Two girls, two stories, one epic novel
From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity.Read more...
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Two girls, two stories, one epic novel
From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. 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. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.
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.
While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork."
- ISBN-13: 9780062394163
- ISBN-10: 0062394169
- Publisher: HarperCollins
- Publish Date: October 2016
- Page Count: 544
- Reading Level: Ages 13-17
- Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
Series: Replica #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-08-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Oliver (Vanishing Girls) sacrifices substance for style in a novel told from two perspectives: flipping the book allows readers to read the full story from the point of view of the two main characters, Lyra and Gemma. Lyra, a replica (clone) at the Haven Institute research facility, and Gemma, a loner who has spent her life in and out of hospitals due to various medical troubles, have surprisingly similar stories—both live in relative captivity. When Haven is destroyed, Lyra escapes and crosses paths with Gemma. Gemma, the daughter of one of the men who initially funded Haven, decides to help Lyra and another replica, 72; in the process, she slowly begins to discover the mysterious mandate of the Haven Institute. This ambitious project requires patience during some of the more repetitive parts of these interlocking stories, even as Oliver explores thought-provoking ethical and existential terrain. The pieces of Oliver’s story all fit together, but the novelty of the storytelling approach doesn’t quite compensate for a less-than-compelling plot. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (Oct.)
Two sides of a story
Lyra is a replica, one of thousands of clones bred as research subjects at Haven, a top-secret medical research facility on an island off the coast of Florida. Gemma, once a sickly child but now a curious teen, longs to know about Haven and the secrets that her wealthy father might be hiding there. Both Lyra and Gemma are sure that these are the only lives they’ve ever known. And yet both have snippets of memories—a decorated cup, an unusual statue—that don’t quite fit. When an explosion destroys Haven, Lyra and another replica escape, and they soon connect with Gemma and her new friend Jake. As the four teens learn more about Haven and its terrible purpose, they find themselves chased across Florida by secret agents determined to silence them—and revisiting what they thought they knew about their own identities.
The ethics of biotechnology would be enough to make Replica a compelling read, but what truly makes it stand out is its narrative format: The book is arranged so that readers read one girl’s story and then must physically flip the book over to read the other’s. (In an author’s note, Lauren Oliver writes that each story can be read independently, or both can be read together in alternating chapters.) The two stories intersect, with mysteries in one solved by information in the other. Part adventure story, part narrative experiment and part reflection on what it means to be human, Replica forms a cohesive and satisfying whole.
Jill Ratzan matches readers with books in a small library in southeastern Pennsylvania.