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Replica #1


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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 learns 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.

520 pages, Hardcover

First published October 4, 2016

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About the author

Lauren Oliver

47 books119k followers
Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the president of production. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren's bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquired by AwesomenessTV; Before I Fall is now a major motion picture and opened in theaters March of 2017. The sequel to Replica, titled Ringer, is her most recent novel and was released October 3rd, 2017.

Her novels for middle grade readers include The Spindlers, Liesl & Po, and the Curiosity House series, co-written with H. C. Chester. She has written one novel for adults, Rooms.

A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver divides her time between New York, Connecticut, and a variety of airport lounges. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,569 reviews
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
853 reviews3,765 followers
November 11, 2017
This is one of the most fatmisic books I've ever read. It's blatantly harmful and never once challenged the fat shaming. It also has a good deal of thin shaming. I would really recommend avoiding this book if you've ever had an eating disorder. There are also microaggressions toward mental illness, and a trigger warning for self harm.

See my reading updates for direct quotes from the book and why I felt they were problematic. My thoughts on the fat rep are from experience, as I'm a fat reviewer. Maybe not everyone will share my thoughts, and I don't claim to speak for everyone. I'm also not telling anyone not to read the book, or that they can't like it. I'm mad at the book only, not the readers.

Underdeveloped characters. Bland romances. The format was completely unnecessary, as the story was told entirely in 3rd person and I don't see why the two sides of the book couldn't be combined chronologically to avoid all the backtracking and repetitive scenes.

The premise of the plot is better than the execution. There was one good twist, but the ending was so lackluster and the synopsis of the sequel doesn't seem like it will explore what I want it to, so I won't be continuing.

If you want to read this, I highly suggest using the reading order from Pretty Geekery (here: prettygeekery.com) as it flowed really well. At the very least I would recommend starting with Gemma's first 8 chapters (builds suspense, Lyra's side gives away everything from page 1) and ending with Gemma's last few chapters (it has an actual ending, Lyra's does not).
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews976 followers
November 4, 2016

Two girls, two stories. One epic journey for truth, friendship, family and love. Sounds quite intriguing, right?

Reality check: teenage drama, teenage hormones, teenage bitchiness, teenage love saves the world.

This book is - quoting: Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

Ambitious - yes, plenty of it. Thought-provoking - um, abs-provoking? I know it's not New Adult level, but Replica is very good at reclining from the main theme, diving into sexuality instead of sci-fi element it claims to have.

Lyra is the replica aka clone. Lyra is on the run. Lyra wants to punish men who did bad things to her and her friends. What Lyra does? Riiiiight, thinks about abs.

The soap Gemma had bought was lilac-scented and pale purple, and Lyra found herself thinking of 72, naked, washing with purple soap, and the urge to giggle bubbled up in her chest.

72 is the guy whose abs Lyra wants to ogle, by the way. Like, you just got out of the facility you were living your whole life in, you know shit about real life or what to do, but, of course, your first instinct is to fantasize about boys. Yeah, why not indeed.

Gemma is a human girl, whose father is somehow involved with the whole Replica business. She, of course, goes to look for answers. Shy, absolutely self-conscious about her weight girl, who never did anything radical in her life before, goes on a fucking adventure without planning what she's gonna do once she reaches her destination. Brilliant! Predictable. Of, course, a cute guy agrees to drive her there. What does the girl think about?

His lips were soft. He didn’t try and put his tongue in her mouth and she was glad. It was her very first kiss and she was nervous, too nervous to have to sort out whether she was doing it right or worry about opening her mouth and whether she was using too much tongue or too little.

Then she meets another cute boy and guess what?

Maybe she’d sit down next to him and he’d try and touch her thigh or force his tongue down her throat. Then again, she wouldn’t mind. If anyone was in danger of getting sexually harassed, it was probably him.

And more abs!

Then we have some slat-shaming of the best friend, because she was ogling Gemma's abs. Fuck you, my best friend!

“And who’s that?” Her eyes had landed on Jake. She looked as if she wanted to lick him. Gemma was surprised her tongue wasn’t lolling out of her mouth.

This is all so primitive, so juvenile. If I was reading a book about two teenage girls discovering the world, this book would've matched the profile, but I was promised a sci-fi book with EPIC fucking adventures! Plus the girls act like they have multi-personalities. At first, they investigate and mull about really serious stuff, and play - effectively - detectives. It takes quite a mature level of reasoning to do what they do, but the next moment stupid teenage drama kicks in, and we have four-year-olds in da style "show me you pennis, and I'll show you my vagina". Plus I am really bothered by the fact that - not only in this book - a girl can distinguish a guy's eye colour standing on the other side of the rode (jeez, I'd need kiber-sight to see shit from such distance), or seeing a stranger for the first time in her life, she notices every fucking detail about him: his nose, lip's shape, what he looks like under his shirt, hair colour - precise hair colour, mind you! Geez, I can't even remember one situation in my life when I was paying attention to so many features in a person I've only met five minutes ago.

