Thursday, July 24, 2014
Review: The Originals
The Originals by Cat Patrick is an interesting story about 3 girls who are identical triplets... or at least they were. Lizzie, Ella and Betsey take turns going to school, and everyone else thinks they are the same person- Elizabeth Best. They split the day into sections and each of them has their assigned section. In actuality, the girls are clones- raised by their mother and hidden, so that the outside world thinks there is just a single mother and her daughter. The story is told from the perspective of Lizzie, and everything is going normally for the girls- they have their routine and their system down- until Lizzie starts to fall for Sean Kelly, the guy in her Creative Writing class.
Things get complicated when Sean asks Lizzie to lunch, and she realizes she can't make it because her sister Ella has that part of the day. The girls aren't allowed to date, but with Lizzie and Ella both having guys they're interested in, they begin to push back on this, and their mother soon relents- but with conditions the girls find unacceptable. Lizzie finds her budding relationship with Sean in jeopardy, and decides to take matters into her own hands. On top of that, she begins to suspect their mother is not what she seems- or has secrets to hide. When clues begin to emerge that there is more to their mother than meets the eye, they resolve to find out the truth and take their life back.
I liked this story a lot, it was compulsively readable for me and I finished it in a day. The plot seemed pretty farfetched in the beginning- I mean, how would this ever really work?- but I was pleasantly surprised, not only did it comes across as somewhat plausible, but the questions it raised as I was reading were actually fun to think about. How would something like this work? What happens when one girl falls for a guy, and the other two see him? And what exactly is the deal with their mother that she would put them through this? I wanted to know the answer to that. The writing is good, I'm a fan of Cat Patrick after this book and will look at her other books based on the strength of this one. While I suspect most seventeen year old girls in this situation would have rebelled or pushed back long ago, or at least been less tolerant of their mother, the story seemed pretty realistic to me, and I enjoyed reading about the high school situations they found themselves in. The girls each have distinct personalities, and Sean adds a nice touch to the story- for some reason he reminded me of Levi from Fangirl at times- I'm not sure why, since he's not really like Levi, but he's a nice guy in that vein.
This book was fun and I was sucked in from the get-go. I liked the three sisters and their dynamic- they can feel each others' distress, there is almost a telepathic connection between them- but the science fiction elements are pretty much limited to that. The story is mainly a coming of age story with a twist. The premise may seen a little silly but it's played straight and the writing makes it fun and compelling. I really liked how events come together and it gets a little tense at the end- but the ending is well done and touching. A very fun read.