Review: Replica (Replica #1) by Lauren Oliver


Title: Replica
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 10/4/16
Length:   544 Pages
Series:  Replica #1


Two girls, two stories, one epic novel.

From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica contains two narratives in one: Lyra’s story and Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey.

Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. 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.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her 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 replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Using hotlinks in this electronic edition, readers can decide how they would like to read the book, as with the print version. They can read the story of Gemma or Lyra straight through first, followed by the other girl’s story, or they can move between chapters in Lyra’s and Gemma’s sections. No matter how it is read, Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

My Thoughts

Well, let’s just say that our author is quite creative and has this ability to write a story that’s quite interesting.  She’s done it again here like she has with Delirium in the past, however this time there are a lot of contemporary references that make it just about realistic enough that we can all believe that it’s present day.  While we’ve become accustomed at this point to read dystopian stories with alternating chapters in various character’s POVs, Ms Oliver has taken things one step further in this one where we have the option to either read the chapters in alternating patterns so that we can see what’s going in at the same point in time for both Lyra and Gemma, or we can read their entire stories as one thread per character.  I chose to alternate them since i felt like there were going to be bits that intertwined as the story got more complex and i think that was the right way to go.

We find ourselves in what could be characterized as present day – there’s nothing that makes you think otherwise so we’ll go with that.  We meet Lyra who’s a replica on Spruce Island, at a place called Haven where replicas are made as a means for some type of research – which we don’t quite know what that is just yet.  Her life has been planned out since she was birthed, doing whatever it is that her crop and herd are supposed to do at Haven just to survive.  We come to know that replicas know what they are – that there’s no secret there, and that sometimes they get sick and things go wrong and they die.  she’s seen that happen time and time again.  It’s when she comes in contact with a few nurses or doctors that treat her like she’s more than just a manufactured product that she starts to wonder what else is possible for her – and that’s a wonder that’s very dangerous.  A male replica tries to escape and the entire island goes on lockdown since Hvaen is a secret that can’t get out.

Then on the other side there’s Gemma – she’s an interesting chick.  She’s your typical teen with overprotective parents, a bit of her own self issues (she’s a bit heavy) and she’s grown up with a lot of illness etc to get through.  Her father interestingly was the founder of a phrama company that was somehow linked to this Haven place that she learns about, and you know what happens next.  When a teen who’s been kept under lock and key finds a whiff of something interesting, things get turned upside down.

So this story, both actually take us on a journey for both girls where they try to uncover the truth about what’s going on while also trying to come into their own and survive.  Thier paths cross early on when Gemma stumbles upon Lyra and another replica that looks exactly like Gemma (just the skin and bones version).  To see how these two girls from very different background figure out how to trust one another and how to work to get not just off the island but to somewhere safe is a great coming of age story.

Throughout this introduction to the series, we’re giving teases and hints of what prompted the creation of Haven and what their original motivation was.  Gemma keeps getting these flashback type memories of her father being with all these powerful influential people when his company was thriving, and then he was in a long drawn out court case right around the time that Haven was created.  So there’s a lot that’s being kept hidden and a lot that no one wants to ever come out – so it’ll be interesting to see not only how much Gemma is able to uncover through the help of Jake and the replicas, but what her parents will share.

On the flip side, we have the bits of what Lyra knows of her existence, and why she was created.  She has paired up with a male replica when leaving the island, and we see how they are slowly becoming ‘human’ in the sense of trying to develop their own memories and emotions and figure out life.  That’s something that i think that all teens go through, so to see how being stunted based on what you have always that you were makes this even sweeter.

Where we are left at the end of this first installment is a place of wonder.  We know that there are a lot of people hunting for these four and they won’t give up until they are found and probably killed since there are intensely important secrets that have to be kept that way.  There was also mention in one of the chapters that Haven isn’t the only camp like it, so i wonder what that will mean for the coming installments since i think they hinted at Texas being another.  Will see see Gemma’s father get involved or has he always been involved?  his traveling all over the place makes you wonder right?  I think that it’ll also be interesting to see how the replicas acclimate to being ‘human’ and how the humans acclimate to being replicas.  Definitely a lot to think about but i can’t wait to see where this story goes.  Have a great rest of the day all!

Review: Raven (Delirium #2.5) by Lauren Oliver


Title:  Raven
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 3.5/13
Length:  46 pages
Series:  Delirium #2.5


As a teenager, Raven made the split-second decision to flee across the border to the Wilds, compelled to save an abandoned newborn—a baby girl left for dead and already blue from the cold. When she and the baby are taken in by a band of rebels, Raven finds herself an outsider within a tight-knit group. The only other newcomer is an untrustworthy boy known as the Thief until he finally earns himself a new name: Tack.

