When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she finds out one of them is a clone of her dead best friend.
The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. But Emma couldn’t care less, and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without Oliver. Coming face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica–is the exact opposite of what she wants, 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.
🌸 Would recommend for 13+! It might actually appeal more to younger viewers because of its more subtle and low-key nature.
Mixed feelings on this one because although I felt like it met the requirements for a Decent Book, I still wanted more and wasn’t 100% in love with this.
I mean–it was pretty good. I think the characters were interesting enough and there was nothing glaringly obviously bad about it. It was all there: boarding school, clones, mystery, secretish societies, rich people.
Yet, as much as the concept was good and even the plot, somewhere along the way, the execution kind of lost me.
And it’s not like Hanover is a bad writer. It’s just that this book honestly was just a little . . . drab.
There, I said it. I felt like it could have used more spice and atmosphere and world-building. It could have used more, emotion (?) I guess. Investment? Something that really connected the reader with the story, because I honestly felt just vaguely disconnected.
I wanted to be absorbed into the almost dark nature of the boarding school–there are so many awesome twisty, dark secret society upper echelon boarding school stories with that dark, almost sinister atmosphere.
I wanted that. I didn’t really get it. Yes, there was a hazing scene, but beyond that it didn’t really reach the atmospheric quintessential “boarding school feel” that I was looking for.
And the twists were just a little predicatable? Which in general I don’t mind, but I wanted them to still be executed in a way that really felt shocking, you know?
I think you can have something predictable and still shocking if you add the right amount of emotional intensity into the scene, and I just didn’t find that.
Overall, it felt almost like this book lacked passion. And it’s not to say that Hanover wasn’t passionate about this–it’s just that I didn’t feel that type of intensity that I was hoping to find in this novel.
However, there were still a lot of pluses. I still thought the plot was inventive and interesting.
We don’t get a lot of stories on clones in YA (not enough, anyways) and I always think it’s a really fun idea to explore. I believe Hanover did a good job in exploring this portion, and I really enjoyed what she did do about the clones.
Plus, the backstory was developed pretty well, and I thought that there were clues along the way that helped, although it did kind of feel like Emma–the main character–was doing a lot of waiting.
A lot of this book is Emma thinking about stuff, and the middle portion sagged a bit in my opinion, because that’s where the least amount of action. I could tell Hanover was trying to keep it engaging, but it did end up losing me in the middle where weeks passed and not a lot really happened.
Overall, I though The Similars had a good concept & plot, but the execution was just kind of lacking and I wanted more from this. If you do like the sound of a not 100% mystery focused mystery (something a little more low key than a full mystery), I might suggest this!
Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!