rhia reviews: Replica by Lauren Oliver

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.30750058

My Goodreads rating: ★★★ 

I did enjoy the story of REPLICA. Both Lyra and Gemma are really interesting characters and the journeys they each go on throughout the novel are fascinating.

I just felt the whole dual-narrative, flip-book format was totally unnecessary. It tricks you into thinking you’re reading a much longer book than you are – my copy of REPLICA totals at 520 pages, but Lyra’s story is only 236 pages and Gemma’s is the remaining 264. I would have happily read 520 pages worth of this story, so maybe alternating chapters would have worked better? That way, the parts of the narrative that were duplicated could have been done away with altogether.

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