'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Friday, 31 May 2013

Review: The Originals

Born as part of an illegal cloning program, 'sisters' Ella, Betsey and Lizzie were forced into hiding when the program was uncovered. To avoid being taken away, the girls have lived as one girl ever since.

Having two sisters your own age has its advantages, but living a third of a life is getting harder and harder as the years go by. Imaging having to consult two other people before choosing your clothes, your hairstyle, or your boyfriend. Imagine having to present a consistent image to the outside world when you actually hate the music one sister listens to and can’t stand the cheerleading practice the other sister loves so much.

When Lizzie falls for Sean, the amazing guy in her English class, things go from difficult to disastrous. Has the time come for the sisters to stop their part-time existence and step into a full life on their own? Is the chance to live as individuals worth risking everything they know?

Cat Patrick is one of my ‘must read’ authors. Her books are a beguiling mix of fiction and almost-reality. The kinds of stories that raise all sorts of ‘What if?’ questions in the minds of readers. In The Originals, these questions relate to identity, family, and the moral, emotional and logistical dilemmas that could potentially arise from unauthorised human cloning. 

The book is an incredibly easy, enjoyable read for one that has the potential to raise such confronting ethical considerations. Can cloned humans ever really be individuals or will they always simply be a reflection of their source? Would they ever be able to live without their whole existence being part of an elaborate scientific experiment? These questions are balanced with such every day, relatable issues such as will the boy get the girl and why do maths teachers spring surprise tests on the day you are least prepared for them?

I love the original and intriguing storyline and well-developed characters of Cat Patrick’s novels. If you enjoy The Originals, make sure you find a copy of Patrick’s earlier novels, Forgotten and Revived, which I can also highly recommend.

Title:  The Originals
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $22.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 May 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742973579
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction

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