And the ending is just epic. I get that there's going to be a sequel, and no real answers were given in this one. But if you read Delirium trilogy and remember how it ended, you probably know everything you need about Replica's ending

I tried, really tried, to read and like Lauren Oliver's latest books. But none of them managed to hold my attention or interest. Too much ambition, bad execution.

Bye, Replica!

Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,014 reviews1,051 followers
April 21, 2017
I have always appreciated Ms. Lauren Oliver’s writing and creativity. The inventive layout of her latest novel was enough to convince me to buy the book as I have never encountered a flip book until Replica.

Yep,just one book. Cool, right?

I decided to start with Lyra’s story just because I prefer blue over yellow (lol). To be an “it”, a replica, made at the so called "Haven" facility and be somehow content made me admire her character. I admit to not immediately liking her story because it started a bit slow but I’m telling you, do not give up on the book because it gets really good. After reading Lyra’s chapters, I admit I was shocked but at the same time I wasn’t very satisfied either. I thought there were so many plot holes and unanswered questions but these things are what Gemma’s story was meant for. ;)

Gemma’s story is one I really enjoyed from the very beginning and even though her and Lyra’s interlap at one point, it felt like reading a fresh new story, a whole new different world. Gemma’s story is complete with mystery, suspense and it even includes your standard high school drama. It reads more like a contemporary while Lyra’s was more sci-fi. It’s incredible to have two different stories converging at one point making a single unified meaning while managing to be everything at once-scientific, realistic, philosophical and most especially human.

I don’t think it matters which POV you decide to read first though. It’s entirely up to you. You could even read alternating chapters from each of the girls’ stories because however you decide to read the book, I’m pretty sure you’ll end up enjoying the experience.
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,239 followers
December 13, 2016
Monsters, they call us. Demons.
Sometimes, on sleepless nights, we wonder if they’re right.

I love what Lauren Oliver set out to do in Replica. She writes two books that can essentially be read on their own, but they ultimately enhance the experience if read them together as you’ll get more to the story. This format is perfect in this particular story as it focuses on the themes of individuality and identity in a world where there are clones, or human replicas (unbeknownst to the rest of the world).

Both stories promise to bring surprising revelations critically important to the other story meaning the way you choose to read this book could affect your reading experience. i.e. if you choose to read Lyra’s story in it’s entirety first and then read Gemma’s after. Certain revelations would remain unknown throughout the first story you read. OR if you opt to alternate chapters. Read one Lyra, then one Gemma. As secrets get revealed, you’ll experience a different kind of suspense because you’ll learn details in one that inevitably affect the other unbeknownst to them. OR you could only choose to read Lyra’s story or Gemma’s giving you a different experience as you didn’t read the other perspective given. Anyway, whichever route you choose to go I’m sure will be fine. I chose to alternate chapters.

I truly loved how Lauren Oliver wrote scenes in both stories where there were minor differences because everybody has different perspectives and experiences. No two people experience the same thing. When two reiterate something that just occurred, it’ll have minor variations. ….That idea is displayed in these pages. And only brings home that theme of individuality just a little bit more.
“Those girls are clones, Gemma. They lack brains.”

The replicas are kept at the Haven Institute, found on a highly guarded private island off the coast of Florida. They keep it locked and sealed up tight with armed guards. Haven is a top-secret research facility where thousands of replicas are born, raised, and observed. This is a mystery to the rest of the world leading to plenty of conspiracy theorists wanting to know what is kept on that military-guarded island.

Lyra is an experimental subject at Haven, also known as 24. She’s a very curious, inquisitive young lady since she’s been stuck in the walls of Haven. The institute is all she knows only learning what those inside the walls allow her to learn. Until an explosion on the island gives her and a boy known only as 72 a chance to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals all her life. She’s very sheltered thanks to her parents and is from a wealthy family. Gemma doesn’t understand why her father treats her the way he does leading to questions she only becomes more desperate to answer as she learns of a mysterious connection to Haven. Can you say secret road trip?

The stories become intertwined somewhere along the way, which only raises more questions for both Lyra and Gemma about the mysteries of Haven.

I’m undecided on whose perspective I actually enjoyed more. Lyra’s is fun with how innocent she is discovering the world for the first time. But in a way, Gemma’s is more relatable being from the typical world. The format is ambitious, but somehow leaves this feeling of disconnection. It is interesting how the repetition of certain scenes truly displayed the idea of individual perspectives, but this was a flaw at the same time for how it impacted the pacing of the story never really adding anything additional to it. In other words, it made the book slower and boring at times. I did find the format fascinating and intriguing, but I also wonder if the joke is on the rest of us and really she only wrote a dual-POV novel and then separated them. I'll have this thought when going into the sequel. There are a few big twists and secrets, as well as a satisfying ending that doesn't leave you hanging too bad. One side comment....if you've seen the movie The Island, wasn't this basically a YA version of that film? You could tell me it's the Haven institute in that movie and I wouldn't argue a bit.

