“You’re not supposed to exist.”

“You’re not supposed to exist.”

Emma Semus, Guest Writer

“Replica” by Lauren Oliver tells the unforgettable story of Lyra and Gemma. Lyra, a human clone, was created and raised in Haven institute, a seemingly harmless research facility. In truth, Haven secretly produces thousands of human models, or replicas, to study and observe. After an attack on Haven, Lyra manages to escape with the male replica known as 72. Flip the book around and turn it upside down, and you read the tale of Gemma, a teenage girl who has been in and out of hospitals all her life. After a spring break trip goes awry, Gemma runs into the two escaped replicas from Haven, and everything she thought she knew about her life is obliterated.

“Replica” skillfully explores the ideas of individuality and identity. As Lyra and Gemma both grapple with shocking revelations about who they truly are, they begin to question what they have always been taught about humanity. What does it mean to be human? Is it really our DNA that determines our identity? Instead of merely answering these pressing questions, ¨Replica¨ instead presents them to the reader, delves into the many possible answers, and forces you to contemplate them.

One of the most magnificent things about this book is the message of individuality it sends. “Normal,” said Gemma’s best friend to her, “Is a word invented by boring people to make them feel better about being boring.” In a world where teens are constantly pressured to change with the popular crowd, this is a vital message that makes the book so much more real. It’s not just a cool sci-fi book, it’s a book about finding yourself, loving yourself, and sharing that love with the world. Above all, “Replica” is a story of love. It exhibits the miraculous compassion humans can show to complete strangers and the everlasting love of a parent for a child. It showcases the power of love in the face of danger and the power of one person who cares to change the world. Oliver beautifully weaves the two narratives together into one enthralling tale. No matter which way you turn it, ”Replica” is extraordinary, and Gemma and Lyra will stick with you long after you leave the page.