Book Review: The Similars
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of The Similars by Rebecca Hanover at ALAAC in exchange for an honest review.
The Similars, by Rebecca Hanover
When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.
The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn't care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver's exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.
Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver's face.
I was hooked on this novel from the first chapter. The little details about the characters made them so real and easy to become emotionally invested in, and their relationships with one another were equally complex. The plot's overall concept of "what would happen if your dead best friend's clone showed up at your school" was intriguing enough; but on top of that, this book is filled with twists and turns that kept me flipping pages, desperate for answers. It was right up my alley with themes reminiscent of Harry Potter, Divergent, Uglies, and Dr. Franklin's Island (my kind of book!).
The one thing I didn't like so much was that the story gets very political at times, not in the way dystopian novels are supposed to, but referencing specific, current controversial issues in addition to the fictional ones that were appropriate to the story. This had the unfortunate effect of pulling me out of the book and back into reality. Nothing is more delightful than getting completely lost in a story, as I was with the majority of The Similars, so being derailed from time to time with the reminder that we don't all agree on current issues wasn't something I wanted in a weekend read. I'd rather focus on our similarities. ;)
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed binge-reading this book and look forward to a sequel!