Emma is going back to Darkwood Academy for her junior year without her best friend Oliver who committed suicide over the summer. It’s hard to get excited about the current gossip about six clones or “Similars” being enrolled at Darkwood, but when one of them is the clone of Oliver it’s hard to ignore. As she gets to know Levi and the other Similars she realizes that even though they have the same DNA they have individual personalities and aren’t exact copies of the original. As pro and con Cloning groups spring up on campus and around the nation Emma is enmeshed in an investigation into how her friend Oliver’s death was tied to the man who developed and raised the six Similars.
The Similars had such a great premise! Can you imagine showing up for school and finding your face on a cloned classmate? It’s not like high school isn’t difficult enough, right? Then there are the political and moral ambiguities of whether cloning should be accepted or not? These are all details that helped create this finely crafted novel that played out as more of a political intrigue then a YA fantasy novel. What struck me the most is that the hate and bigotry in this novel is not necessarily determined by color or societal hierarchy, in this case bigotry comes in the form of originals and copies. A subject that is topical in today’s world as much as in a fantasy novel. Although not quite yet to human copies. At least I don’t think so?
Emma was a wonderful heroine. She never sat back and just watched, she was always asking just one more question. That one last question always seemed to be slightly over the line but would give her the answers she’d need to make a decision to move forward in her thinking or to fall back on her upbringing. I really admired her fortitude. She never gave up on her friends, and never stopped looking into the Why’s and Who’s.
The Similars, even with all of their mysterious backgrounds and “special powers” seemed more real and fleshed out than their human counterparts. This definitely made it easier to like them but truly the humans were portrayed as pretty awful. You’d be inhuman to like the hateful attributes that were portrayed as “human”.
It took me a little while to warm up to Levi’s character. Emma was so distraught over Oliver’s death that you really felt her anguish over seeing his face on another guy. When she gets to know Levi and realizes they are really nothing alike he still keeps his distance until, well, he doesn’t. It’s really hard to talk about these characters without giving away a lot of the plot. I’ll just say that there is a reason that he keeps himself aloof, but Emma’s investigation makes him get involved and he goes all in emotionally at that point too.
The Similars was a very fast paced novel. Rebecca Hanover filled the story with enough moral, political, and personal subplots that my mind didn’t stop to chew before swallowing this novel whole. When you get ready to read it have your snacks and a coke at your side because you will NOT want to put it down! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“I don’t know why it happens that I always end up reviewing books I don’t like. Maybe I need to read different books? Or not read books that I am not extremely excited about in the first place? I don’t know. But either way, this book was very disappointing, awkward, and did not live up to my hopes for it. Alas.” A Word and a Whisper
“Overall, this is an intriguing book that held my attention from the first page, and I fully intend on continuing with the series. If you’re a fan of layers upon layers of secrets, sci-fi, thrillers, and mystery, add The Similars to your TBR.” Books and Such
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