I usually LOVE Lauren Oliver, but I was really disappointed with this book. Oliver’s novel tells two different stories that weave together into this one novel. Instead of feeling like one complete novel, it felt like two half told stories.
Oliver is a great story-teller and usually has unique ideas. This book revolves around something that I’ve never read before in YA. Although I really appreciate that, the literary elements were really lacking.
In Gemma’s Story (3/5 Stars), Oliver kept mentioning Gemma’s weight in a negative light. I’m not talking once or twice either, she did it like once every other paragraph. As a reader, I didn’t know Gemma at all, and listening to her constantly complain about her weight only made me want to slap her upside the head.
In Lyra’s Story (2/5 Stars), I disagreed with how Oliver wrote this character. Lyra just didn’t act like a real clone would, in my opinion (I mean, as real as a replica can be). Her voice felt too human, her emotions just didn’t seem to make sense or didn’t seem to care about anything. It just didn’t feel correct to me.
This character wasn’t very consistent either. Early in her story, Lyra was throwing up and getting dizzy and this randomly stops halfway through her story. She knows how to read and spell and knows a zombie is but couldn’t figure out how to work an Iphone. She also randomly knew how to read the stars.
Even though the two different stories revolved around the same idea, it just didn’t feel cohesive. I don’t understand why Oliver wrote this in two different stories because the story you read will spoil the plot twist for the other and vice versa, meaning there are no surprises this entire book.
I really tried to like this novel because I love Lauren Oliver so much, but this really just doesn’t feel like a completed book. It never felt like there was a huge climax and there was hardly any resolution in both stories. I have no idea where the next book in this series will go because I don’t see any direction. (You can find more about the second book here).
As of right now, I don’t recommend this novel, the second novel may change my mind though. I definitely recommend any of her books!