I received this book at no cost from the publisherReplica (Replica, #1) by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 4th 2016
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...
Gemma’s parents really don’t communicate anymore but are overly protective of her because she had several illnesses as a child and is now overweight with only one real best friend, April. Her father is mostly absent with a high-powered career at a drug company and her mother might as well be with her pharmaceutical habits that keep her mostly calm. She finally decides that she needs to get away and really look into her father’s relationship with a notorious company called Haven that is involved in all sorts of scandal. Traveling to Florida to stay with April and her grandparents over spring break, she gets a ride with Pete who is smart and funny. Gemma doesn’t really see much in him and can’t because why would he be interested in a girl like her?
Lyra is the opposite of Gemma’s coin and has been raised a replica (clone), and used for drug studies at the Haven Institute. She has very little human interaction and one of the doctors that did show compassion for the test subjects was fired for being too friendly. Several people that work at the institute just vanish. The stories combine when Gemma and Jake (his dad ran a conspiracy theory website that tried to expose Haven), make their way to the compound and find a dead girl that looks just like Gemma. Lyra and a replicant boy end up escaping with Jake and Gemma back to April’s house. The story becomes a race against time as they all try to figure out what happened when Haven exploded.
I read these books separately, but I would recommend that getting the ebook so you can flip between the alternating chapters to get the full impact of the book. I read Lyra’s story first which in the long run, worked out best for me. That story was full of whole and it was filled in by Gemma. Since Gemma’s story is much richer, you would miss the little things about Lyra that make more sense reading Gemma;s first. In other words: Gemma giveaway away Lyra’s ending somewhat. The book ends in a mild cliffhanger and I am glad to see that there is another book on the way to finish out this story. I really want to know what happens to these girls.
I plan on being at the HUNTINGTON BEACH BARNES AND NOBLE on October 4! Let me know if you plan on being here as well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, Lauren Oliver divides her time between New York, Connecticut, and a variety of airport lounges. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com
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