Published by HarperCollins on October 4th 2016
From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.
But 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. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose 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 human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.
Two girls, two stories, one novel.
While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.
I loved the idea behind this book. And the twists took me by surprise, which is always nice when you think you know where the story is going. I read the book in the order it was set up. So when I found the author photo at the end of Gemma, I considered that the end. So I read Lyra’s story first and then Gemma’s and I honestly now cannot imagine reading it any other way. The only reason I knocked this book down from a 5-star to a 4-star rating is because even though I know there is going to be a sequel, I feel like I was left with too many questions at the end. There is still so much I want to know. And I am hoping all the answers will be revealed in the next book. I was more drawn to Lyra rather than Gemma, but I thought they were both pretty strong and willful characters. My only other beef with the story was the insta-love which seems unnecessary and unrealistic, in both cases. I feel like the book would have been fine without it. The plot was fast-paced and had a great, “what the hell is going to happen next?!” feel. I was constantly trying to figure it out. Overall I think this book is pretty good futuristic, sci-fi, young adult novel with just that one trope I am not a huge fan of.