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The Originals

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Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up believing they were identical triplets.

Then they learned the truth...

and no one else can know.

Now, to the outside world, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one seventeen-year-old daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, pursuing extracurriculars, and even dating.

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, the one person who can help her realize she's not a carbon copy of the others - she's an individual with unique dreams and desires. Digging deeper into her background and her mother's role in her life, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

296 pages, Hardcover

First published May 7, 2013

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About the author

Cat Patrick

10 books1,632 followers
Cat Patrick is the author of middle grade books Tornado Brain and Paper Heart, as well as young adult books Forgotten, Revived, The Originals, and, with Suzanne Young, Just Like Fate.

Find her online at www.catpatrick.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 593 reviews
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,014 reviews1,051 followers
May 30, 2017
It’s probably obvious from the cover that The Originals is about clones. Therefore you might expect it to be this hard core science fiction, probably gearing towards dystopia with concrete world building and well established background and plotline. If you have such expectations, I suggest you lower them a bit if you’re planning on reading this book. If you do, there are greater chances that you’ll end up enjoying the novel like I did.

I believe this book is written for younger readers. I could already imagine my 13 year old niece fangirling after reading this. The too fast paced plot, the almost non-existence of complications, the cheesiness and the insta-love (I swear I snorted a couple of times over the cheesy lines), the happily ever after kind of ending- it actually feels like watching a Nick teen/Disney teen movie and yes, it’s kind of embarrassing but I enjoyed it. Lol.

I found the author’s writing very easy to read and quite amusing. I finished the book in one day. The premise of the novel got me really intrigued and I was curious about how the three girls could pull off being just one person. The biggest problem the girls have to face is surprise, surprise! Love problems. Because how could they date the boy each of them likes when the three are supposed to be just one person? Like I said, this was very entertaining and if you’re looking for a light, entertaining, sci-fi-ish read then you’re looking at the right book.
Profile Image for Book Sp(l)ot.
339 reviews75 followers
July 12, 2013
Needs this now.

Would need it even if it weren't Cat Patrick because that synopsis.

But it is Cat Patrick.

And I've read Revived. And Forgotten. (And I'm still madly in love with them.)

Oh, I want/need/really, really, really want to read this.

*eyes calendar*


edit: Wait! This has a cover now? And no one told me? For shame.


edit 2 (the actual review):
Some families have secrets, some more shocking than others. Lizzie, Betsy and Ella's secret most likely more shocking than any secret your family's been keeping.

After years of being raised as identical triplets, their mother not only moved them cross country but told them the truth: they were genetic identicals: clones.

In hiding from the governmental agency that wants to expose them for what they are, the Best girls are undercover as a single girl. To the outside world, the Best family is a single mother and her only daughter, Elizabeth Best. The girls each take a section of the day, a third. One covers part of school the second the rest and the third evening time. No one knows there are three girls.

It may not be ideal, but it's what the girls know. What keeps them safe.

Until Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, someone who seems to notice that she's different, without actually knowing that she is. The more time she spends around Sean, the more Lizzie begins to realize she isn't just a third of Elizabeth Best, that she's her own person. And to want her own life. But is it possible?



With The Originals my love affair with Cat Patrick and her writing is still in full swing. Forgotten, her debut, continues to be one of my favorite books with London Lane and Luke being two of my favorite characters, favorite relationship. Then Revived is all kinds of magnificent, too and I'm in love with it.

So, see The Originals had a lot to live up to . . . the awesomesauce thing? It totally did.

I feel strange repeating things from my reviews of Forgotten and Revived but it bares repeating so here you go: the premise of this novel is kind of brilliant and so unique. I've read books about clones (Mila 2.0 most recently) and sisters and lots of coming-of-age novels, but this book smooshed them all together. In a fantastic way. With a bit of possible, secret governmental danger thrown-in.

What really makes Patrick's books so great, however, (and this is a repeat assertion from the other two reviews, I fear, as well) are the characters she creates. The characters and their relationships. The Originals characters feel very real. There's the sisterly relationship the girls have that, at times, feels like a regular relationship between three teenage sisters. Yet, there's the added layer of how they're living their lives and all that puts on them, individually as well as how they interact.

Then there's Lizzie and Sean. Really, I love that Cat Patrick writes some of my favorite YA romance and yet her novels aren't exactly YA romance. The romantic leads aren't just interacting with other characters on the periphery, with their scenes being the main story; their relationship is part of the whole story. We still get a very full relationship from them but as they interact, progress and, hopefully, grow a relationship in the midst of the full plot of the narrative, with all of the other characters a part of things, the result is more real and true feeling

This is a fantastic read and I'll be counting down the days (soon as I have a date!) until the author's next release.
589 reviews1,031 followers
June 16, 2013
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont for sending me this review copy. No compensation was given of taken to alter this review. All quotes were taken from the ARC copy with means that they might be altered or removed in the final print.

After some time in a reading slump, I finally decided to pick up The Originals because I knew that this would be the ultimate book to get me back on track. And it sure did. Cat Patrick has this spectacular gift for writing contemporary novels with an unrealistic twist to it, her work is so intriguing and original (no pun intended) that it just spikes up interest from the page I begin.

Meet Lizzie, Betsy and Ella. They could almost be defined as triplets except they're not. They look too alike to be triplets, they are actually clones in hiding. Splitting their lives into thirds, the girls exist as one, living the same life together. In attempts to conceal this secret, one of the clones, Lizzie does something despicable, she falls in love. And to fall in love means she must be herself. Which is something that cannot be possible.

'"What you do impacts all of us, Lizzie. You should remember that next time. I mean, just, thanks for this. Thanks for ruining my day."'

Cat did an excellent job at conjuring the ideal image of our protagonist. Not only is Lizzie a likeable character, but also she is willing to be different and follow what she genuinely believes in that just going along with whatever people tell her to do. While I felt that Lizzie was too sensitive and dramatic about stretching the worth of a small situation, she caught my attention with her never ending persistence.
Sean is the love interest in The Originals, and must I say, he was the best constructed character in this book. He is independent, caring and can be empathetic. He does lean towards a constantly jealous person but eventually, with his everlasting empathy, Sean still turns to be a loveable supporting character. This dude is full on nerd, and I love it!
'He laughs. "Whatever," he says. "Hang out with friends. Read. Play games. Write a little. Sometimes I take pictures."'

