The Originals by Cat Patrick13
July 15, 2013 by Alice in Readerland
17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets… until they discovered a shocking family secret. They’re actually closer than sisters, they’re clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life…
Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she’s not a carbon copy of her sisters; she’s an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.
The Originals was published May 7th, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
“Three Girls. One Life.“
“Ever get the feeling someone looks familiar?”
Lizzie, Ella, and Betsy do. They are clones after all, and three clones sharing one persona, “Elizabeth,” to boot. When three girls share one life (each girl being Elizabeth for her share of each day), everything from clashing Facebook updates, to who talked to who, to switching class schedules can get complicated. But, even though they doubted it was possible, life for the clones will get even more complicated when the question of who Elizabeth will date arises, a mysterious woman shows up, and their mother—the scientist who saved them—begins acting suspiciously.
What’s a clone to do?
To be honest, I picked up this book because it reminded me of Orphan Black, a new TV show that premiered this year about a woman who discovers that she’s one of many clones…and that they’re all part of a larger scheme. Since I loved the show (as you can tell by all the gifs I added), I latched onto the word “clone” and excitedly started reading The Originals.
What I enjoyed about this book the most was that it did feel like such a brilliant, cool concept. I loved all the details and complications the author talked about the girls having to go through. For instance, when we first meet the girls, Ella is disagreeing with the way Lizzie straightened her hair. After all, the clone who goes out first in the morning dictates the way the other clones will have to do their hair, dress, and act. So because Lizzie straightened her hair, now Ella will have to take the time to straighten it too.
“You just broke the first rule of Clone Club.”
I also enjoyed how the clones were presented. While they were able to act like each other enough to pull of switcheroos…
“Wait. Are you being Beth right now?”
…the author also terrifically stressed how each clone was individual, unique, and a person in their own right, not just some “copy.” Which is exactly why sharing one life was so complicated for them; they looked alike, but they certainly didn’t want to act alike.
“We may have matching DNA, but we don’t like the same things. We don’t make the same choices. We don’t have the same dreams. We’re out own people. I’m me. You’re you.”
Cynical Cindy Says:
While I loved the concept of this book, the execution of it fell a bit flat for me. When I heard “SciFi” and “Clones,” and then saw that a mystery was presented, I was ready for lots of action and excitement. For me, this book read more like a contemporary romance/issue novel that happened to involve clones. I felt it lacked a lot of the YA SciFi excitement I was expecting. I also felt like Beth was just thrown in there because there needed to be more than two clones, and I wish that her character had more to do in the book.
All in all, I felt The Originals was an original idea and was an interesting read with a fantastic premise and unique details.
3 out of 5 teacups
Have you read The Originals or any of Cat Patrick’s previous books? I just reserved Forgotten at my library!
I’m disappointed to hear that is was more romance than sci-fi. I hate it when the romance completely takes over the plot.
But I am still interested in reading this one. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book abut clones before!
I hadn’t seen another book about clones before, either! I love that more YA books are adding more SciFi to their plots, but sometimes it seems like it’s just more of a “bonus” to another genre than the main genre.
I think it’s an awesome concept. :D
Yes, I am excited, too! I love the sci-fi genre, and I am glad to see it growing in popularity amongst YA books. I know what you mean, though. it’s more of a: YA romance, with a sci-fi side plot. Which is kind of disappointing :(
Too bad it didn’t live up to its potential, because it is a great concept. Black Orphan sounds really interesting as well!
I really liked the concept and all the extra details I added, since most YA books I’ve been reading seem to gloss of the smaller details/technicalities. But what I really love about Orphan Black writing is that the writers really keep the plot moving and keep throwing in surprising twists, and I was kind of expecting more of that in The Originals.
Ooh, I was hooked with the premise and idea of it (I’ll definitely have to check out the show Orphan Black!) but it’s disappointing that it lacked execution and went towards more romance/contemporary. It seems like such fantastic-sounding Sci-Fi books may be represented in one way, but turns out to be more cookie cutter with a unique element. Sigh.
I agree, so many SciFi books have been turning into “Cookie-Cutter-Romance-with-SciFi-Additions” books. Even though I was disappointed in this book, I still liked and enjoyed it, if that makes sense. Thanks for stopping by & commenting! :)
Interesting thoughts! The cover has me intrigued, so I might pick it up based purely on that fact :)
I really like the cover too! :) I hope you enjoy it if you read it!
I’ve not heard of that TV show – looks interesting.
As for the book. Very uncool that they build you up with the clone concept then force it to go down a romance path. I feel let down whenever that happens. But I still think this book sounds like one I’d enjoy. Great review :)
I found out about it because it was on right after Doctor Who. :) It’s funny because even though I was still disappointed in the book, I still enjoyed it and thought it was more unique than a lot of books I’ve been reading lately! :)
This sounds like such a clever idea and I love that the author had thought through the details of their situation, but this at least the second review I’ve read where a blogger was disappointed with execution. It’s too bad, because it seems like the idea had a lot of potential.
I really did like how the author included details that I would never have thought of, but I was missing the suspense that I thought would be in the book. I just reserved another book of hers, Forgotten, at the library, and that has a really interesting premise too, so I’ll have to see how that story goes. I’ve heard mixed reviews on that one too.