My Rating ~ Four stars
RELEASED: 1 January 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
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
When a set of six clones, dubbed ‘the similars’, join the prestigious school Emma attends, the students and parents are divided on their opinion of them. The school has always touted it’s all inclusivity status, but not everyone thinks that inclusivity should extend to clones they know nothing about. Emma doesn’t really care about the Similars, until the sixth similar is introduced and he shares the DNA and face of her best friend, who died a few months ago. Wanting nothing to do with anything that will be a reminder of her friend, she is determined to push the Similar away.
The Similars visits issues such as elitism, bullying, grief, love and friendship and provided a sci-fi / dystopian theme, mixed with a fairly realistic setting. There were some fantastic twists in the story and although a few of the clone characters seemed a little flat, it was almost apt that they were portrayed that way for some of the story.
I enjoyed the way the book had an underlying question of what constitutes identity and what makes us an individual. The usual moral debate about whether just because we scientifically CAN do something, does it mean we should, also ran under the surface. I’d like to say some of the technology in the story was just a little far fetched, but, hey, the internet was far fetched when I was a teenager, so… 😄
I had a lot of fun with this one and would recommend it if you enjoy YA sci-fi, dystopian books and school drama. I didn’t actually realise there was going to be a sequel until after I finished the book, but I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading it now!
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