When six clones join Emmeline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class in this exhilarating and riveting debut by Rebecca Hanover.
Junior year just got a lot more cutthroat.
This fall, six new students are joining the junior class at the elite Darkwood Academy. But they aren’t your regular over-achieving teens. They’re clones. And they’re joining the class alongside their originals.
The Similars are all anyone can talk about: Who are these clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? And who is the madman who broke the law against cloning to create them? Emmaline Chance couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and it’s all she can do to get through each day without him.
Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA copy and one of the Similars.
Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, except she keeps getting pulled deeper into their clique. She can’t escape the dark truths about the clones or her prestigious school. No one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for with Oliver’s face.
“The Similars” is a science fiction novel about a girl who deals with grief after the loss of her best friend, Oliver. Little did she know that she would see a clone version of him in school, along with other clones of her classmates. The protagonist, Emma, wanted nothing more than to avoid these clones. But because her school seems to be hiding some secrets, she became involved with the clones in her school.
I thought “The Similars” was a plot-twisty sci-fi young adult novel but it didn’t seem unique as what one would have expected. Its side characters weren’t remarkable nor were they relatable. Emma was the only character that drew me in the story and for that reason, I ended up reading the entire book.
The plot twists, in my opinion, did not make the book an exciting page-turner. It was Emma’s determination to seek the truth about her school and the clones that made this book an enjoyable read. While there were moments when I rolled my eyes because I couldn’t agree with the decisions of the protagonist, Emma was a likable character (in general).
My least favorite part had something to do with the development of the romance. I thought the romance wasn’t compelling, nor there had been any chemistry between the characters. The enemies to lovers trope was awkwardly constructed. I’m not sure how to explain this without giving major spoilers away. The gist of it was that the romance was a love at first sight with a bit of “10 Things I Hate About You.” It just didn’t seem genuine to me.
Additionally, the NEW scientific technology that was used to tell the backstory of the person who made the clones seemed to be a lazy way to bring up the motivations of the antagonist. It just seemed like info dump after info dump. The laughable portion of the novel was when Emma managed to bring along a book with her. I expected her to use an e-reader or other advanced technology for her reading. I was actually confused what year this story takes place especially when the characters still had access to physical copies of books. I just wasn’t sure which one had been anachronistic, the book or the technology the the antagonist had created to tell its backstory.
Although the novel was weak in its world building, I’d still be interested in reading the sequel because of its strong main character. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Orphan Black and especially to teens! “The Similars” could be a creative take on the psychology behind how people treat others who are unique and to tackle what it means to be human (in sort of a philosophical way).
**Huge thanks to the publisher for approving my request to read this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.