Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: science fiction
What did you like about the book? Gemma is an overweight girl due to her thyroid; she has gone through many hospital stays and operations. Girls at school call her “Frankenstein” and other horrible names. She has a best friend named April and a dog named Rufus. That’s about it.
Lyra is a clone who lives in a secret facility with hundreds of other clones. They are all different ages and ‘generations,’ females and males, who are experimented on for military purposes. They are assigned numbers, not names, and are treated as science experiments. She and a few of her roommates name each other after the stars and name the doctors, nurses and objects. They are not considered human.
Gemma goes on a road trip without her parents knowledge with a boy named Pete. He drives her to Florida and she goes to the secret facility with the help of Jake, a kid who is also very curious about the facility. There is a lot of action- Gemma and Jake eventually meet Lyra and 72 (a male clone who escaped the facility but couldn’t get off the island where it’s housed. Gemma helps them escape and hopefully to find answers to what is happening and why.
The ending has a twist that I could see coming but was still good. Oliver does a very good job writing this book which is split into two different POVs: Gemma’s and Lyra’s. You have to flip the book over to read the other girl’s story and you can do this chapter by chapter or you can read one story and then flip and read the other one. I chose to read chapter by chapter meaning I read chapter one of Gemma’s story and then chapter one of Lyra’s story. There was a lot of detail and suspense, love and awakening. Oliver is a very good writer and she is able to write different genres well.
Anything you didn’t like about it? nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? I would recommend this to young adults and adults who like to read young adult fiction. Those who like mild science fiction/thriller will really like this book. Some read-a-likes are Oliver’s other books“Before I Fall,” “Panic,” and her “Delirium” series even though they are totally different genres and ideas. The reader will have a good appreciation for Oliver’s diverse writing.
Who should buy this book? Young adult libraries and high school libraries
Where would you shelve it? young adult science fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? yes, if you like Lauren Oliver
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Laureen Cutrona, Townsend Public Library, Townsend, MA
Date of review: October 31, 2016