When I read this synopsis, I was instantly concerned about one thing. Instant love. I used to believe that was only way side to this trending theme, bad. All the time. Who would want insta-love? Well in this case, I found myself loving the romance despite commencing with instant love. Cute, awkward and ethereal are just some words to describe this beautiful chemistry.

A small issue I had with the characters was essentially the creation of them. There is nothing awfully divergent about the clones. Yeah...okay. So they are meant to be identical but I sensed that Cat's direction with this novel was to make Lizzie, Ella and Betsey completely different with their personalities. I wasn't too awfully attached to the characters in any way shape or form, therefore I couldn't connect properly and love this book more. Sadly, too much telling and not enough showing.

The Originals promises tense mystery and suspicion throughout. The plot was absolutely my favourite element of this novel, I couldn't help but second guess other siding characters and suspect something fishy was brewing between characters etc. While more detail and depth would love been more sufficient to a make this book more wholly, there are quite a few unexpected twists and abrupt turns. Cat excelled at the 'world building' with flying marks.

All in all, while I enjoyed reading Cat's upcoming release, there were quite a few minor flaws that disappointed me greatly. The Originals is practically an original story following a girl who lives a shared life with her sister clones and how they find their independent freedom. With a stunning ending, this book was ended beautifully. I seriously don't think that this book could love been ended as well as Cat's. I recommend this to people who are looking for some darker and twisted contemporary and lovers of Cat's previous books as this is, to what I believe, even better.

On a side note, here is something that I squealed at: this quote is my favourite. '"Yeah but apparently, Mom thinks we still like My Little Pony more than boys or something."'
No comment. Too good to be true. *runs off giddily singing the My Little Pony theme song*
Profile Image for ♥ Sarah.
539 reviews127 followers
January 13, 2014
You're probably not at all surprised with my rating if you've seen my status updates. I almost quit reading. Twice.
description

Sadly, the story had great potential, and I really liked the beginning, until the story went from mysterious, gripping, and sometimes-witty, to a hormonal teenage whine-fest. After the "love interests" were brought in, the story went from a 4 star read, to a .555 star read. In other words: very poor execution.

Firstly, the "description" for this book was not at all accurate. Because, you see, the three girls were supposedly hiding from the gov't since cloning was deemed illegal. Thus, they had to act as one entity: Elizabeth, to the rest of the world, by splitting up their day(s) in thirds. Each girl got to experience the real world - the first girl during the day, the second during the afternoon, the third during nighttime. Things were looking good up to this point.

Then, the story just completely shifted gears. The "issue" was NOT gov't interference regarding illegal cloning; nor was it about the ethical, moral, physical, and scientific implications of cloning itself. The act of cloning, and being "clones" of a missing "original" – were just completely disregarded. The author did not ONCE touch upon the girls' struggles – or lack of – as clones (i.e., scientific miracle v. abominations), adapting and living and knowing and participating in the real world inhabited by ALL humans! Nay, these were not the issues that were brought up, explored, developed...

On the contrary, the real "issue" in this book was: which boy the girls should date. Since, the three girls had to act as ONE person, even though they were three distinct individuals.
description
Once again, interesting, but WTF?

And because the story was told in "Lizzie's" POV, the other two were just tossed to the side. There wasn't much back-story or character development for the other two. Ella's love interest was quickly dismissed, and Betsey's social (and love) life was rather nonexistent.

A lot of random events occurred, but mostly, a cheesy instalove
'romance' took over with very flat action sequences and an uninspired twist at the end. Also, the 'resolution' came too quickly; the whole story was a blubbery mess of missed opportunities and frustratingly mundane scenarios.

Again, there was potential, and the story started off interesting, but it quickly faded into a desperate abyss of lame, boring, and plain old what-the-fuckery.
description
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,991 reviews363 followers
April 20, 2017
Cat Patrick is an author you can always count on for her ability to create something unusual and almost unique in design, which is why I always pick up her books without hesitation.

And while this may not have been as well put together mystery wise as some of her stronger books, it was still every bit as engaging and entertaining and all of her work and therefore, still a winner by my score. This really was a fun read that took no time at all to plow through and enjoy.
May 9, 2013
Who among us hasn't wished at one time or another that they had clones? I know I did. There would be so much more time in the day, because we'd share tasks, share the tedium of going to work, leaving the rest of the clones more time to relax because there'd be two or more people doing the task of one. Which then leaves behind the question of fairness, who would do the pleasant tasks, who would do the unpleasant ones, how would things be allocated? And that's not to mention the mess of the love life...

I greatly enjoyed this YA sci-fi, because it addresses my secret fantasy of having clones in a much more entertaining and realistic manner than I could have imagined it on my own. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey are clones who appear to be triplets until their scientist mother is exposed; from then on, they and their mother have been on the run, living as a single mom and her daughter, with the triplets taking turn living in the outside world. Each twin, you could say, works a shift. In the beginning, Lizzie takes the first shift, going to school in the morning, while Ella goes to afternoon classes, and Betsey does the extracurricular college class in the evening.

They must blend in as a single person, and the beginning was quite funny, with the three fighting over their hair when Lizzie decides to straighten it (a long and arduous task) in the morning, meaning the other two have to take hours doing their own hair when it is their turn to take over for their part of the day, as well. I laughed during that scene; I hate doing my hair and I can imagine how angry I would be if I were forced into doing my hair for one person's vanity.

The dynamics between the sisters are great; they are clones, but they each have their own personality, and while they do fight, they're sisters above all, and they love and look out for each other. The three understand the importance of their secrecy, but they support each other when each decides to rebel, and they work together effectively. There are no huge fights or backstabbing, they are truly a team.

