It’s Replica, and it’s Lauren Oliver’s latest. It’s 100% science fiction, though it’s the present-day plausible science lab-kind, as opposed to alien laser wars in outer-space kind. Lyra and Gemma are the characters. The novels is divided into two novellas, one from each character. You read each novella separately instead of switching off throughout the book. You can read the book from one perspective and stop. But why would you? Deepen your understanding by reading the other perspective.
I read Lyra’s first. She’s a replica (a.k.a. a clone, but they don’t like that word). She’s grown up in a laboratory guarded by soldiers. She only has a name because a rogue scientist treated Lyra more like a child than an experiment. She’s brave enough to sneak out of the lab one time in her whole life. As coincidence would have it, that’s the moment the lab is bombed in a domestic terrorist attack. She knows nothing of the outside world.
I read Gemma’s next, who is an introverted and sheltered wealthy teen. She’s become tired of watching from the sidelines when a stranger tells her he knows about a family secret. That’s the catalyst that turns wallflower into warrior. She marches into the unknown, and right into Lyra’s path.
Having read both, I’d definitely recommend reading Lyra’s first. You’ll get background necessary to understand what’s coming later in the story and you’ll get a bigger aha! moment.
It’s a fun read. So fun that occasionally I’d feel shocked by the serious nature of something that happened and I’d have to remind myself that my enjoyment of the plot was probably more whimsical than Oliver intended. I don’t know, I like adventures. Road trips. First tastes of freedom. But if I’d actually experienced anything that happened in the book, I’d need years of therapy to work it out.