Author: Hanover, Rebecca
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.
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2018 Darkwood Academy is an elite boarding school for the offspring of the region's most illustrious families and legacy students like Emma Chance, who is plenty smart enough to compete academically. As the new year begins, she and the rest of the Darkwoodians are confronted by six new classmates, who are illegal clones of returning students. Among them is Levi, the spitting image of Emma’s best friend, Ollie, whose death she is still mourning. Once Emma gets to know Levi and the other Similars, she supports their political rights as humans, and when her friend Pru goes missing, the Similars are the only ones capable of helping her outsmart a truly vindictive man. Episodic and fast-moving, this debut novel reads like Veronica Mars set in the future (because of the cloning subplot), although without the snarky humor. There are plenty of twists and one very big turn that will delight mystery readers. Although the ending comes too quickly to be satisfying, the door is left ajar for more appearances by Emma and her friends. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2018 Gr 8 Up—This debut novel takes place in the near-future, when humans have been successfully cloned; six clones, known as the Similars, have transferred to the prestigious Darkwood Academy after they were raised by a mysterious guardian on man-made island. They are all clones of current Darkwood students, with the exception of Levi, whose DNA match, Oliver, died at the end of the previous school year. Emma, still reeling from Oliver's death, is further traumatized by Levi's arrival and by a brutal attack on her friend Pru by an unknown assailant. She becomes determined to find out what happened. Hanover attempts to draw parallels between the Similars and refugees in our current world. The premise is interesting, but the writing is sometimes pedestrian. The pacing varies and the frequent use of hyperbolic language becomes counterproductive. Most characters are thinly developed boarding school stereotypes. Side plots involving human experimentation, an anti-clone movement, an underground clones-rights organization, the Similar's secret agenda, Darkwood's elite clique, Emma's relationship with her father, and Levi and Emma's inevitable romance are not adequately explored. The attack on Pru is unconvincingly resolved with quick exposition at the end. VERDICT Try Marisha Pessl's Neverworld Wake for a more nuanced boarding school drama with a sci-fi twist.—Judy Poyer, Anne Arundel County Public Library, MD - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.