Author: Lauren Oliver

Grade: B-

It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine in books when you have a main character who is a little “overweight” or whatever and they constantly mention it. They can’t let it go. Like maybe it’s just me but if you’re jumping down the rabbit hole of a major, major conspiracy, wandering through marsh lands filled with alligators and being chased by killers, possibly military trained killers, are you really going to care this much about your thighs?

I wouldn’t.

Needless to say I wasn’t overly fond of Gemma’s narrative. Maybe I’m overreacting but she did spend a lot of time thinking about her thirty extra pounds.

Lyra is a replica made and raised at an Institute called Haven. Gemma is a young girl with a long medical history whose father was once associated with the people behind Haven. She joins up with a conspiracy theorist to find out what’s really going on out on the island. Be it aliens or top secret medical tests. Obviously there’s a lot more going on but I don’t want to give away spoilers.

The book comes with the gimmick that it’s two separate stories. You can read one and then the other or you can switch chapters back and forth. I do have to say Oliver does a good job of keeping the stories different enough. You get a couple of same conversations but obviously from a different point-of-view. I actually read Lyra first and thought that was the best one. Also I felt like one of the big reveals had more pull coming first in Lyra’s part. But that’s just how I read it so I can’t really say if it would have worked other ways.

It’s really heart-breaking the way the replicas are treated and how she just kind of accepts it. Lyra doesn’t really consider herself a person yet she also has memories and moments of kindness that she values. Her’s is pretty much the heart of the story. When you jump into Gemma’s hers is the brains (kind of) you do get some more answers about Haven.

Accepting this is probably supposed to be more of a character story there’s a couple of twists that add to the conspiracy that I had a hard time buying. Maybe I’m hopeful but I just don’t think anyone could have gotten away with what they were doing for as long as they did in this day and age. I also was a bit let down by the end. I just didn’t feel like it gave the closure that was needed, although that’s just me.

Recommend: 50/50 I didn’t hate it. It has some real problems along with some good moments but in the end I just wasn’t feeling it.

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