I loved how they make the relationships work. I understood the pain of one as they're forced to date only one person, for the sake of appearing to be one person. When Ella and Lizzie both fall for boys, their mother picks only one of them for the clones to date, and it breaks the heart of the other. It is a good portrayal of wanting something you want, but can't have, and knowing it hurts the person you like only further rubs salt into the wound.

Lizzie's love interest is a nice, likeable guy; there are no truly bad characters in their school life who becomes a caricature or a stereotype of a high school character. Despite their strange life, they have a normal, relatively peaceful high school existence, and I appreciate that the author didn't try to incorporate more drama into what's already a stress-filled existence.

The mystery and major secret in the book was easy to figure out, even for me, who struggle with cozy Agatha-Christie type whodunnits. I also felt the ending was rushed, and things just tied together very neatly, without much sense. Overall, however, this book was well-written; a quick, fast read, and with no pretense for anything higher than it is. Although neither high literature nor especially complex, this was a thoroughly enjoyable quick read.
Profile Image for Zino.
160 reviews23 followers
Want to read
April 23, 2012
You know you love an author when you haven't even read the books plot yet, or even been given a cover and you immediately know you can't wait to read it.
*sigh* and now the loooong wait begins
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,126 followers
May 10, 2017
What kid didn't have those dreams of having a twin that you could switch places with occasionally to trick teachers and parents? In this book, Lizzie has two clone sisters that share her life. They live as one girl, splitting each day in to three parts that they take shifts living. So, since Lizzie sucks at math, her sister has to take the math classes while she gets to take creative writing, which she loves. Sounds pretty fun, huh?

Until two different sisters meet two different boys. And they can only date one of them. And their mother picked the guy that Lizzie hates! Now, this time-share life ain't so sweet.

Added in to this story of these girls' struggle for individuality and freedom is a mystery about their mother and the original girl they were cloned from. But, that part of the story was mild and didn't ever become a great storyline. I think that the book is better if it is read for the relationship between the sisters and the search for identity, which had more interest than the whole mystery thing (for me).
Profile Image for Alison.
9 reviews6 followers
December 4, 2013
Interesting concept, rubbish writing.

Characters are so flat that it's difficult to care about what happens to them. When will young adult authors stop thinking that music and clothing preferences are a shortcut to building character?!!

Mentioning Facebook and iPods? Way to shorten the lifespan of your book.

It was alright and I got through it pretty quickly - I just wish it had been written better.

*spoiler*




Oh, and could she just not be bothered about Betsey having any life at all? I kept thinking there was going to be a big reveal with her but nah, nothing. I kind of hoped she was a lesbian. Oh well.
March 7, 2013
Ehhhh.....it was just....


Great idea, I was very interested in the book, but it just had huge gaping holes in the plot and everything was just tied in such a nice little bow. The book only takes place in the span of a few months and in that time they manage to comfortably break everything about their life structure and just not seem to care. Really you've been living as one person for almost 9 years and just like that, oh hey, I think I'll tell this guy I've known for a month that I'm a clone. No big deal. Good thing he doesn't majorly freak out and oh, I think we should tell some more people, like his mom. Just didn't buy it. I wish there had been more, it just felt flat.
Profile Image for Courtney Wells.
112 reviews413 followers
Want to read
February 7, 2015
Here's the kinda easy to please nerd I am ->>> you tell me three girls whose names are all derivatives of "Elizabeth" are pretending to be one girl called "Elizabeth" and I'm gonna throw my money at the author to see how that plays out.

I know, I know!!! It's totally trivial but it's straight up my brand of humor at times. I'm sure a bunch rolled their eyes but it's clever! If you had to share an identity with two other people wouldn't it be a little awesome if you all had a connection to that name?

Oh, this should be fun to read :D
319 reviews1,891 followers
Want to read
January 28, 2013
I liked this cover more:

Profile Image for ALPHAreader.
1,103 reviews
July 6, 2013
One of the reasons I love Cat Patrick is because I find her so hard to explain to other people. Whenever I ‘pitch’ a Cat Patrick book, I can never do her justice in trying to explain her unique contemporary/magical-realism-esque plots that make her a sort of Isabel Allende or Alice Hoffman for the younger set. That being said, with each new book that she brings out, I’m afraid she’s starting to lose that quirky edge and magic realist spin.

‘Forgotten’ was about a girl who remembers her future, but forgets her past. She’s an anomaly who works hard to hide her deficiency, and is just trying to grow up as a normal girl in a small town and get closer to a guy she can’t remember she likes. I loved the balance of out-of-this-world with the struggle for normalcy, and while Patrick does eventually glimpse the roots of the backwards-forwards problem, ‘Forgotten’ doesn’t hinge on a solution and actually leaves off with a fair bit of mystery and magic still swirling.

Second book, ‘Revived’ is about a secret government agency responsible for a drug that brings people back from the dead, and one girl who has lived so many different lives … until she meets the one boy who makes her want to stay in this one. I liked ‘Revived’, maybe not as much as ‘Forgotten’, but it was still a winner for me.

Third book, ‘The Originals’, brings in yet another secret government agency (a different one, not the same from ‘Revived’) that clone-sisters Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best and their lab technician mother are on the run from. For much of their lives, the girls thought they were triplets – until they were woken up in the dead of night by their mother and told the truth, and forced to run. It turns out that, after their mother lost her baby daughter, she went against her company and cloned her dead baby’s DNA, creating Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey. Now teenagers, the three girls live under the guise of ‘Elizabeth’ Best and each is allotted a third of the day to play out the role. But when both Lizzie and Ella develop feelings for two very different boys, they realize how much they’re not carbon copies and are actually desperate to break away from this triumvirate.

There were elements of ‘The Originals’ that I really loved; one being the genetic engineering that’s explored, with the ethical issues of ‘playing God’ (a role, I would say, the girls’ mother takes very seriously and tyrannically). I also appreciated that the girls’ were created, not from a place of scientific experimentation, but parental love and loss. The story about their mother losing her baby is a haunting and deeply affecting one, and will certainly make some people sympathise with her (possibly not throughout though, as the story evolves). And I appreciated the fact that all three girls are very different, and although Lizzie is our narrator, Patrick definitely lets it be known that these are three very different individuals being straight-jacketed into one personality.

