Sunday, October 6, 2013

Book Review: The Originals

The Originals
Title: The Originals
Author: Cat Patrick
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Science fiction
Pages: 304
Age Rating: Readers above the age of 10
My Opinion: 3/10

Hi, Readers!

       As soon as I read the description on the inside cover of The Originals, I was super excited to start reading.  The plot line seemed to have so much potential.  However, although this book deals with the prevalent social issue of cloning in a completely fresh way, I was disappointed at the lack of character development.  What could have been a great YA novel has joined the ranks of average teen reads.  I don't ususally write negative reviews, but I want to recommend some novels by Cat Patrick that you could read in place of The Originals to save yourself the disappointment.

       Lizzie Best is a seventeen year old clone.  Her mother forces her to split a single identity with her two cloned "siblings", Ella and Betsey, because cloning is illegal.  The three girls split up a school day into three parts in order to pose as a single person, Elizabeth Best, to avoid being discovered by the government.  After over ten years of living as one, they grow weary of being cooped up in their home all day long waiting for a chance to attend school.  As soon as Lizzie falls for a boy named Sean Kelly that she meets at school, she considers sharing her secret with him.  At the same time, the girls' mother is keeping secrets behind their backs.  Lizzie has to discover what her mother is up to, as well as navigate her rocky relationship with Sean, in order to gain the opportunity to have her own identity.

       Doesn't that sound like such a fabulous plot line?  Well, divide the story up into eighty percent boy drama and only twenty percent excitement.  The twenty percent of the book containing cloning, a secretive and mysterious mother, and an identity crisis is why I was interested in The Originals.  I certaintly did NOT read it for the boy drama.  I believe that this novel is advertised for the wrong audience, with its futuristic cover and science fiction/dystopian description.  Cutting to the core of the novel, The Originals is basically a romance novel filled with pages upon pages of Lizzie worrying that Sean will not like her.

       I was deeply disappointed with the ending of The Originals as well.  The secret that Lizzie's mother figure has been hiding throughout the novel is finally revealed in an extremely anticlimactic way.  Only about three pages are devoted to tying up loose ends that were crucial to the plot line.  Couldn't the author spare a little more time on the ending, which is possibly the most important part of the novel?

Forgotten, Revived
Forgotten and Revived are better
choices to read than The Originals
       Cat Patrick's other novels are written at a higher standard than The Originals was.  I am not quite sure why this novel lacked suspense and excitement, because I read Revived, by Cat Patrick, and I enjoyed it.  The characters in Revived are much deeper, struggling with cancer and fitting in.  The summary of Cat Patrick's novel Forgotten also looks intriguing.  I would recommend checking out Revived or Forgotten instead of The Originals.

Happy Reading!


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