Lauren Oliver, author of the best-selling Delirium series, has created a novel where there are two sides to the story–literally. The book is written from two perspectives, and in the format of a “flip book.” Essentially, one character’s chapters are on one side of the book, and the reader has to flip the book around to read the other character’s chapters. It is up to the reader to decide if they would like to alternate the chapters, and constantly flip the book around, or if they would like to read one perspective at a time. Any way you read it, this format brings a fresh, interactive twist to a cool dystopian read.
One of the characters, Gemma, is your average teenager, plus a plethora of health issues. She has been sick for most of her life, and she is incredibly lonely. When Gemma has a run in with a person who insists they know her, she begins to research her family’s history, and discovers a connection to a place called Haven.
The other character, Lyra, is a Replica. She is one of thousands of Replicas that is locked in Haven Institute. Just like all of the others, she is a research study. When protesters bomb Haven Institute, Lyra and another subject escape together.
Aside from the unique twist that the interactive flipping brings, seeing the two girls’ stories interlace themselves will engage readers. While Lyra is a more chilling and intriguing character, Gemma is an extremely relatable young lady. Though, it would have been nice to see a bit more diversity in this novel. Overall, this book is exciting, and will be easy for dystopian fans to devour.