The Pretenders by Rebecca Hanover

The Pretenders
by Rebecca Hanover
#2 in the Similars duology

In this conclusion to The Similars duology, Emma must figure out who she really is, decide between two boys with the same face, and stop a dangerous plan based on revenge.

Emma is still reeling from the events of her junior year at Darkwood. Not only is her best friend, Oliver, shockingly alive, but the boy she loves—his Similar, Levi—is still on the island where he grew up, stranded with his deranged creator.

More importantly, she is grappling with who she really is. Emma can’t accept the hard truths she learned last year and refuses to share her secrets with anyone, isolating herself from her friends and Ollie.

But when more of the Similars’ creator’s plot is revealed, Emma and her friends will have to try to stop him from putting a plan into motion that could destroy everyone she loves. 

Throughout The Similars Duology we follow Emmaline as she attends the prestigious Darkwood Academy, where 6 clones have been enrolled. This enrollment fules huge human right debates and the schools dark histoty begins to come to light.

The Science Fiction nature of the series lends itself well to the discussion of human rights and whether cones carry the same rights as the originals. Looking at the different sides is interesting however the story doen’t really allow the reader to make up their own mind as to whether cloning and clones are right. There would have been a richer depth to the stoy if this had been the case.

None the less, the story of Emmaline and the clones is one that as a reader I found interesting. Emma’s development as a character within the second book was critical to the story and to making her a protagonist that readers have some connection with. The personal growth was minimal but the science fictional changes were imense, giving her the edge she needed to become a more dynamic lead.

The scientific elements were probably my most favourite part of the story. It was interesting to learn how the cloning began and the extent to which it runs. It could definitely make for an interesting human right debate. The clones were represented well with thoughts and ideas that were their own and an experience that would make anyone hope for better for them.

The plot twists that are thrown into this story definitely fit the science fiction genre. They added a much needed layer

Overall the story examines relationships, choice and serious human right issues all within the compass of a Young Adult story. Its a great start to what will surely be a wider debate in the future.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 7.5/10
Character Development: 6/10
World Building: 5/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall: 3.5/5

Review: ‘The Similars’ By Rebecca Hanover

‘The Similars’

By Rebecca Hanover

#1 in the Similars series

Publisher:Source Books Fire
Date: 2018
Pages: 381
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Science Fiction
Days to Read: 6
Purchase Locations: Amazon Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks

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.

This was such a good read. We follow Emmaline Chance, a junior in high school at the very exclusive Darkwood Academy. When we meet here she is on her journey to school. Driving in a driverless car with a bot she named Misery. I was intrigued with the concept of this elite school right off the bat. I’m not sure why but anything to do with boarding schools or elite schools set in America I just love.

Emmaline as a character is someone who has experienced a lot in her life and seems to continue to during her year at Darkwood. I did get someone Twilight vibes while I was reading. Emmaline I feel has a similar view on the world as Bella does, however I found the more extraordinary sircumstances in the book with the school environment, the technology and well the clones. I was able to see past that pessimistic view. I also found it more understandable based on all she has experienced.

I was really intrigued by the idea of clones and I was not disappointed. It felt like something our society would be dealing with in the future and it was written with tid bits on the progression of cloning and all the human right and moral implications that come along with the concept of clones.

There is an aspect of mystery to the whole thing with an attack and the guardian of the Similars.

The story ends on a cliffhanger and honestly I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 10/10
Character Development: 7.5/10
World Building: 7.5/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall Rating:  4/5

Weekly Update: 12.3.19

I thought last week was busy! Man of man was I wrong! This week has been next level. I am really proud of myself with how much I ended up reading.

So this week I finished both ‘In an Absent Dream’ By Seanan McGuire and ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ By J.K. Rowling.

I moved onto ‘The Similars’ By Rebecca Hanover earlier in the week and I have been really enjoying it.

I am currently 150 pages in and I am really hopeful that I’ll finish this book this week!

So we have officially moved! This weekend was one hectic weekend. we did a 6 hour round trip drive on Saturday to take our furniture up for my sister in law/godmother for her new place as well as moving the furniture we were keeping to where we will be living. It has been BUSY to say the least. We haven’t quite finished moving the smaller things since we till have the apartment for a little while longer. The kiddos st my school also had cross country which included me walking/running half of it (in Birkenstocks) with one of our girls who got overwhelmed. Glad the big parts of everything are all done and dusted!

How has your week been?

TBR: March 2019

March is here and I am ready to read. We are moving at the start of the month but I am hoping that it doesn’t impede on my reading too much.

So I’ve decided for March to move out of my consistent reading of the Throne of Glass series. I am definitely going to keep working my way through the series because I am absolutely loving it. But they are dense books and I want to try and get some other reading done. So I am going to begin the month with what I hope is a quick read with ‘In an Absent Dream’ By Seanan McGuire, the 4th book in the Wayward Children series.

I then plan to jump into ‘The Lost Sister’ By Holly Black a novella in the Cruel Prince series, before I read the 2nd book in the series ‘The Wicked King’ By Holly Black. This is one I’ve been looking forward to picking up so I’m going to prioritise it this month.

Next I want to get to ‘The Similars’ By Rebecca Hanover. I love the concept of this book and it was one that I needed to have when it was released, so I’m feeling pretty bad that I haven’t got to it yet. This month will be the month.

Lastly I want to pick up (and hopefully finish, but who am I kidding) ‘Queen of Shadows’ By Sarah J. Maas. The 4th book in the Throne of Glass series. I am so excited to keep going with this series, because honestly I have been absolutely loving them.

This is definitely one of my most ambitious TBRs that I’ve set. It doesn’t seem like a lot but I really don’t get as much time to read as I would like with a full time job and we are moving next week which means we will be even busier than normal!

I’m just going to stay hopeful that I can kill the reading game this month anyway!

What’s on your TBR this month?