May 17, 2017

Review--Replica by Lauren Oliver


From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.

But 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. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.


Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose 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 human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Two girls, two stories, one novel.

While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.

I finally dove into Lauren Oliver’s Replica! I had been hearing so many good things about it that I picked it up last year and I have to say it was quite the unique read! The dual points of view was done in a way I’ve never seen before where the book is divided in half. You can read one girl’s point of view and then the other, or you can alternate. I honestly recommend alternating because it’s the easiest and you won’t be repeating the story as much. I am so excited that I can jump immediately to the sequel next because a lot of things happened and it only left me craving more answers.

Gemma and Lyra couldn’t be more different. They don’t know each other or even that the other exits. I’ll start with Lyra because she was who I started with based on the fact that she was the “front” of the cover! Lol! Lyra is a replica. She was made to look human by scientists who seem to be studying diseases and wanting to test possible cures or just new diseases themselves. They’re not good people needless to say. Lyra has grown up with other female replicas as the boy replicas were kept separated from the girls.

Then we have Gemma who is human. Though she’s had a rough life with health issues. Her father is always away on business and is a cold, distant man while her mother is a hoverer and over-protective. Gemma suffers from weight issues and bullying problems. Her only friend is April. They had plans to go to Florida over spring break but the trip is cancelled when a bullying prank goes wrong and her father demands that she stay home. It’s when there was an attempted kidnapping of herself that Gemma started to do a little investigating. The ramblings of the kidnapper started her thinking and it’s not long before she learns of a place called Haven and how her father was connected to it.

Each part of the girls’ story runs over 200 pages, so it’s almost at the 100 page mark that their worlds collide. So the beginning portions of each of their story start off a tad slow. It took some time to build into the story at large, but once we got to that point it was smooth reading until the end! Gemma gets a ride to Florida with an unexpected person from her school who turns out to be genuinely nicer than anyone other than her best friend. She plans to nose around Haven and see what they’re all about, but nearly as soon as she arrives, Haven explodes!! This book is seriously twisted, but that’s what makes the best kind of reads!

As I said before, I think that reading the book by alternating points of view is the best way to go about it. The first few chapters lets you see into each girl’s world and what they deal with. Once their worlds collide, it becomes easier to read through alternation. Some bits get repeated but you’re on the other end of the conversation or whatnot, so you do learn more and see the conversations differently. It’s not a direct repeat anyway, so you won’t feel bogged down by having to repeat a scene.

This story is pretty intense too! There is so much mystery surrounding Haven and when Gemma learns her father has a connection with it, the mystery only seems to thicken! By the end, you’re still left feeling unsure of things and what will happen next, but there’s a very decided air of danger. Haven is trying to cut all loose ends and possibly just start over elsewhere but with two of their “patients” missing, well things are going get to pretty messy indeed! 

We do get some answers though. There’s one in particular that was especially mind-blowingly awesome! I guess I was so wrapped up within the story that I didn’t really see it coming. That happens sometimes and honestly, I like it! Guessing the answers is always fun, but so is being completely taken aback with shocking reveals!

There is some romance going on in this one as well for both heroines. It was done nicely too, in a way that doesn’t take over the entire storyline.

Replica was by far one of the most intriguing books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. And not just in the way I read it where I go back and forth with flipping the book around. The story itself was unique as well. It’s an exciting and thrilling kind of story and I am most eager in seeing what will happen next!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars



  1. I love it when I can get so wrapped up in a story that the author surprises me. I've been hearing about this one for a while as well and haven't given it a go yet. I think I will have to add it to my to-read list though. The alternating story lines is definitely unique so I'm interested in seeing how that all works out. Excellent review!

  2. I have this book, I wasn't sure which side to start with. I'm happy you suggested alternating between the two :)

  3. Despite the fact that I have a copy of this book I still haven't read it. I think the concept sounds interesting and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. I've been curious about how to read it though and I like that you recommend reading it by alternating chapter. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  4. Do you think you would have had a worse/better experience reading Gemma first? I haven't read the book but this sounds absolutely amazing! I love how inventive it is!

  5. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this! The unique way it put together the two POVs had me hesitant because I don't know how to read it, especially since I'm most likely going to get it as an ebook or audiobook and I don't know how they will structure that.


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