Monday, June 10, 2013

The originals by Cat Patrick

Lizzie, Ella and Betsey Best are a modern marvel, a genuine set of human clones grown from the DNA of their "Original" at the request of the Originals parents.  It is a secret they have kept for years after growing up believing that they were identical triplets, their mother never told them the truth to keep them safe, but now they know the truth they must also live with the consequences of their mothers secret - the consequence being that they are three teenage girls sharing one life.

Elizabeth Best is a little aloof, but she is also involved in cheer leading and dance, and attends college classes in the evening to get a head start on college when she graduates.  It is a carefully balanced dance, with each of the girls taking a third of the day - one does school in the morning while the other two are home schooled in the same subjects, another takes the afternoon classes while the other two are home schooled in the same subjects, and the third takes their part time job and college classes.  It is a balance that can easily be thrown out of kilter, which is exactly what happens when Lizzie bombs during a math quiz and Ella takes her place in the morning schedule and Lizzie moves into her slot in the afternoon.

It is a stressful time for them all - but then Lizzie meets Sean and things begin to spiral out of control.  "Elizabeth" has never been allowed to date, but their mother may finally be relaxing that rule - but how do you decide who gets to date when Ella and Lizzie like very different boys.  The time is approaching for Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey to decide is one shared life is enough for all of them.

I have to confess that I have fallen very much into an addiction when it comes to books by Cat Patrick - the concepts and ideas behind the books are intriguing and fresh, she has a deft touch with her writing that keeps the tension and the pace moving through the entire book, and she comes up with little twists and turns that keep you guessing how the story would end.  The originals was not quite up to her usual standard (I guessed the ending pretty early on) but the story was absorbing enough that the ending was a satisfying end rather than a too easily guessed cliche. 

It can't be easy coming up with these storylines and ideas, but Patrick has a knack for teasing out the parts of her characters that make them truly human - including all their flaws.  Lizzie is the strongest voice in this novel, but her "sisters", mother, and boyfriend hold their own.  A gripping read that was impossible to put down.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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