“I’m not sulky,” I snap. “I’m just … over it.”
“Over what?”
Immediately, I want to take back what I said, not because I didn’t mean it, but I don’t want to get into a big discussion about it. I think Mum believes that we’re content or at least satisfied with the situation. And I guess until recently, we have been. I have been…maybe because I didn’t know any better. But now I know things need to change… I just don’t know how. And without knowing, now’s not the time to open that can of catastrophe.


And there’s a very nice, VERY complicated romance at its heart, when Lizzie falls for a boy called Sean Kelly, while her sister Ella likes a Neanderthal called David …and their mother allows the girls to date only one boy (between them) and she chooses David over Sean. Yeah, it’s deliciously, unnervingly complicated and just the sort of push that Lizzie needs to start thinking about what she wants and what she’s not willing to give up.

So, there was a lot that I liked … but at the same time, some stuff just didn’t work. It’s understandable that a book about clones would have to some how bring in a government agency (or else be set in the future or an alternate world?) and Patrick touches on the trauma that the girls have gone through, being on the run from their mother’s former employer and the fact that she broke every single, ethical rule to bring them into this world. That’s a big set-up, right there. But the thing is, Patrick doesn’t want to concentrate on the government agency angle. This is, instead, very much a book about first love, coming-of-age and breaking away from your family to stand on your own two feet … all while being a clone, albeit. I was reminded of that old writing idiom, that if there’s a shotgun on the wall in Act I then it has to be fired by Act III; except it doesn’t go off in ‘The Originals’, making for a somewhat lacklustre end.

See, this is the problem. I loved that ‘Forgotten’ had the quirky set-up but none of the big bang stuff, involving government conspiracies and a teenager on the run. Likewise, I quite liked that ‘Revived’ was all about a girl who has grown up within the conspiracy institution. ‘The Originals’ feels like an odd mash-up of the two; government conspiracy is how the characters got to the sticky situation they’re in, but the whole story is about first love, as opposed to government menace. It left questions hanging, bought the tension and high-stakes down by a few notches and just seemed a little confused, all round.

I still love Cat Patrick, and I’m actually relieved to read the blurb of her fourth book (with Suzanne Young) coming in August 2013 and called ‘Just Like Fate’ – which sounds like it has more of that magical-realism, teen-angst mix-up that I so loved in ‘Forgotten.’ I’d still say that Cat Patrick is one author you have to read, if only to bask in the brilliance of her eclectic and unique stories … but maybe go for ‘Forgotten’ or ‘Revived’ over ‘The Originals.’
Profile Image for Megan.
1,512 reviews186 followers
May 5, 2019
The was a fun read, that kept me flipping pages and wanting to keep reading to see how it would end. Clones are a subject matter I find intriguing, and with this book having three of them living as though they were one person was unique. I was a little disappointed with the ending, while it wrapped everything up it felt like it was lacking something and that's the reason I'm only giving it 4 stars.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,003 reviews3,325 followers
June 11, 2014
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

The Originals is a unique book covering the life of three identical clones – Lizzie, Beth and Ella who all live one life under their mother’s direction. I enjoyed the blend of contemporary, sci-fi and mystery, it is a really unique concept that I haven’t seen explored before in YA fiction.

The concept of these three girls living the life of one person, Elizabeth Best, was quite extreme, as they each split up the day into 3 segments and lived like that each day. It became apparent that it wasn’t going to work when they wanted to make friends or start dating, and that their mum was taking extreme measures to hide them for their protection. So Lizzie and her sisters start rebelling against the system and start breaking the rules in order to date who they want and do the things they want as well.

As Lizzie starts dating the guy in her class, Sean, she starts to get more and more reckless as she even reveals what her mum has been hiding their whole lives – that they are living the life of clones – just so she can date him. There is a hint of insta-love here as Sean’s immediate reaction isn’t to run away screaming, but instead to stay and stick it out because he likes her. He was a kind, caring and understanding love interest, who Lizzie was able to rely on throughout and I adored him.

I think it’s made worse by the fact that we’re sharing one life, but the bad side of looking like two other people is feeling like I don’t have my own identity at all. Like there’s nothing unique about me.

I didn’t like how their mother was the villain, yes her measures were extreme but she was genuinely doing it to protect her kids. Her decision to make them live one life was not the right way to go about things but there could have been other options. When Lizzie and her sisters find out that their mum may be hiding things from them, they start snooping around her office, stalking her, going through her bank statements, getting private phones and even going out together. They blatantly disregard their own safety when a photo of themselves is posted on an app called Twinner, which finds someone who looks similar to you, and they continue chatting to said person. This disrespect for their mother was not cool at all, especially since she had sacrificed so much just to raise and protect them.

The clone concept was quite interesting and explored in a different way throughout the book. It needed a bit more explaining and details around it though, especially when it came to their conception and how the donor could find their “perfect” clone. I liked how Lizzie, Ella and Betsy each had a different personality to show that cloning wouldn’t necessarily be the same.

Today’s the day we get our lives back. The only thing is that we’re not exactly sure when or how to do it.

Cat Patrick’s writing is seamless throughout and I enjoyed reading it. I liked how the plot featured a heavy dose of intrigue and mystery throughout, as the girls discovered that there mum was hiding secrets from them. I kind of knew the clones were playing with fire though and it all comes to a head later on. I wanted more ooph though, as the big reveal was kind of lacklustre to me.

The Originals had a unique and interesting concept about clones living the same life, but left a bit to be desired when it started discussing why they were living in that way. I wish things were less about their mother and more about the cloning process and why this was allowed, so there wouldn’t be so much disbelief and frustration while reading the novel. Instead, it was a book about individuality, self-expression and independence, which was a worthwhile message in the end.

