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Replica by Lauren Oliver

Replica (edition 2017)

by Lauren Oliver (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5522330,346 (3.6)2
"Replica is a "flip book" that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra's story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma's story ... Lyra's story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects--Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72--manage to escape. Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family's past and discovers her father's mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions"--From publisher's website.… (more)
Authors:Lauren Oliver (Author)
Info:HarperCollins (2017), Edition: Reprint, 560 pages
Collections:Science Fiction, Young Adult
Tags:young adult, sci-fi, science fiction, clone, experiments

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Replica by Lauren Oliver



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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars but overall I really enjoyed the book. Replica very much felt like only half the story that has to be told, so I'm really glad there's a sequel. Otherwise, it would've been very unsatisfying. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
This review is also featured on Behind the pages: Replica

The only life Lyra knows is the one locked behind Haven’s walls. There are endless rounds of needles and medicine, tests and doctors. She lives with other replicas, humans created from the cells of their duplicates. To watch another replica die is just another day to Lyra. When the chance to escape arises, Lyra is thrown into a world she has no idea how to survive.

Gemma lives a sheltered life, with parents who are afraid she is made of glass. As a child, she endured countless surgeries to stay healthy, and grow into the young woman she is now. She’s always been annoyed but understanding with her parents. Until Gemma begins to noise around in her father’s business and discovers a place called Haven.

I loved the dual stories told in Replica and the writing style Lauren Oliver chose. Readers can read the two stories in whatever order they want. But, instead of alternating chapters between the two characters I read Lyra first and then Gemma. Lyra’s story carried more of a sci-fi feel as she was brought up in the lab. A large part of her story revolved around what happened in Haven, and how different she felt being a replica. She was raised to believe she was an object; she wasn’t an actual person.

Gemma’s storyline was more of a typical young adult novel. She’s an insecure girl, sheltered and lonely. She’s learning about boys, and how she’s beginning to see them differently and is embarrassed about it. She is a bit vain, which did at times annoy me, but she grew up being teased for her surgery scars and being overweight. Of course, she sees the world in from the eyes of someone who thinks being skinny and pretty is better.

While there was some overlap in dialogue, which is to be expected, Lauren Oliver did a great job of keeping the two characters separate. They ran parallel stories that came together in moments of tension and helped propel the story forward. Even the way the two characters were raised ran parallel and created a great contrast to one another. This was another great book from Lauren Oliver, and I can’t wait to read the sequel duology. ( )
  Letora | Mar 29, 2020 |
I think what Lauren Oliver set out to do here insofar as format is really interesting and original – Replica is a flip book, meaning that instead of having an integrated POV, you can literally flip the book over and start the other POV afterward… or read chapter-by-chapter. Reader’s choice! As an audiobook listener, the choice was made for me (all one, then the other) but I do appreciate the concept and think it was a cool idea.

The audiobook read’s Lyra’s POV first, then flips the book over to Gemma’s POV, so I’m going to address it like that… almost like two different stories that intermingle.

Lyra’s POV is interesting. In Lyra’s perspective, we see a little of Haven. We see a world where people are cloned in order to grow viruses and test medication. An illegal operation of a science-fiction (maybe even dystopian) sort, I thought that the world building in this half (44%, realistically) was promising. Had the story continued with the revelation of Haven and further development of the sci-fi elements, I think I may have enjoyed Replica. I’ve always found cloning to be an interesting dystopian element, but unfortunately, Lauren Oliver did not follow that storyline. In fact, I felt like Lyra’s POV stopped rather abruptly.

Gemma’s POV was such a contrast to Lyra’s. Gemma almost always describes herself in terms of her weight. She talks constantly about her lack of experience and how her weight keeps people from looking at her… generally, there was a lot of focus on this, and there’s a difference between representing a minority and making the whole thing unnecessarily uncomfortable by saying, “hey! look at his! an overweight MC!” over and over again. So immediately, as we’re getting into Gemma’s POV, I found myself a bit repelled by it. The deeper into the book I got, the less believable her situation seemed. She runs away to Florida and ultimately, her parents let it happen, and so does her best friend. She becomes quick friends with two different boys who are both attracted to her and speak to her in an uncomfortably familiar way, and there are no red flags about this? In fact, her first kiss and main romance is with a guy she herself calls “Pervy Pete”.

So, you know, that’s the quality of romance we’re working with here.

If I had started with Gemma’s POV, I absolutely would have DNF’d this book. But Lyra’s POV was interesting, with a lot of potential in world building. I kept waiting for some proper closure for Lyra, and that’s what kept me going through Gemma’s POV. But honestly? I found the ending unsatisfying. There were so many things that could have happened, so much more excitement, but I never felt we got plot closure.

So while the physical concept was cool, and plot had promise, I don’t particularly recommend Replica. It did not deliver. ( )
  Morteana | Mar 27, 2020 |
Replica is a parallel story of two teenage girls: Gemma is something of a misfit who decides over spring break to investigate her father's involvement in Haven, a business located on an island off the Florida coast. Lyra has grown up on Haven with all of the other replicas, but when the only world she has known is destroyed, she capitalizes on the ensuing confusion and makes a break for the unfamiliar mainland.

Overall, I liked the premise and was intrigued from the outset to see where the author was going to go with it. However, the endless references to Gemma being overweight were really quite disappointing -- it's one thing to mention it as a descriptor as one might mention hair or eye color, but the gratuitous comments continued relentlessly throughout, adding no value or significance to the plot. Recommended, with reservations. ( )
  ryner | Oct 21, 2019 |
DNF after the first hour of the audiobook.
*I'm going to quote part of the author's note because I really like what she says!

"The minor variations in the novel reflect the belief that there is no single objective experience of the world. No one sees or hears the same thing in exactly the same way, as anyone who has ever been in an argument with a loved one can attest. In that way we truly are inventors of our own experience. The truth, it turns out, looks a lot like making fiction."

I really enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Delirium; however, I haven't read any of her other books until now. I was looking forward to losing myself in another uniquely beautiful beautiful world, but I never made it outside of walls of Haven. Honestly, I didn't even make it to Gemma's part of the story.

I read reviews about the concept for this book, and I believe it's two books in one, but I still don't know how it works. I borrowed the audiobook from my library, so I didn't have to figure out the logistics of the pages and chapters. (If you've read this book and can explain it to me, please do!)

I didn't get very far into this one because it starts at a snail's pace. I felt bogged down by details that I didn't completely understand. I know with stories like this, you need a lot of background information, but I didn't care for how it was presented to me. I listened to it for about an hour, but never felt a connection with the characters. I'm not entirely sure I knew what was going on, and I image it would have been explained later, but it just wasn't for me.

Originally posted at Do You Dog-ear? on February 28, 2018.
( )
  doyoudogear | Oct 10, 2019 |
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To my sister, Lizzie
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Lyra: On very still nights sometimes we can hear them chanting, calling for us to die.
Gemma: Escape: That was what Gemma dreamed of, especially on nights like this one, when the moon was so big and bright it looked like it was a set piece in a movie, hooked outside her window on a curtain of dark night sky.
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