Anyway, good book. I'm still trying to figure out if I would have found it as thought-provoking if it had been written in the more typical dual-POV format.
Profile Image for Heather.
379 reviews16.8k followers
June 7, 2017
What a ride! I really loved how the whole concept of this book & how you can flip it to each character's side and the story ebbs and flows perfectly!
I also loved the sci-fi element! Cloning and these replica's, so interesting! It makes you question how far we should go with new science and what really makes you human!
Will def. be picking up the sequel in the fall!

I am filming a book review on this so I can share my thoughts on it, how I personally read it and if I thought the stories truly intertwined and etc! Be on the lookout for it soon!

Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,690 reviews1,267 followers
September 23, 2017
Only 99p/$1.34 on Kindle at the moment!
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Replica-Laur...
US - https://www.amazon.com/Replica-Lauren...

(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“They’ve been experimenting on the replicas,”

This was a YA sci-fi story, about clones.

Lyra was an okay character, and I did feel sorry for her, her side of the story didn’t feel very well-fleshed out though, and once I’d read Gemma’s story, Lyra’s almost seemed a bit unnecessary.

Gemma was a fuller character, and I liked her story much better. We actually got a lot more explanation as to what was really going on, and things made more sense.

The storyline in this was about Lyra living on an island at some kind of facility where clones were grown and experimented on, and finding the chance to escape when an explosion blew the place up. Gemma’s story was about her finding out about the facility where Lyra was living, helping Lyra to escape, and finding out what her father’s involvement in everything was. The pace in this was pretty good though, and we did get a pretty major twist which was interesting.
As for the whole two separate stories thing, I think it’s a bit of a gimmick. The story would have been better had it been Gemma’s story, with some chapters following Lyra thrown in (I read Lyra’s story followed by Gemma’s story, which is how the eARC was laid out).

The ending to this was okay, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next book in the series.

7 out of 10
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,013 reviews1,405 followers
April 7, 2017
It is such a shame that I could not give this book a higher rating, as I found the ideology behind the conception of the story, as well as how the book was physically set out, to be both unique and interesting.

This story is told from the split perspective of Lyra and Gemma. Gemma is your average teenager, obsessed with how her peers perceive her and concerned over high-school dramas. Lyra isn't actually a human being at all, and is instead a cloned replica of an original person. She lives, along with the other replicas, on Haven Island. There she is subjected to testing and harsh living environments.

Gemma and Lyra's stories combine about a third of the way through their individual narratives. From this point, my adoration with the story quickly dwindled. What was originally an exciting concept, to lay the book out in two split sections, became a dull one. There were subtle differences in the plot that made each worth reading, but often the scenes overlapped and it just felt like you were reading the same thing twice over.

The focus of this book was on identity and it was interesting, at first, to note the subtle different ways two people could react to and what they could take from the same happenings. I appreciated what the book was trying to do, but, after a while, this felt dull and repetitive rather than exciting and innovative.

Also, if this book had continued to focus on the two original characters, it would still have managed to hold my interest. Instead, there were characters brought in, purely for added romantic drama, and this ruined any remaining affinity I had with the book. There were so many unnecessary characters and surplus drama when all I cared about was the central plot and the internal struggles of the protagonists. The extras felt like just that... extra. And not the good kind. For me, they served no purpose and I would have greatly preferred if this book had remained focused on the original and central topic of the concerns over identity, as well as the dystopian society being created, and continued to explore and open these themes up.

In all, I found this an inspired concept, but unfortunately, it was just not for me.
Profile Image for Valliya Rennell.
346 reviews229 followers
June 6, 2020
3 stars

"Monsters weren’t made, at least not by birth or fate or circumstance. Monsters chose to be monsters. That was the only terrible birth, the kind that happened again and again, every day.”

Replica is the story of two girls (Lyra and Gemma) who are connected through the Haven Institute. Lyra is subject number 24 in Haven. A replica. A clone. When one evening bombs go off and destroy her home, she is forced to flee alongside the male subject 72 when she meets Gemma. Gemma always led a sheltered life. One night she overhears her father talking about the mysterious Haven Institute and finds a connection between his old company Fine & Ives and Haven. In search of answers she travels to Flordia where she runs into Lyra and 72. On the run, will the girls find the answers they are looking for?

From what I understand, one of the main focuses for Lauren Oliver when writing this book was creating two separate narratives and making them into one book. I read this book through alternating chapters (starting with Gemma then going to Lyra). Personally I think this style worked very well. I also think reading the stories separately works very well. In this regard, I think Oliver succeeded in her vision. The gripe that I had had more to do with the actual story, not the format in which it was written.

