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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: The Originals by Cat Patrick

Publisher: Hachette
Published: May 7, 2013
Pages: 304
Source: For Review from Hachette Book Group Canada
Rating: 3 Stars

17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...
Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

In short: The Originals by Cat Patrick failed to live up to its potential for me, but at the very least was a nice filler book between heavier reads.
The Originals was not the book I had been expecting to read. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey are the result of an illegal cloning experiment and thus must pretend to be one person, each girl taking their turn to live a third of the life of Elizabeth Best. If their secret ever got out, their family would be in danger. So you might expect a thriller with lots if secrets and intrigue, right? Well, not so much. Instead we get a contemporary story with lots of high school drama. And that? Is not the book for me.

So putting aside the fact that The Originals wasn't the high-stakes story I was looking for, it was at least an easy read. It was a nice filler story between heavier reads. I'm not usually a fan of these high school drama books because I find them cliched and childish, but at least I was kept somewhat entertained by the teen drama in The Originals. Near the end of the book, the plot line involving the danger of being clones finally comes into play, though it wasn't nearly as thrilling and high impact as I was hoping. The book's climax is only a minor hill before trailing off somewhat unimpressively.

As for the characterization, I was worried that I was going to have a hard time telling the three girls apart, especially because their names - Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey - are all variations of the name Elizabeth. Thankfully, I had no trouble distinguishing them and they all had fairly distinct personalities, if pretty one-dimensional ones. There was a pretty sweet romance here between the novel's protagonist, Lizzie, and a certain Clark Kent lookalike and that was nice.

Overall, The Originals wasn't a bad story, but it wasn't really for me. This was my first Cat Patrick read. I had been wanting to try out one of her books because they all seem to have pretty original premises and that is no exception for The Originals, but I can't help but feel like it failed to reach its potential. Still, I don't regret reading it as it was at the very least a nice filler book between heavier reads.

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  1. Ooh just recieved this for review so I'm glad it is a nice light read. Shame there wasn't much on the action side. Great Review.

  2. What a shame. The premise sounded so promising, so it's a disappointment the plot focused more on high school drama, I think you mentioned on my blog, than anything else. I recently read another of Cat Patrick's book (Revived) and I had the same issue, too. I still think it's cool how the three MCs' names are variations of "Elizabeth," though!

    Anyway, if I ever do check this out, I'll be getting it from the library. :) Lovely review!

  3. Hmm...I don't know what I'd think of this. I don't always mind high school drama. Depends on how cliched it is. Sometimes I like it better than thrillers. I'm curious about this book.

  4. I think I will skip, ot sure if it is for me either even with the good points.

  5. I actually haven't read any Cat Patrick yet either, but I'm sorry that your first one wasn't five-star-amazing. You're right, the premise sounds super interesting, but it's a shame that it turned out to be a drama-filled contemporary. At least the characters seemed alright! I'm still curious to read it, but I've lowered my expectations. Thanks for your honest thoughts, Aylee! :) Wonderful review.

  6. Glad you liked it, you just never know about clones books in my opinion, they can often turn kind of bad, particularly when you can't tell the difference beween the different ones, but it sounds like each was pretty distinct. :D

  7. Ack! High school drama is not for me either. I'd probably DNF this one. I've noticed that Cat Patrick always has brilliant ideas, but her execution is lacking. She disappointed me with Revived for that very same reason. Great idea - lousy end result.
    Ah, well, thanks for saving me the trouble of discovering for myself, Aylee. I'll stay away from this one.
    Great review!

  8. Teen drama can go either way for me. Most of the time, I will avoid books that are heavy on that aspect, but, like you said, it can be an entertaining break between heavier books. Right now, though, I'm probably not going to appreciate this too much. Lovely review as always!

  9. It's good that all three girls were easily distinguishable, I just finished a book a little while ago where I couldn't tell the female characters apart really. Super frustrating. How much teen drama are we talking here? Scale of 1-10? I don't mind a little drama and angst, but too much of it drives me crazy. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this one Aylee!

