When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.
The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.
Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.
Review: 3 Stars
I have had a review copy of this novel for months and have been waiting for it to be closer to publication, so I finally picked it up. I love the idea behind this novel, clones going to the same school as their originals. It seemed like the perfect set up for a kill-your-double story. While that wasn’t really how this story went, it was still very interesting. It was a bit of a sci-fi mixed with a bit of mystery. This was a knockout debut for Rebecca Hanover.
The Similars had an interesting plot with a few really great twists thrown in that totally caught me off guard. It kept me reading with a decent pace for most of the novel. I love novels set at elite boarding schools, but with the clones thrown in I was immediately drawn to pick this one up. The idea behind this novel was strong and had great groundwork for this novel to go in many different directions. While I did really like where it went, I felt like it could have been stronger. I guess I am still pulling for a kill-your-double story.
There were things that I really liked about this story. I really liked that there was a secret society for the top ten best students complete with hazing rituals in the middle of the night. I also found it to be an interesting idea to have Emmaline’s dead best friend have a clone. It brings up some really difficult issues with grief that I wanted to see confronted in this novel. As someone who has lost some friends, I expected this novel to be emotional when it came to dealing with her best friend’s death, but it wasn’t at all.
The character development is where I felt like this novel was lacking. I didn’t feel much of an emotional connection with these characters. While it wasn’t entirely necessary , as there was a lot of action, it would have made the story stronger. While I did really enjoy reading The Similars, I didn’t feel super connected to the characters, so I don’t think I will continue on with the series.
Overall The Similars was a fun read where science fiction met a bit of mystery. The pacing was done pretty well and it kept me reading the whole time. The character development was lacking a bit and I feel like some important issues about grief were left unexplored. For a first novel it is impressive, and while I might not follow the rest of the series, I would be interested to see what else Rebecca Hanover can come up with. This was a fast read, but it didn’t have much depth to it.