I found that although I did enjoy the story enough, I just didn't care... about anything really. Finding out all of Haven's secrets was definitely interesting, but that happens around 1/4 of the way through and after that I just didn't really care. Neither Gemma nor Lyra were particularly interesting to me. If anything Gemma's side was a tiny bit more interesting because of her parents' involvement with Haven, but it was nothing extraordinary. Lyra I enjoyed more in the beginning because I found the way how she viewed the world to be peculiar and the execution original. But again, this goes away after the first 1/4. Then it was just kind of, not great, but ok.

This book has 520 pages when counting both Gemma and Lyra's stories. That is a lot right? I felt weird because at no point did I feel like it was dragging and the pace was good enough for me to not feel bored and to want to continue reading, but I felt like, in retrospect, nothing big really happened(???). Obviously there is plot, but I think the conflict is what is lacking. There are people who pose a threat, but they are very enigmatic. There is one instance where I thought the conflict was picking up , but 20 pages later it was already resolved. What this story needed was a good villain. Instead there was petty drama that was used to blatantly further the plot.

There is a lot of rushed romance here. I don't think that this book really needed romance. I wish the time dedicated to building "sexual tension" should have been dedicated to building up the people behind Haven and making them seem like an actual threat. Not. An. Enigma. I really hope that the next book fixes this, and I do believe it has the potential to do this, as I am predicting that the adults will get somewhat involved.

All in all, Replica is an ok book with a good execution of what the author was aiming for (I think). It definitely reads differently from anything I have read before and that is what is memorable about this experience. Other than that, I can't really say the story itself was anything special. (If I was rating plainly for the story it would be a 2 stars, but I am taking into account the goal of the author to write a sensible narrative in this 2-in-1 format).
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books329 followers
June 20, 2022
Interesting look at cloning and human experimentation from the perspective of two girls—one who has grown up in a lab as a human guinea pig, and another whose father is responsible for the experiments, and who is trying to figure out what exactly her connection is to the Haven Institute. Really good emotional exploration.

Profile Image for Asma.
196 reviews56 followers
May 23, 2016
If you had any doubts about REPLICA by Lauren Oliver, you can drop them. Because this book is wonderfully marvelous through and through. It's complex, it's different, it's mind-bending. It's everything you've ever wanted.

From the start, we're thrust into Lyra's world of hospitals and replicas, twisting in with Gemma's life of secrets. I read REPLICA alternating between Lyra and Gemma's chapters, which I believe lets us know more than reading each side of the story separately.

I loved how there are pretty much two stories in one book depending on how you choose to read it. It was incredibly genius of Lauren Oliver to be able to write Gemma and Lyra's story without spoiling the other, so that when combined you see their world in a greater aspect, but alone it's a shrouded mystery. It was pure epicness. And SO. WELL. DONE.

Lyra was the more intriguing of the two: her story and the way she perceived things was incredibly interesting. Her side of the story had more action and depth than Gemma's, which I think is mainly because Lyra doesn't know much about our world, so she ended up experiencing more.

While the ending did answer alot of important questions, I still feel like it was pretty open. Open endings may be nice, but this was too open for my tastes. Not a cliff hanger, but our characters' stories aren't fully wrapped up. Hence, the reason I didn't enjoy the ending as much as I thought I would.

If you had any doubts (like I did), throw them out. For REPLICA is indeed: One. Epic. Novel.

Full review to come on IceyBooks.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,386 reviews11.8k followers
October 16, 2017
A little better than I thought it would be.

Although "Never Let Me Go" this is not, the whole replica setup is fairly interesting. But, of course, the moral dilemmas of cloning are mostly forgotten to give space to romances. Which kind of grated because the span of the story is about 3 days, and both girls manage to fall in love with strangers anyway. Eh.

Only interested in how the duology ends if someone recaps the second book for me. Clones living on a scary compound hold my attention, kids in love on the run - don't.

P.S. The dual narrative is an ineffective gimmick. If you read one half all the way through, the second doesn't have any reveals left. People in our group who alternated chapters from both sides ended up liking it better, which begs the question - why not write it this way?
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,694 reviews702 followers
October 2, 2016
I really liked the idea of this story being told from two entirely different sides.

I started with Gemma and was instantly captivated. The pages turned quickly and I couldn't wait to see what was next. I also really enjoyed Pete and their scenes together. Even when they were in danger, Pete was taking care of Gemma.

The Lyra side wasn't as exciting to me. I did like her scenes with Caelum and how they were slowly figuring things out.

The mirrored scenes weren't a complete copy. My main complaint is that I wanted more from the story. Where each side ended was hopeful, but not really cemented.

Overall, it was an intriguing read that I think a lot of people will enjoy.