I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Annie.
91 reviews4 followers
July 29, 2013
I am very disappointed with this book. The plot sounded unique and amazing, but the execution of it didn't do it any justice at all.

I hated all of the characters. They are completely unforgettable and two-dimensional. They only lack logic at times. For example, their mom supposedly is trying to keep them hidden as well as possible because she fears that someone is still after them. Their mom wanted to protect them from anyone who may be hunting them down because she escaped her old lab with her three "daughters". The daughters got suspicious of her when they discovered that she's been doing something secretive. Instead of questioning her, they decided to act recklessly, which lead to more danger. Why? Just... WHY? Another illogical part of the book is the ending.

The instant love in the book was also irritating. The protagonist basically collapsed right in the classroom when she saw Sean. What is it with YA books nowadays where the protagonist always end up unintentionally holding her breath or collapse when they see a nice looking guy?

Along with the romance, I don't like how the author handled the situation between Ella and her boyfriend. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsy have to all date the same boy since they share one identity, but only one of them actually go on dates with the boyfriend. That is not the problem. The girls decided that Ella would date the boy she liked. However, Lizzie wants to be with Sean. This is where the issue begins. Sean would often see Elizabeth (the girls' shared name) with Ella's boyfriend. Of course, that causes a conflict. To fix that, Lizzie tells Sean about her secret. That solves the problem with Sean. However, it's as if the author completely forgot about Ella's relationship. As a solution, readers find out out of the blue that

To sum it all up, I loved the plot of this novel, but it was poorly executed.

Profile Image for Jodie.
55 reviews14 followers
May 4, 2013
The idea was fresh and unique, and I'm a big fan of Cat Patricks work. I think her writing is simple and draws you in, and I like that all her books are pretty quick reads. Cat Patrick is one of my favourite authors, and while I enjoyed this book, I feel like she let me down a little.

While I have a problem with every insta-love situation, I thought that this situation was ridiculous. I know you can be drawn to some people, but considering Lizzie knew her 'mum' could be in danger of going to prison and her and her clone sisters could be tested on, I found it ridiculous that she'd risk all of that. She'd been sharing her life for nine years, but she'll risk all of that for a boy she's known for a month? And honestly, I didn't feel any attachment to Saun whatsoever.
The plot was interesting, but the big 'plot twist' was kind of a let down. In both Forgotten and Revived, especially Forgotten, the plot twists were fascinating, and brilliant, but this one was kind of... lame.
Personally, I didn't think they handled the situation of their mother very well, either. And when Lizzie noticed things that were clearly important, she didn't tell the others! Considering how close they were, I would have thought she would have shared that she was a little concerned about that car behind the tree. And when they forgot the take the tracker necklace off. I was embarrassed for them.

I loved Lizzy and Betsy and Ella was alright. With their different personalities, I did like all of them, and I looked forward to all their different opinions on the situations, and as usual, I loved Cat Patricks story telling.

It doesn't matter the story, I will always read Cat Patrick books, and I always do enjoy them. She's one of my favourite authors, and while this particular story didn't meet my expectations, it was a good book.

Profile Image for caren.
516 reviews102 followers
April 14, 2013
2.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book during the first little bit, but my annoyance began to grow as it continued toward the end. I really liked Lizzie's voice, and her budding relationship with Sean made me swoon like I love to do in young adult novels, but there was just something missing overall that didn't quite hit the mark for me.

Lizzie is one of three sisters who are identical. But they're not triplets...they're clones. The three girls--Lizzie, Ella and Betsey--are being forced (by their mother) to live as one, and now at sixteen, they've decided they're not the same person and can't be forced to live like that anymore. They're also trying to figure out just what their mom is hiding.

This novel was a pretty cool idea, but for me, the execution of the whole thing was a little anti-climactic. There was all this suspense and intrigue built up throughout, and the "reveal" was a huge letdown. Imagine the air being let out of a balloon and it makes that pffffffft noise. It was kind of like that. It was disappointing. Also, I have to mention the editing. Present tense is awesome. I love reading it (as long as it's not robotic) and I love writing it. But where were the editors to get rid of the 1,000+ dialogue tags in this book? You do not need and "I say" or a "she says" or a "he says" after every line of speech! Near the end it got so tiresome to read that it almost just made me giggle every time. Good thing we weren't playing a drinking game, because I would have been gone off my head for sure.
Profile Image for Emma Lohman.
16 reviews2 followers
July 3, 2013
Pros:
In my experience with reading Cat Patrick's books, the concepts have always been strong in theory, but poor in execution. I will give this book credit for the initial idea of having three clones living as one person. However, the praise ends there.

Cons:
Cat Patrick ruins any great idea for a book by relegating it to an inane, seen-it-before-in-every-high-school-movie setting with bland, easily forgettable characters. It's like taking Harry Potter and focusing on the Yule Ball for the entire series instead of Voldemort. In The Originals, the main character (Lizzie), is a bland teenage girl who runs into every cliché possible: not being able to date a hipster bad boy, not obeying her mother, having her cell phone being taken away, getting a makeover, etc. It's incredibly painful to read. The author tries too hard to make the extraordinary characters seem ordinary, which ultimately ends up looking like Robopocalypse crossed with every Sara Dessen book created. Gag.
Profile Image for Spencer.
1,224 reviews18 followers
September 14, 2020
2020
I was surprised but most definitely pleased with this one. There were obviously some major questions at the beginning of the story (the largest being centered around the fact that these girl clones were attending school one third of the time instead of living like triplets. However, the author did a fantastic job weaving the explanations into the story. She really covered all the bases there).

I love how intense and spy movie like the story got about midway through. Once the Elizabeth girls knew that their mother was up to something they were to pretty extraordinary lengths to figure it out (especially Lizzie). I loved how brave they all were. Lizzie didn't just question what their mother was up to, she felt that she couldn't live without the answers.