Now she and Tack are inseparable, committed to each other, the fledgling rebellion, and a future together. But as they both take center stage in the fight, Raven must decide whether the dangers of the revolution are worth risking her dreams of a peaceful life with Tack.

As her story hurtles back and forth between past and present, Raven transforms from a scared girl newly arrived in the Wilds to the tough leader who helps Lena save former Deliria-Free poster boy Julian Fineman from a death sentence. Whatever the original mission may have been, Raven abides by a conviction that she believes to her core: You always return for the people you love.

By turns surprising, revelatory, and poignant, Raven’s story enriches the Delirium world and resonates with a voice that is as vulnerable as it is strong.

My Thoughts

As you’ll all remember from Lena’s time in the Wilds, she was ‘close’ to a girl named Raven who became a force to be reckoned with during those tough times.  what we have here is the snippet into Raven’s life – how she fell in love with Tack, and how a secret that we didn’t know in the main story came to be – and how Raven found out.

the point in time of this novella is just about when Julien is about to be operated on / killed and Lena’s going in to save him as part of her role in the Resistance.  Raven goes with Tack on a recon mission to get Lena and of course comes back with Julien as well.

We get a peek though into how Raven actually is a bit human and maybe not as hard as she comes off in the big series.  You begin to understand a bit more as to why she is how she is and it’s sweet.

The other bit is the teaser into the ‘Boy from the Crypts’ who had just joined them.  Of course no one knows that it’s Alex – the boy from Lena’s past and i think that it’s a good segue into the point in the story where he does pop up, just when things with Lena and Julien are about as confusing as they can be.

On that note – happy saturday all!

Review: Alex (Delirium #1.1) by Lauren Oliver


Title:  Alex
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 11/25/14
Length:  49 pages
Series:  Delirium #1.1


This captivating digital original story set in the world of Lauren Oliver’s New York Timesbestselling Delirium series focuses on Alex, Lena’s first love.

When Alex sacrificed himself to save Lena, he thought he was committing himself to certain death, but what he got was almost worse. Imprisoned and tortured by the guards, his mind forces him to relive a past he would rather forget. But in the dark he grows stronger. Both hopeful and terrified, he fights to find his way back to her and the love he still clings to.

In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will learn of Alex’s time after the events of Delirium, as well as the dark past that he has tried to forget.

My Thoughts

I don’t know why it’s taken me soo soo long to read this one but it’s cute.  That’s about all i can say about it.  You’ll all remember what happened after Lena and Alex try to escape and they are getting over the fence and Lena makes it while Alex does not.  We know that he’s thrown into the Crypt and this novella picks up right around that time – when we’re seeing what he’s living in and then what happens when he’s broken out.

What i like here though is that you see that Alex always loves Lena and that she’s what’s keeping him going.  He’s definitely banking on her being alive to pull him through his imprisonment and i think that it’s something that is really good to see – especially knowing where the story has gone through the latter installments.

The frustrating thing that i find in these types of novellas is that we get teased.  they just aren’t enough because you don’t get a chance to see much depth.  you dont see what he’s really going through in all this and what’s deep in his head.  you also don’t get a lot of character interactions – but at least you see how the story progressed from this angle since we’ll really only get Lena’s in the 2nd book. On that note – happy friday!

Review: Requiem (Delirium book 3) by Lauren Oliver


Title:  Requiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins Publishers 3/5/13
Length:  267 pages
Series: Delirium #3


This exciting finale to Lauren Oliver’s New York Times bestselling Delirium trilogy is a riveting blend of nonstop action and forbidden romance in a dystopian United States.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway inPandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven. Pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.

As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana’s points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

With lyrical writing, Lauren Oliver seamlessly interweaves the peril that Lena faces with the inner tumult she experiences after the reappearance of her first love, Alex, the boy she thought was dead. Sophisticated and wide-ranging, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to a thrilling conclusion.

My Thoughts

You guys can only imagine how long i was waiting for this book to come out – i was sitting on the edge of my seat to get it and trying to get through my re-reads of books 1 and 2 so that i was fully up to speed with what was going on.  finally – 2 days ago i started reading Requiem and i’m not quite sure what i think about it.

So at the end of Pandemonium (book 2), Lena and Julian find out that they were pawns for Raven/Tack and the resistance.  it was known that they would be captured by the Scavengers who were working for the DFA (how backwards). ….so lena wasn’t very happy with the situation all around.  Amidst all this though, she found that she had growing feelings for Julian and started to develop their relationship a bit.  The challenge being that Alex still holds her heart and Julian was basically giving his to her.  Teenage Angst right?