**Huge thanks to Harper and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for rin.
411 reviews490 followers
October 6, 2016
I liked the idea of a 2-in-1 book, but it only worked when MCs were separate.
I also liked the idea of the story, but overall, I can't say I enjoyed it. I also couldn't connect with characters, so I didn't really even care about them.
Not sure if I'm going to continue the series.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,003 reviews3,306 followers
November 18, 2016
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

They say there’s three sides to every story – and there’s three ways of reading Replica. With two stories printed on either side of the book, you can choose to read one story at a time, or alternate chapters between Lyra and Gemma, which is what I did.

Lyra is a replica who starts off life in a research institute, who has never known anything else. Being subjected to endless medical experiments and seeing countless peers suffer and die, I kind of thought she would be more traumatised or emotionally affected at her circumstances. However, despite her disturbing back story, Lyra kind of felt bland and boring. As she discovers the real world around her with the boy replica 72, she endlessly compares life to the research institute. She didn’t really have a strong personality and didn’t feel like a very believable character.

On the other side is Gemma, a girl who is searching for answers about her past which leads her to Haven, the same research institute where Lyra resides. Despite her insecurities with her weight and her swooning for the pervy Pete and later, the symmetrically pleasing Jack, there also wasn’t much personality to her. She thought about kissing and her crushes at the most inopportune times, like when a man is holding a gun to her friend’s head. Also it’s kind of weird feeling anything for a love interest who is constantly referred to as “Pervy”, but there you have it.

If Lyra is from the freaky dystopian future, then Gemma is more of a contemporary character who is struggling with her identity. Being the key selling point of the book, I was waiting for their storylines to converge, but when it got there, it was kind of underwhelming. Seeing the same situation happen in both of the characters point of views was repetitive and didn’t really give any useful deeper insight. As twists and secrets unfold while reading each perspective, I also felt like reading one side of the story first would spoil the other.

While I always find clones to be a fascinating topic, Replica doesn’t really delve too deep when it comes to them. I also didn’t like how the book lacked action despite a few dead bodies here and there and some explosions. There wasn’t much excitement while reading the story, despite a mild mystery as to what really happened at Haven. Upon reaching the end, I felt kind of disappointed like there wasn’t really a point to the story.

This isn’t the first time I’ve read a Lauren Oliver book – in fact, it’s the 5th one I’ve read from the author. Aside from Delirium, which I read at the peak of my dystopian phase, I’ve been disappointed with each and every one. Replica was no different and I don’t think I’ll pick up any of her other books after this. The books always end up focusing on a romance that I don’t really care about and bland characters with no personality. This is also the first book of hers that I’ve read that is set in third person perspective and it just didn’t feel natural, with a lot of “She did this, she did that, then she talked to this person”.

Even a pretty package and a cool premise couldn’t save Replica for me, with it’s bland characters, lacklustre plot and direction-less story. At over 500 pages, it’s quite a long book to be invested in and it really dragged out for me. While some people might enjoy the alternating chapters, I found myself to be quite disappointed when I reached the end.

I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
906 reviews166 followers
October 23, 2017
This is a hard book to rate. The alternating aspect is something I have no idea if I like or not honestly. I started with Lyra's story first then read Gemma's story. The beginning is rather slow but then picks up around the halfway point of Lyra's story. Around this part it sucked me in enough to enjoy Gemma's for the most part. I have book two of the duology with me right now so will read it by alternating POVs back and forth after each chapter to see if I like that more or less.
Profile Image for Cesar.
350 reviews235 followers
August 20, 2017
2.5 stars


There comes a day when an author you like writes a book you aren't fond of. This is one of those days, unfortunately.

I'm a fan of Lauren Oliver. I liked Before I Fall, the Delirium trilogy (Yes, I did like Requiem but a little miffed about the ending), and I even liked Panic, Rooms and Vanishing Girls despite their flaws. So when Lauren announced Replica, I was intrigued by it. And when I heard about the format it was written in, I was almost excited to read it.

However, Replica was a bit of a disappointment for me.


Replica is told from two perspectives, Lyra and Gemma. Lyra is a replica, a clone that was created for unknown reasons and lives with other clones at the Haven Institute. There, the replicas are observed by several doctors and the reason for it isn't explained to the replicas. Lyra never questioned her life until she starts to suspect something isn't right about a few things. Then there's an attack at Haven and Lyra and a male replica, number 72, escape and run into Gemma.

Gemma is just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. She's been in and out of hospitals for most of her life and wants to feel normal, not be this sick person. One day, after she is nearly kidnapped by some creep, Gemma discovers that her father had some connections to the Haven Institute. Her curiosity leads her to Florida where she encounters Lyra.

Both girls begin to discover what is really going on at Haven and with these answers, their lives are in danger.

The premise alone sounds enticing. You got clones and government conspiracy. It makes for a great book. Sadly, it wasn't what I had expected.


The Cons outweigh the Pros but I'll start with the Pros because while I didn't enjoy much of the book, there were a few things I did like.