Sean, of course, was adorable and sweet. He wasn't perfect, which made me like him even more. Most high school boyfriend characters say the perfect thing and do the perfect thing all the time. And, to be fair, Sean was perfect a majority of the time. But when he found out the truth about Lizzie and her sisters, he completely disappeared for two hours. Just walked away. That was most definitely not the "right" thing to do, but it made so much sense. He had just had a flood of information that was a little bit filled with some unstable elements, it makes sense he'd need to get his head together.
Profile Image for Anna Kay.
1,318 reviews151 followers
February 7, 2015
Lizzie Best is only living one-third of a life. She goes to school for the first half of the day, her sister Ella for the second half and their other sister Betsey does all the extracurricular activities, goes to their college class and works their job. They are all living under the name of a single girl, Elizabeth Best, because they aren't just any identical triplets. The Best sisters are really clones, who are being raised by the woman who agreed to carry them and couldn't bear to have any of the embryos destroyed. When she found out that her employers were planning on terminating two of them, she ran away. Since they were little they've all been living as Elizabeth. But Lizzie is starting to feel stifled and angry with her meager third of a life. Sean Kelly comes into her life and Lizzie starts to fall in love for the first time, making her less and less able to believer everything her Mother tells her without question. And when she starts to uncover some shocking and potentially life-changing secrets, it's up to Lizzie, Ella and Betsey to make the right decision about who to trust and how to use their newfound information. In the end it'll be enough to transform life as they know it.

I absolutely adore Cat Patrick! I have been reading her since Forgotten was first published in 2011 and loved her second book Revived just as much, in it's own way. Every time I pick up one of her books I know that I'm in for something thought-provoking and completely different from all the other books I've read so far that week/month/year. This, her third novel, was no exception to that feeling, But I do agree with some readers that it was a really character-driven book. Rather than being focused on the possibility of the clones/triplets being kidnapped and used as guinea pigs, this book is more about the moral and individual need to be someone of your own making. Lizzie especially demonstrates this theme, through her struggles to gain an identity outside of her sisters. Probably my least favorite aspect of this novel was that the romantic interest between Lizzie and a boy in her class, Sean Kelly, is what triggers her rebellion and outright disobedience to her Mother. All because Mom decides that they boy the girls can 'date' is Ella's crush, David.

The relationship between each of the sisters with one another were very realistic in regards to how siblings really treat/feel about each other. Betsey, Lizzie and Ella all have personalities as distinctive as their situation will allow. The plot did suffer from all the character-centric development and issues though. I felt like the action mashed together with the love story didn't exactly mesh, because each of them were fighting to be the dominant focus of the book. The government trying to capture the triplets wasn't even an issue till pretty much the very end of the book and even then it's wrapped up so neatly that it feels like there was never any real conflict. Conflict is the element that was definitely absent from the majority of this book (at least on a larger, more deadly scale of measurement. Cat Patrick definitely knows how to write a page-turner, but I feel like Forgotten had the perfect balance of plot and character development, but she hasn't achieved it since then. It's the Three-Bears Syndrome. This porridge is too hot, this porridge is too cold. Hopefully her next book will be just right. Until then I would say that overall this was an interesting read especially when spotlighted as a family issue/coming of age story. As a sci-fi book, not as much. I would recommend it to people who want something entirely different, with fresh concepts though.

VERDICT: 3.5/5 Stars

**No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,452 reviews896 followers
Read
April 27, 2013
The Originals begins with a simple and compelling premise that even a non-scientific layperson can grasp right away. Imagine being a clone, one of three identical sisters. You were created illegally and the authorities may be aware of your existence, so you and your sisters have to hide. You have to share one life, to take turns being one person. Nothing is ever your own. You have to agree with your sisters on what to wear every day, how to fix your hair, who you can be friends with.

Lizzie, the POV character, loves her two sisters and trusts her mother, who insists that the bizarre rules she has set up are to ensure the girls' safety. And yet, Lizzie longs for what many teenage girls want: to matter to someone. To feel unique and special. To start being independent. Under the rules she has to follow, Lizzie's growing relationship with Sean can never be something that is hers alone … or can it?

I loved the fact that The Originals explores classic YA themes: identity and independence, first love, and sibling affection and rivalry. I recently described the book to someone as "Sci-Fi Little Women." At times I felt the book did struggle a bit balancing a scientific premise with a character-driven plot, and true sci-fi fans might wish for a few more details.

The heart of The Originals is really the girls' struggle to break free from their strange and restrictive life. There is also suspense surrounding the (presumably dead) child that the sisters were cloned from, the illegality of their creation, and the whereabouts of their biological parents. By the end of the book, not all of these issues are fully resolved. It seems to me that The Originals reads like a standalone, though I could definitely see the potential for the story to continue.

If you like the idea of YA sci-fi with a heart, I definitely recommend The Originals. It's a love story, it's a story about sisters, it's a story about finding one's place in the world.

Read the full review and find more great books on my blog,YA Romantics


*I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher for review*
Profile Image for Sunnykimmy.
127 reviews37 followers
Want to read
April 19, 2012
Now this sounds epic! I love this author. She manages to blow me away with unique and epic sounding books every time. Loved Forgotten, can't wait for Revived and now this one :).
Profile Image for Sharon.
541 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2019
The author is the mother of twins so it’s all the more interesting that she chose to write about triplets. Three identical girls who the outside world knows as one person — Elizabeth Best.

As the narrator, Lizzie is the sister we get to know best. At the high school where each sister attends a part of the day, Lizzie is the one who is good at creative writing and not so much at math or science.

When she meets Sean Kelly and is taken aback that he really notices her, Lizzie’s transformation from triplet to individual makes for some amusing and also highly tense moments.

The story flowed well until the end which got a little too far fetched with the mom character and her mystery friend.

Still, I liked the originality and Lizzie’s quest for answers even if the whole genetics thing was way beyond my comprehension.
Profile Image for Taschima.
854 reviews390 followers
June 24, 2013
"Until then, I'd thought I was a triplet.
Little by little, it all came out after that.
And now, little by little, I'm starting to wish I could send it back to wherever it came from."


