Review: Replica by Jack Heath

Recommendations, Review, Sci-Fi
Image from Goodreads
Title: Replica
Author: Jack Heath
Publisher: OUP
Publication Date: Aug 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis from Goodreads
‘Whose body is that on the table?’ I ask.
She stares at me, as though the answer is obvious. ‘It’s yours,’ she says.
Before I have time to scream, she types a command on the keyboard. My consciousness whirls away like storm water down a drain.
Chloe wakes up to find all her memories have been wiped. And the only person who knows what happened is a teenage girl who looks and sounds exactly like her.
Who is she? And what does she want?
Chloe is running out of time to discover the truth. But she’s in even more danger than she realizes, and nothing is as it seems . . .
Replica is a thrilling story that keeps you guessing the entire time and never stops with the action and puzzles. Chloe Zimetski wakes up as a disembodied head and with someone who looks exactly like her working on a headless body. Hers. Of course, this is a lot to take in for a head on a shelf, but what’s worse is this copy of her is taking over her life. Or is it the other way around? What does this girl want with her family? And who is she? Chloe has to find this all out in a time where nothing is as it seems. No biggie, right? Try adding secrets and lies and a stolen device. Biggie now?
My favourite part of the story was when Chloe (the one who woke up without a head) went to school, was getting nervous and jittery and just that entire section was funny and well written with the sudden plot twist. Replica is written in a familiar setting so it was easy to identify with and how awkward and paranoid Chloe was made it funny. Then, when the plot twist happened, Chloe changed completely making the plot intense and gripping.
There aren’t many characters in Replica, out of the few characters there weren’t many very important characters so my choice for favourite was quite narrow. Chloe had a split personality and went from scared and innocent to bad-ass and quick thinking which made her really unpredictable and exciting to follow in the storyline. She came up with theories of what was happening and plans of escape really well, and it made me excited to discover if she was right and how the plan was going to work out. At the start, she seemed slightly dumb and not very interesting, but as the plot went on she revealed her quick mind and brave actions and became a very likeable character.
Chloe’s parents didn’t feature much but when they did they seemed like very average parents. Then you discovered a HUGE secret!!! Learning about that made you spend more time thinking about Chloe’s parents and how involved they actually were. Henrietta- Chloe’s best friend- was a normal teenager who drew the reader towards her with her bubbly, friendly and funny nature. She noticed Chloe wasn’t quite herself and it put the reader on edge, wanting to protect Chloe but also wanting to see what would happen if someone found out. Then there was the glaring girl in Chloe’s classes- Becky. She was an utter mystery for a short while then her secret was unveiled as well. Another turn in the maze that is Replica‘s storyline.
The ending of Replica was a massive surprise and I was definitely not expecting it. It made me want a second book even though most of the loose threads were tidied away by the conclusion. I don’t know if I’d have written it differently though, because it was a really interesting way to end the book and it makes you want to re-read the chapter again and again in case you missed anything to make the end make more sense. It doesn’t, but it would make the book more popular because readers would tell people about the ending and make people read it too so they could discuss it.
I would like to read more books by this author mainly because of the plot twists and ending. It made the book really interesting and I think other books by this author would have the same sort of style. His writing also includes mature themes that made it even more interesting to read about and was educational too. I would (and have) recommended this book to my friends and family because it was a really good read and was also gripping. However, I think it wouldn’t be suitable for children under 12 because of the mature themes and ideas. Also, if anyone over this age is uncomfortable with themes like homosexuality, I would suggest not reading it. I found it very enjoyable and these types of themes just gave the story an edge for me but I understand that others may feel differently.
Overall, I would give Replica four out of five points because it was a very good plot and ideas but the secondary characters were lacking in depth and there were a few grammar/spelling mistakes I spotted. But otherwise I really enjoyed it.

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