying to make the reader see that although she was a clone, she still had many of the complexities of a human being, building the readers empathy for her.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The plot was full of intrigue and suspense, making you want to read more, the characters were rootable and the writing style was unique. But I would have liked a bit more of finality in the ending, there were, I felt, many unanswered questions.