Would it be cheesy for me to say that The Originals was very original? Because it really was. The whole concept was unprecedented, at least I've never read anything like it. At the beginning of The Originals the concept was a bit disorienting and hard to buy but the author certainly made it work and answered all questions I had when it came to the "triplets" life schedule since they had to pretend they were ONE person. Yikes, that sounds like a headache. And what happens when they get a crush? Or when someone notices their differences? Or when they get tired of being the same person? Well, the novel answers all these questions and more.

"She's told us the story a lot, but only since we moved to California. Before then, it was all innocence and bliss. After we fled Florida, she told us about her work at the genetics lab that was secretly cloning humans while the rest of the world was getting excited about a cloned sheep."

Elizabeth Best is the model student. She gets straight As on Math and science, she is on the cheering squad, is a great writer, dances fantastically, takes night classes to get ahead of the game, and has an extra job. She sounds pretty perfect doesn't she? Elizabeth Best is also composed of three very different people—Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best. They look exactly alike, and yet are completely different. Lizzie is very dramatic and creative, Ella is the brains/the reason they get all As in science and Math, and Betsey is a firecracker and a free spirit. They all seem to be okay with the way their lives are ran, controlled, until Lizzie and Ella do the impossible and start crushing on different guys from school, David and Sean. Soon enough they will start to realize that their way of live needs to change in order for them to really live.

I enjoyed the dynamics of the relationship between the triplets. They could be mad as hell towards each other, but they always found a way to get over their issues. And they were so different! My favorite wasn't even the protagonist, Lizzie, instead my favorite was Betsey. I felt like she was the one we read about the least but she was so adamant about helping her sisters live their lives, and she was so passionate... I wouldn't mind reading a novella about only her. Lizzie, our main POV, is also a nice girl, though at times I thought she overreacted and was too dramatic for her own good.

"I wake up at midnight, heart pounding and sweating, distressed after a nightmare about Sean marrying Natasha. Rationally, I know we're teenagers and no one's marrying anyone, but when in the dream he turned and looked at me from the altar and said, "This could've been you," it felt like the worst thing that's ever happened to me."

I still liked reading the book from her POV, specially since we get to date Sean Kelly.

"His chin and mouth are sharp; his nose looks like it started out perfectly straight then met up with a tree or another guy's shoulder at some point. His hair can only be described as a side spike, like he stood sideways in front of a fan blowing hairspray instead of air. He's tall and towering even seated, watching me curiously with light brown eyes. Just as I decide that he looks like the daytime alter ego for a nighttime superhero"

description

Yeah... that cute! To top it all he is creative and yet not tortured but sweet and trustworthy. And he READS!

"What do you do after school?" I ask, a little snippily. He laughs.
"Whatever," he says. "Hang out with friends. Read. Play games. Write a little. Sometimes I take pictures."

He is very... charming. As in I imagined him being the cutest ever, sexy too. He helps Lizzie "out" herself, and he gets along with her sisters. I fell in love with him a little, he is the whole package.

While I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the lives of the triplets and really got into the story I can admit the ending was a bit... unimpressive. I enjoyed it, but it didn't shock me. I really did like how Sean stuck around through it all though!

Very cool story. Now I need to read more books by Cat Patrick! Another really cool thing about this title? Stand alone! It doesn't really need the sequel, though I am not opposed to a novella from Betsey's POV! Great read, add it to the pile.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
April 25, 2013
3.5 stars

Ella, Lizzie and Betsey make up one person. Elizabeth Best. They may look like triplets but they're actually clones living in hiding. Their overly obsessed protective mom makes them live a life as one, so the girls separate their days by thirds. That is, till Lizzie did something unthinkable. She fell in love.
The girls are so use to their every day routine that they wouldn't even think twice about changing it. But when Sean looked at Lizzie in a way that made her feel alive and noticed for the first time in almost 17 years, her heart started to want something more. But if three people are suppose to live one life, dating seems like an impossible task. But as the story moves on, it becomes bigger then stolen kisses and sneaking out. It's a story about science, identity and the ultimate truth.

The Originals is a pretty fun and even cool concept. Cat Patrick is a great writer and I liked the general story line. I liked the girls and thought their everyday life was fascinating, completely insane, but fascinating none the less. It was really neat and a bit twisted to see the girls shuffle their day to day routine and accept it with perfect ease. That is till they started to want something more.
In the beginning, I had a hard time trying to wrap my head around the why's. Why live this way? Why as one person? Why not as triplets? And I started to really resent the mother for putting science in front of her daughters happiness. As the story moves on I thought the answers would make it all come together, and in a way it does, but it felt a bit...lacking and a little disappointing. Like the punch wasn't enough to make a huge impact. I still liked the plot concept, mind you, but I think I was just expecting more.

With that said, I still really liked the girls and thought they carried the story quite well. This was told in Lizzie's pov, but it was easy to connect with the other girls, Ella and Betsey, as well. Patrick did a good job giving them all individual voices and personalities. I liked their bond and close connection. They share something incredible and unique, but they also fight and support one another like true sisters do.
But I think my favorite part of this book would be the sweet-as-sin romance. Patrick really nailed that awkward beginning stage in relationships. Where everything is still unsure and sweet and adorable.
I really liked the way Sean reacted to Lizzie's predicament. Constantly worried about her for her and for himself. It felt realistic and I was relieved that someone was at least concerned enough to ask the right questions. But I also liked the way he never gave up and supported Lizzie and her sisters till everything was said and done. Their swoon-worthy moments were the most entertaining part of the entire story and if I'm being honest is what really made me want to finish this till the very end.

Bottom line, this turned out to be a fun fast little read. I didn't find it very mysterious or thrilling or even suspenseful. But it has a lovely romance that made me smile and captures some wonderful sisterly moments. A decent read, perfect for laying around on a warm sunny day.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,326 reviews1,017 followers
May 26, 2013
Lizzie, Ella and Betsey may look like triplets but in fact the three of them are all clones created illegally by scientists in a genetics research lab. Their mother was the egg donor and gave birth to them but their DNA was all copied from another child. When she found out that two of her babies would be destroyed their mother ran and the family have been in hiding ever since. Worried that they will be discovered she has become obsessed with protecting the girls and she insists that they pretend to be only one person. Each girl gets a different part of the day when they are allowed to leave the house, Ella gets mornings, Lizzie gets afternoons and Betsey gets evenings. At all other times they must remain in their isolated house being home-schooled in the lessons that only one of them gets to actually attend. They must juggle friendships, act the same, dress the same and never, ever be seen in public together.