- The mystery behind the Haven Institute. I do like a good mystery and the Haven Institute is one big mystery. I wanted to know just what the hell is going on in that building.

- Plot. There were parts of the book that was engaging and captured my attention. Parts of the book does have good scenes where there are conspiracies and some revelations.

Here comes the Cons.

- The characters. The characters fell flat for me for the most part. At the beginning of each story, Lyra and Gemma had the potential to be good characters. But as the story goes on, they didn't change much. There wasn't much of a gradual change within them. If I had to choose, I did like Gemma more than Lyra but I didn't care for either of them. They aren't bad characters, but they're not the best either.

- The writing. The book was written in 3rd person and while I do like 3rd person, it didn't do well for this book. Lauren is a great writer and an even better writer when she's writing in 1st person. Rooms and Panic are written in 3rd person, but I did like them, even with their flaws because of the characters. But for Replica, the writing hindered on the character development. I wasn't really that engaged with the writing. It was even bland at some parts.

- The format of the book. The book is written in an interesting way. On one side, you have Lyra's story and if you flip the book, you have Gemma's story. While it does seem like a unique way to read a book, it didn't do well for me. At the beginning, the format was good and done well. But as the story progresses, it begins to fall apart a bit. I get the idea of having two characters having different thoughts on one big event, but it became tedious and frankly a little boring at some parts.

I really wanted to like Replica. By no means do I think Replica is a bad book. It has it's moments. And while I did enjoy some parts, most of it was just not good. This brings up the question if I want to read the sequel, Ringer. And the answer is... yes. Why? Because I do want to know what's going to happen to the story and characters. Though my expectations will not be as high as they were for Replica. Also there's th fact that I hate quitting a series when I don't know if the next book will be better. And since Replica is a duology, I don't mind having to read 1 more book. I think I might read one story first and then start the other instead of alternating between both characters.


It was a bit sad to see that I didn't like a Lauren Oliver book. I liked her other ones even with their flaws. But Replica was just not for me.


In the end...


Thanks for reading my review!

Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,163 reviews1,300 followers
March 4, 2020
Full Review on The Candid Cover

4.5 Stars

When I first heard about this new Lauren Oliver book, I knew it would be nothing short of amazing. This is the story of a clone and a human, both connected to a disturbing human cloning institute. I would say that the way that this book is written is one of the best parts, since there are so many options. Replica is sure to blow your mind.

Replica is a story all about clones, human replicas. The story is told in two perspectives, a clone's and a human's. Basically, the institution where the clones are made is blown up, causing the girls' paths to cross. There is so much suspense as they try and uncover the true motive of the Haven Institute, and there are many plot twists. I found Replica to be kind of like Orphan Black, so if you are a fan of the show, you will love this book.

I really enjoyed the setting of Replica. Part of the story takes place in an institute full of clones. As if the hospital and the cloning wasn't eerie enough, the Haven Institute is located on an island and surrounded by armed guards. I found this to be perfect for Halloween and the fall season. All the secrecy really drew me in, and I found it hard to tear my eyes off the page.

What I really loved about Replica is the way it's written. The layout of the book is so original, since there are three ways to read: Lyra's side first, Gemma's side first, or alternating between the two. I started with Lyra's side for no particular reason other than it being on the front cover. I was totally expecting to read the same story twice, but I was pleasantly surprised to see two completely different sides. Somehow, Lauren Oliver has woven two girls from opposite backgrounds together in a way that makes perfect sense. Both sides have these massive plot twists that I never saw coming. You can never go wrong with a good old Lauren Oliver book.

Replica is a clone book featuring two very different girls. The story revolves around a creepy cloning institution, which is actually perfect for fall. I loved the way this book was written and would definitely recommend it, especially to fans of Orphan Black.
Profile Image for Jacquelyn.
444 reviews205 followers
February 7, 2017
I'm not sure I've ever been happier to have finished a book in my life. You may ask why I didn't DNF this? Truly, I don't know. I was buddy reading this with Audris so I didn't want to give up on it (even though she wasn't enjoying it either). However, about halfway through, I did start skimming and was paying little to no attention to the plot, characters, etc. I just did not care about anything in this book.

I've seen a lot of reviews mentioning how they enjoyed the aspect of having 2 different points of views. Normally, I enjoy books with multiple points of views but in my opinion, this added nothing to the book and the transitions were awkward at times. I enjoyed reading Gemma's more than Lyra's. Also, I wasn't really invested in the story so I didn't want to read 2 different points of views of which ultimately ended up being the same story.

Also, I have to mention the writing. The writing in this book was horrendous. I'm not talking about the style of the writing. I'm referring to the grammatical issues with this book and how awkward some of the phrasing was. Also, Oliver is a huge fan of dashes (-). There must have been hundreds in this book; it was ridiculous and very distracting after awhile. Here are some quotes from the book that I pulled that I had a lot of issues with and/or questions about:

"Nurse Cheryl - the name came back to Lyra suddenly, loosed from the murky place it had been stuck - Nurse Cheryl, nicknamed Curly for her hair, which corkscrewed around her face, buzzed them in."