    1. You know, it wasn't the worst and most frustrating teen drama I've ever come across. It was fairly tame stuff. It's just that it took up a majority of the book and had absolutely nothing to do with the storyline about the clones and hiding from the government.

  10. Aah that's so disappointing! I though the premise sounded brilliant but it doesn't seem to have worked out, At least it wasn't a complete disaster though, and shallow as this is, it'd be a nice cover to have on your shelf!

  11. Interesting. I really liked Revived by this author. It wasn't my favorite, but I kind of remember feeling the same way -that it didn't super impress me, but that it was a fun, easy read for the moment. The description for this one sounds so interesting though that I think I just have to read it. The whole clone thing just sounds so different.

  12. A contemporary story with lots of high school drama? I never would have thought it would be like that after reading the summary. How disappointing!

  13. I'm not such a fan of contemporary books, especially not wheN I'm expecting something different. I was fascinated by the cloning part, but if it's more about high school drama.. I'm not so sure now. Thanks for the great review :)

  14. Sorry you didn't love this, Aylee. I'm the same way. I'm not a big fan of high school drama either so I don't think I'll be reading this one. But like you, sometimes I just need that filler book in between heavier ones so at least it served that purpose. It's a shame because the premise did sound so original! Great review! :D

  15. I know you liked this one because it was something easy between your heavier reads but I'll probably skip this one for now because it doesn't sound at all like what I'd predict from the synopsis. If you read another of Patrick's books, I'd like to see your thoughts on it, Aylee, because I hope that at least one of her books lives up to its potential.

  16. Ah Aylee, I was under the impression that The Originals was a Contemporary read (I don't read summaries, that's why!). But with the whole clone issue coming to my attention right now, I'd definitely expect suspense and thriller too. But anyways, this one's on my TBR and I'll read it sometime. I'm glad it was a light read for you but disappointed that it wasn't right up there, you know? As always, lovely review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  17. Is it bad that I'm kind of over cloning. I feel like I've been seeing that and genetic engineering a lot.....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  18. Glad this was a nice filler read and therefore not terrible to check out. I haven't read anything by this author either, and I do want too, but probably not this one. The summary didn't really interest me all that much to begin with, but it definitely sounds like a premise that had much more potential. I'm not big on stories that simply focus on high school drama.

  19. I agree that sometimes filler books can be nice. But, like you, I'm not really into high school drama books. And that's sad that was what you found this book to ultimately be about. There is potential in the idea of clones and all. Hearing it's not really about that issue that much, however, makes me think that this isn't a book for me.

  20. Aylee, what a disappointment :( I got this thinking it'd be similar to Kat Zhang's What's Left of Me, if you haven't read it, you should…it seems like you'd enjoy it :D

  21. See weirdly enough, I've seen this cover around but assumed it was a contemporary read because of the cover so I just kind of dismissed it! Now that I've actually read the premise I would have thought it was more of an intriguing thriller too - sorry it was mostly a letdown for you! I'm not a fan of those high-school drama reads either o.O I am glad that the lightness of it made it somewhat more enjoyable though, sometimes we all need an easy 'filler' read :) Thanks for your honest review!!

  22. While I do love any romantic interest who is described as a Clark Kent lookalike, I really am not a fan of high school drama. I actually started this one and had to put it down. Hopefully I can give it another try soon, but I won't be too sad to let it go after reading your review. It seems like an ok book but nothing too special. Wonderful review, thanks for your honesty!

  23. I think it would so awkward to have a romantic relationship when you are only there a third of the time. This books sounds weird to me. I don't think cloning does it for me. Oh well. Sorry this one wasn't an A++ read for you.

  24. I am usually slow to get into books but I finished this in three days! I just had to learn what would happen next! The characters were great and the story well developed. I will definitely read more from this author!

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