Cat Patrick always comes up with such unusual stories and I wanted to read The Originals from the minute I read the synopsis. I have no clue where she gets her ideas from but her books always make you think and that is one of the things I love about them. It was really interesting to see how different each of the clones was to each other. Although they are physically identical their personalities are very different, they all have different strengths and weaknesses and they don't agree on anything. In a lot of ways they are like any other sisters, they have their arguments and disagreements but they always have each others backs. Unfortunately because they have to pretend to be one person they have more clashes than most, it can be difficult for them to even agree on their outfits for the day or what to do with their hair. I felt so bad for them the way their mother controlled everything about their lives and the more you learn about her behaviour the more worrying it became.

I can't really talk too much more about the plot for fear of spoilers but I will say I loved the way Sean handled things when he found out what was going on. The relationship between him and Lizzie developed a little too quickly for my taste but he was such a sweet guy and he was so determined to look out for Lizzie and her sisters that you have to like him. The majority of the plot revolves around how difficult it is to have three very different girls pretending to be one person. I had expected more danger, especially when you realise that the mother stole the girls from the lab, but I enjoyed Lizzie's voice and getting to know the girls. The stakes are raised when Lizzie meets Sean and becomes determined to find a way to date him. She starts to realise that her mum is keeping secrets and the girls have to work together to find out what is really going on. There were some interesting twists from that point onwards, a couple that I'd made pretty good guesses at but others that took me completely by surprise. The Originals is a great story, one that raised questions I'm still thinking about days after I finished reading it. I already had Cat Patrick on my auto-buy list and I can't wait to see what crazy idea she comes up with next!
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,460 reviews290 followers
March 11, 2014
Very cool concept. I'd have liked it more if the author gave it a little hint of suspense. I read it in four hours, tops - which goes to show that it had me by the nose, regardless.

Quick Story:

Clones, Lizzie, Betsey, and Ella Best have lived a third of their lives since they've learned they weren't triplets. They were a product of the only successful cloning hidden from the world. Every day, they take turns in living the life of one Elizabeth Violet Best; which was working for the most part, until Lizzie meets Sean Kelly.

All of a sudden, Lizzie feels cheated; that she hasn't lived a life she really wants. When the complication of living one person's life in three bodies arises, the sisters start breaking the rules set by their mother. Rules that were created to protect them became their shackles. They start doubting the real reason why they couldn't come out as triplets as they did when they were kids. Little by little, the seeds of doubt sprouted budding leaves of lies that will ultimately reveal who they are and the truth about their own mother.

My Thoughts:

I've always had this preconceived notion that clones are like robots; automatons who can't think for themselves but for what they were initially programmed for. In this respect, the sisters can be likened to those machineries. They did what they were told without questions. It all changed when the heart (and hormones, for that matter) became part of the equation.

I have to admit that I was plagued with questions in the beginning. It started to irritate me that they would live this way when they could easily pass themselves off as triplets. But as I delved deeper into the story, I grew to understand why: they were essentially on the run because they were technically stolen genes. So my first thought was that they will be chased; that there'll be some bad people who would try to find them, take them hostage and study them under a microscope and a petri dish. Unfortunately, there were no suspense here. No chases, no men in black. There was a woman, and that was it. Even that turned out to be nothing. Sigh.

The mother gave me the impression of having some hidden agenda from the get go; that her purpose for totalitarianism-like upbringing holds a different meaning other than for the girls' protection. In the end, I wasn't placated. Much like Lizzie had some lingering doubts.

I really think this book could've used a bit more thrills. I was hooked to the story but it was lacking, somehow. The revelations were anti-climactic, and to be honest, I couldn't even gather enough "care" in the world to be disappointed.

My opinion? Read it; not for the story itself but for your chance to meet Sean Kelly: the Clark Kent in disguise if Clark Kent fronts an indie band. So dreamy.
Profile Image for Samantha (A Dream of Books).
1,139 reviews92 followers
May 26, 2013
Cat Patrick is one of my favourite authors. I would read literally anything she writes. This is her third book and yet again she does not disappoint with an original plot which throws up plenty of ethical questions for readers to consider. In 'The Originals' the story centres on three girls who give the appearance of being sisters but are actually clones. What I loved about this was that Cat never takes the story too far into the realms of science and although this is touched upon, the girls are very much just like you and me and the plot is strongly grounded in reality.

Lizzie, Ella and Betsey are the three girls who have been kept secret for their whole lives. Only allowed to each live a third of a day, they take it in turns to be seen out in public. Nobody knows that there are three of them until Lizzie meets Sean and everything changes. I loved each of the girls. They may be clones but they have very different personalities and never came across as carbon copies of each other. They are extremely close and share an extremely unique bond, but you never forget that they are individuals too.

Lizzie is the focal point for the majority of the book, as events unfold from her point of view. She seemed to be the most headstrong out of the three and she is the first to really begin to question the existence that they are living. I felt like I got to know her much better than either Ella or Betsey who don't feature quite as prominently. The three of them have been content to follow the rules and do as they are told, until the growing relationship between Lizzie and Sean acts as the catalyst for them to seize control of their lives.

The science side of the story is explored but never in a great amount of detail. The girls are always portrayed as much more than just a scientific experiment; they are living, breathing human beings. Some of the ethics around the issue of human cloning are addressed and I found this an intriguing and interesting aspect of the book. It's left very much up to the reader to decide where they stand on this controversial issue.

The ending was brilliant and featured a quite unexpected twist which threw me for a loop. I never saw it coming at all! I adored 'The Originals' which was a stellar read and I'm beyond excited to see what Cat Patrick will end up writing about next.
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