What a choppy and irritating sentence. It just went on and on, elongated by dashes and endless commas. I could put this sentence into a quarter of what it actually is without losing any meaning and saving myself from a headache.

"This felt like being with Squeezeme, but more, bigger."

First of all, Squeezeme is the name for the blood pressure monitor. Super creepy name, what's the issue with calling it what it is? Or at least something different than Squeezeme.... And also, what is this wording? "But more, bigger?" WHAT? In my opinion, the writing in this book was awful and extremely distracting to myself as a reader.

Obviously, I'm in a minority with my opinion of this book. This book has endless 4 and 5 star reviews but I just don't see it. I bought this book with tons of excitement and confidence in it but it was all lost by the time I finally finished.
Profile Image for Rose.
408 reviews594 followers
October 5, 2016
3.5 stars. "You are mine and I am yours."

This book was really unexpected & unique in so many ways. The fact that it's split in half and can be read in like a million different ways felt really confusing to me at first, but it actually works PERFECTLY.

The only bad thing I can say is that I felt disconnected. The characters were likable, the story was intriguing, but I didn't love this.

At first I thought this was going to be a standalone and I was happy about that, but nope. It's a series at ANOTHER book I have to die waiting for.. sigh. But the ending left off at a good place, so I don't think it'll be too bad.

Profile Image for Kat ❅.
864 reviews74 followers
October 29, 2016
I found this book to be a little dry. I think lots of people were excited for this book because of the format where on one side is one girl's story and then you can flip it over for the other story. I think this is an interesting format but I read a book with a similar format called Sincerely, Sophie; Sincerely, Katie and I own a book called Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski who wrote house of leaves which also has a similar format, so this idea wasn't was new or exciting to me as it may have been to some people. As far as the actual story goes I thought it had a lot of potential to be interesting but I was often a little bored while reading it. None of the things that were supposed to surprise me every really did, I didn't think that either of the main girls, Gemma and Lyra, really ever had a chance to develop strong personalities which lead to me not really enjoying either of their characters. I read this book flipping back and forth after each chapter which I think did work fairly well and I really have no interesting in re-reading this book using a different method though someone else could choose to just read one side straight through and then switch to the next and I don't think much would be lost. I think if you do read it that way start with Lyra's side, just because I found her story to be more boring so it might be better to end the book on a stronger note and read Gemma's side second. There was also a lot of insta-love in this book and that is something I really don't like and the author also sort of included a love triangle so that is two different relationship tropes that I really do not enjoy crammed into one book. Overall I thought this was definitely an interesting concept for a book but I don't feel like the format added anything very interesting to the story and like I said I've seen books like this before. The switching perspectives weren't too repetitive or anything but it didn't add anything to the story either. I may read the next book in the series but this book didn't leave off on a cliffhanger or anything so I'm not dying to find out what happens next or anything. definitely just an average book.
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,548 reviews2,934 followers
July 8, 2016
* I was sent this for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Sadly, this book just didn't work for me. In this story we follow two viewpoints which have been separated out into two separate narratives. One is Gemma, a young girl from a privileged household whose only worries are being overweight and feeling left out. The other is Lyra, a girl in an institution where all sorts of medicines are regularly being tested on her. The two don't know each other, but they are linked later in the book so some passages of speech are repeated in the second half.

In terms of story, I just found this whole book incredibly predictable which meant that right from the start I didn't love it. Sadly, a lot of the plot is (in my opinion) given away by the title and the blurb and so going into it it's quite easy to guess what may happen. Although there are a few slight interesting moments, the majority of this book just really didn't work out for me, and when you add in an instant romance storyline...well I am afraid it lost me then...

On the whole I just found far too much of this to be predictable and unbelievable. I don't think the characters felt fleshed out, and I felt as though the world was just average. In terms of the dialogue and plot they are ok, but nothing more, and there were some elements which had clearly been added just so they could say it had x, y, and z e.g.

I wouldn't say that this book is one I thought I would love, but it's certainly a book which I didn't end up liking. I will give it credit in saying it's a quick read and easy read, but otherwise it just wasn't a book I liked at all really. 1.5*s
Profile Image for Zoe.
406 reviews931 followers
November 15, 2016

I've read five of Lauren Oliver's books so far, and each one I've come to the same inevitable conclusion: her writing is stunning and her premises are intriguing, but, to me at least, each of her books lacks that extra something that transforms it from good to great. Unfortunately, Replica is no different.

At it's core, Replica is the story of two girls: Gemma and Lyra. Lyra is a "Replica" - one of the clones created at the Haven Research Institute. When a fire breaks out at Haven, Lyra manages to escape. While escaping, Lyra runs into Gemma - a socially awkward teenager who is on a mission trying to discover the secret her father is hiding about the Haven Institute.

