Oct 4th

ARC Review of Replica by Lauren Oliver

Posted in Reviews
replica
4 Star Rating

Title: Replica
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Published: October 4, 2016
Where I got the book: ARC won in a Twitter giveaway
Where You can buy the book: Flyleaf Books (Indie) | AMAZON
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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…

I’m going to start by being painfully honest. I’m not a Lauren Oliver fan. I found the Delirium books to be fun but lacking in real depth. They were also very similar to other YA trilogies out around the same time—The Hunger Games Era, if you will. I actually liked Panic, even if it wasn’t really my genre (I don’t read contemporary very often). Rooms was really well written, I took issue with some of the content being very triggering though. Why did I keep reading her books, you ask? Sometimes it’s hard to say no to something familiar. I knew her name so a book would come out and I would find myself picking it up from the library simply because she was familiar to me. That being said, Replica wasn’t even on my TBR. I had no interest in continuing to read her books unless the plot really screamed at me, and Replica did not. Please understand, I’ve mentioned all that not to hurt the author but to make sure that when I make the following statement, you understand the full power behind it. Replica was amazing. It blew me away. It is powerful, meaningful, and important. Even with the full force of my negative bias against her, Lauren Oliver wrote the most amazing book I’ve read this year, and I am humbled. I wish Lyra’s story had a little more of the twists in it, but I thought both stories were important, both fascinating and engaging to read. I felt like Lyra’s story gave me valuable information on Haven, and helped me know her and 27 as actual people, but their story didn’t move the plot along as well as Gemma’s did. There was just less exciting action in their part and very little of the mystery solved. I really enjoyed reading Lyra first and Gemma second. I would recommend reading it that way or alternating chapters. I think Lyra’s story might be a tiny bit disappointing after reading Gemma’s, not that it is less than, only that Gemma’s story holds all of the facts that weren’t all in Lyra’s side of the story. Even while reading Gemma’s story I had to stop myself from skimming some parts because I already knew what happened. I love the split stories and the meaning behind them. Illustrating that there is no objective experience was a very cool idea and made the story unique and added to the general meaning enclosed within the pages of Replica.

The messages in this story are numerous and powerful. Obviously Lauren states that right in the author’s note, but I want you to really believe and understand that this is a must read. This book delves into the definition of being human, of being a person. It touches briefly on the themes of body shaming, chronic illness, and family. It handles deep ethical questions and major soul searching conundrums. This is a book about discovering who you are, and finding the people that choose you just as you are. Choice is also a huge theme in Replica—arguably one of the most important— because what are we without the freedom to choose?

I cannot stress enough how important this book is, especially for young readers. Tell your mom to read it, tell your little brother, heck, tell your Great Aunt Gladys to read it! I’m telling everyone I know! For the first time I am actually excited for a Lauren Oliver sequel, more than excited if I’m being completely honest. Sometimes the world doesn’t operate in absolutes, sometimes you have to accept that people can grow and do better, be better. I’m glad I won this book in a giveaway and I’m glad I made myself read it. This is a truly amazing story and I hope everyone gives it a chance!

replica
4 Star Rating

Title: Replica
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Published: October 4, 2016
Where I got the book: ARC won in a Twitter giveaway
Where You can buy the book: Flyleaf Books (Indie) | AMAZON
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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…

I’m going to start by being painfully honest. I’m not a Lauren Oliver fan. I found the Delirium books to be fun but lacking in real depth. They were also very similar to other YA trilogies out around the same time—The Hunger Games Era, if you will. I actually liked Panic, even if it wasn’t really my genre (I don’t read contemporary very often). Rooms was really well written, I took issue with some of the content being very triggering though. Why did I keep reading her books, you ask? Sometimes it’s hard to say no to something familiar. I knew her name so a book would come out and I would find myself picking it up from the library simply because she was familiar to me. That being said, Replica wasn’t even on my TBR. I had no interest in continuing to read her books unless the plot really screamed at me, and Replica did not. Please understand, I’ve mentioned all that not to hurt the author but to make sure that when I make the following statement, you understand the full power behind it. Replica was amazing. It blew me away. It is powerful, meaningful, and important. Even with the full force of my negative bias against her, Lauren Oliver wrote the most amazing book I’ve read this year, and I am humbled. I wish Lyra’s story had a little more of the twists in it, but I thought both stories were important, both fascinating and engaging to read. I felt like Lyra’s story gave me valuable information on Haven, and helped me know her and 27 as actual people, but their story didn’t move the plot along as well as Gemma’s did. There was just less exciting action in their part and very little of the mystery solved. I really enjoyed reading Lyra first and Gemma second. I would recommend reading it that way or alternating chapters. I think Lyra’s story might be a tiny bit disappointing after reading Gemma’s, not that it is less than, only that Gemma’s story holds all of the facts that weren’t all in Lyra’s side of the story. Even while reading Gemma’s story I had to stop myself from skimming some parts because I already knew what happened. I love the split stories and the meaning behind them. Illustrating that there is no objective experience was a very cool idea and made the story unique and added to the general meaning enclosed within the pages of Replica.

The messages in this story are numerous and powerful. Obviously Lauren states that right in the author’s note, but I want you to really believe and understand that this is a must read. This book delves into the definition of being human, of being a person. It touches briefly on the themes of body shaming, chronic illness, and family. It handles deep ethical questions and major soul searching conundrums. This is a book about discovering who you are, and finding the people that choose you just as you are. Choice is also a huge theme in Replica—arguably one of the most important— because what are we without the freedom to choose?

I cannot stress enough how important this book is, especially for young readers. Tell your mom to read it, tell your little brother, heck, tell your Great Aunt Gladys to read it! I’m telling everyone I know! For the first time I am actually excited for a Lauren Oliver sequel, more than excited if I’m being completely honest. Sometimes the world doesn’t operate in absolutes, sometimes you have to accept that people can grow and do better, be better. I’m glad I won this book in a giveaway and I’m glad I made myself read it. This is a truly amazing story and I hope everyone gives it a chance!

By Kate Woods

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