Two girls, two stories, one novel.


SYNOPSIS: 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.

About the Book

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Series Replica #1

Format Hardcover, 520 pages

Publisher Hodder & Stoughton (October 6th 2016)

Read July 1 – July 2, 2017

Rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟

In these two action-packed, sci-fi stories, Gemma and Lyra find their lives in danger when they work to uncover the truth behind a mysterious research facility. Replica is cleverly devised: The book has two stories, “Gemma” and “Lyra,” that can be read separately or as alternating chapters.

Gemma is a teen who’s had health problems since birth. Her parents are extremely overprotective and secretive, and one evening she overhears a troubling conversation that makes her question her dad’s work in medical and pharmaceutical research and her own past. When she runs away to Florida to learn more about a top-secret research facility called Haven, she finds herself embroiled in conspiracy and danger. In Florida, Gemma meets an unusual girl named Lyra, who’s escaped from Haven. Lyra’s story details her life as a clone (or “replica”) at the mysterious Haven and what happens when she and another patient get the opportunity to break out. The two girls’ stories overlap, but each girl has a backstory and a personal journey to figure out. Gemma’s trying to uncover some missing pieces of her past, and Lyra’s trying to learn about what was done to her and others at Haven and whether she can survive in the real world.

Of the two books, “Gemma” is more interesting and engaging. Gemma’s a relatable and sympathetic character, and her quest to learn more about Haven and her past is exciting. Lyra’s story is interesting in the first few chapters, but because she’s a replica, her narrative voice is too simple and direct and therefore dull. Both stories end in cliffhangers and leave far too much hanging.