Though they're completely different from one another, Gemma and Lyra are both extremely relatable and well-developed characters. They're extremely easy to relate to and sympathize for, and their narrations feel extremely authentic as well. Gemma and Lyra's wonderful characterization adds an extra layer to the novel and does a great deal in making the story feel even more believable.

Ultimately, though, I was just hoping for a bit more. Yes, the story is interesting, but there was nothing about it that was especially memorable. Additionally, the romances all suffered from severe cases of instalove, which made it hard to enjoy them.

Despite its flaws though, it is still an engaging and entertaining read. While I feel that people who aren't avid readers will especially enjoy this story, more experienced readers will probably want something a bit more complex and intricate (to which I'd suggest All the Gifts by MR Carrey).
Profile Image for Charnell (Reviews from a Bookworm).
672 reviews400 followers
July 20, 2016
The format is fascinating and I loved being able to switch POV whenever I wanted. The story itself was just lacking and felt far too rushed. Two people's stories squished in one book means that this seems to move at warped speed, with all the dreaded things that can bring *cough* INSTALOVE *cough*. I loved the format, but the story was lacking.
Profile Image for Marketa.
109 reviews748 followers
April 18, 2018
Blbé období, blbý výběr. Navíc se to strašlivě táhlo.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,147 reviews249 followers
September 18, 2017
4.5 Stars
“They were born for the first time in their bodies. They were born together. They came together into the world as everyone should - frightened, uncertain, amazed, grateful.
And for them the world was born, too, in all its complexity and strange glory. They had a place in it, at last, and so at least it became theirs to share.”

This book surprised me in the best way. I’ve been getting into scifi more recently and the sequel is coming out next month, so I figured it was the perfect time to read this. But I was not expecting to become so emotionally invested in the characters and their story. Replica is a beautiful story that tackles what it means to be human and the power of choice and agency.

Things I Liked
I LOVED the parallels between Lyra and Gemma’s journeys. Both girls feel trapped and isolated as the story starts, but they start challenging their situations, desiring freedom and escape and taking control of their lives for first time in their life. Both girls really struggle with what’s “real” and defining what it means to be human. We see their identities redefined in front of their eyes as they uncover more secrets. We really see how Lyra and Gemma’s stories reflect and challenge the nature vs nurture dichotomy about what the “human” experience is in a way that was poignant and gripping.

Replicas were really creepy! The language used was so desensitized and cold and made me really uncomfortable, but in a way that made me sympathize with the Replicas. It was so interesting seeing how the replicas spoke and interacted with others, because they have absolutely no socialization beyond other replicas and unsympathetic doctors and nurses. Seeing Lyra and 72, her fellow escapee, interact with a world they know nothing about, and their uncertainty was such a humanizing moment for two characters who are constantly referred to as “it.” I also really liked seeing the different experiences between Lyra and 72.

I really liked the format of the story. It’s basically an alternating POV format, where we see from Gemma and Lyra’s perspectives - but more interactive. You can read Lyra’s chapters first, Gemma’s first, or alternate between the two. I read in a sort of weird alternating style: I read Lyra ch1, Gemma ch 1-2, Lyra ch2-3, Gemma ch3-4, and so on. Like I said, kind of weird, but it worked for me. And I read on an ebook which made reading alternately super easy, because there were links to the respective girl’s chapter and the end of each chapter. Even though there were 2 stories with their own distinct feelings happening simultaneously, it felt cohesive.

I really liked most of the supporting characters we meet. Pete is so happy-go-lucky and optimistic; he really brought some levity to the heavier mystery scenes. 72 has such a resilience and strength that I really connected to. He’s so determined to be more than a pawn of the Haven Institute and you can feel his struggle.

Things I Didn’t Like
Chloe was your typical teen mean girl bully, and the worst part was she was barely even in the story! It was just unnecessary petty drama and didn’t add anything to the story, except an unnecessary eyeroll or two.

I did end up liking all the romances in the story, but there was some insta-infatuation between a few characters that I didn’t really love. It provided some good flirty banter, but was also a little heavy handed at times.

This book really made me think: about lived experiences, socialization, nature vs nurture, and what it means to be human. I loved seeing Lyra and Gemma fight for themselves and each other, even when they were unsure and scared. Replica is definitely a book that will stay with me, and I cannot wait for Ringer to be released next month!

Trigger warning for mentions of self harm
Profile Image for Mollyvknize.
169 reviews353 followers
February 26, 2018
Ne, ne, ne, neee...! Já vám nevím, ale tohle bylo tak předvídatelné, jednoduché a k vzteku klišoidní, že prostě NE! Ten nápad - super! Různé úhly pohledu - zajímavý. Obálka - sexy. Jenže jako celek, to bylo fakt nic moc a vůbec mě to nebavilo :(
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