So, at the beginning of Requiem, we’re at the camp where Alex is now part of the group, and there’s all sorts of uncomfortable ness going on.  Alex is hurt that he held on to the thought that Lena was waiting for him and when he walks in and sees that it’s not the case, he’s bitter.  Mind you Lena WAS holding on to the hope that Alex was some how ok yet she assumed he was dead since she saw him get shot and captured at the end of Delirium.  All that being said, lots of confusion and no one is happy.

So, throughout Requiem, we have the cooling off of the Lena/Julian relationship, the avoidance of Alex/Lena, and then a new girl comes along that steals Alex’s attention which pisses Lena off so then we have Alex/Coral.  Lena is quite jealous and that’s something that manifests itself throughout the story as well.

What i liked about this story though is that we go back and forth not between ‘now and then’ like we did in book 2 but between Lena and Hana since their stories are going on at the same time.  Hana’s been ‘cured’ and she’s slated to marry Fred Hargrove who is the new mayor of the town (his father was the old mayor but was killed in the Incidents).  In any event, Hana’s life isn’t as glorious as it once was…yes compared to material things it’s just as grand, but the cure didn’t work as it should and she’s not happy in her situation.  she’s also finding out things about her life and her match that are unsettling and cause her to re-evaluate just about everything.

As we go back and forth between the stories, i keep wondering if they will intercept.  i assume they will but the stories go on completely different journeys.  you learn things about each person that you didn;t expect and you get to see a bit more background of other characters which is nice.

While we’re watching things unfold in both worlds, we see that Portland is the meeting point.  The Resistance are planning an attack to breach the city that Lena grew up in and met Alex in, and Hana is still living there and is planning her wedding.  Things go down in Portland – that’s for sure.

To sum it up though, i’m a bit upset about how the ending netted out, and i’m wondering if there will be a book 4 since i think that the ending fell quite a bit short.


1) What happens with Lena/Alex?

2) What happens with Julian?

3) What’s next for Hana?

4) What about Grace/Bee?

5) what happens to Fred?  did he stay home like Hana asked?

6) really – what happens with Portland and the cities?  and what role will the resistance play in the future

Review: Annabel (Delirium Series Book .5) by Lauren Oliver


Title:  Annabel
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins Publishers 12/26/12
Length: 50 pages
Series: Delirium #.5


Lena’s mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery—a ghost in Lena’s past. Until now.

Discover her secrets in Lauren Oliver’s brilliant original digital story set in the world of New York Times bestsellersDelirium and Pandemonium.

Lena Halloway’s mother, Annabel, supposedly committed suicide when Lena was only six years old. That’s the lie that Lena grew up believing, but the truth is very different. As a rebellious teenager, Annabel ran away from home and straight into the man she knew she was destined to marry. The world was different then—the regulations not as stringent, the cure only a decade old. Fast forward to the present, and Annabel is consigned to a dirty prison cell, where she nurtures her hope of escape and scratches one word over and over into the walls: Love.

But Annabel, like Lena, is a fighter. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape.

My Thoughts

I had forgotten that this was going to be one of the smaller novellas off the series while we’re waiting for Requiem to come out, so it was a nice miss on my part.  mind you i had pre-ordered it, so it wasn’t a complete miss.

Something that i’ve come to really enjoy about Lauren Oliver’s writing style is that she gives us both the past perspective and back story on things as well as the current day POV.  It makes sure that we know why things happened as they did and maybe get a better sense of who these characters are.

So …Annabel – she’s Len’s mother if you don’t remember.  What we learned in the previous books was that we thought she had committed suicide.  That wasn’t the case – instead she was imprisoned because her ties to the part of society that wasn’t in agreement of ‘the cure’ and what was going on.  So…we find that Len’s rebelliosness comes from her mom – Annabel had in fact run away from home to escape what was going to be her fate…and this gave her a real taste of what life was before everything changed and of what it could be.

When we’re told in previous books that she had committed suicide…we’re led to believe that maybe she didn’t have the strength to care for her kids – and that she didn’t see things in them that a mother would.  As we read this novella though, we learn that it’s FAR FAR from the case.  I actually like annabel a lot more and it makes me happy that we’ve found that there’s a reconnection going on that will hopefully be continued in Requiem.

The nice surprises here are that we learn of the interesting pairing with her husband (Lena’s dad), and we learn that what society thinks happens once the cure is administered isn’t always the case.

The even better piece of this story is that there was an extended ‘trailer’ to Requiem at the end, so it was a tease for sure but now i really can’t wait to see what this next installment brings.

click covers and go to to buy!

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