Seventeen-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 those that could 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 and attending social engagements, and a group mind-set 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. Digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.
Elizabeth Best has a fairly normal life – school, cheerleading, night classes at the local college. Except Elizabeth Best is really Lizzie, Betsey and Ella. Three girls, sharing one life. They divide their day into thirds and pretend to be one single girl…not triplets. Not clones. The Originals by Cat Patrick showcases a unique take on the self-discovery genre. Our narrator, Lizzie, isn’t just going through a self-discovery but learning to separate herself from her sisters (clones) and becoming an independent whole. Not just a third.
I really enjoyed the characterization in The Originals. Even with Lizzie being our main focus, there is a strong sense of who Betsey and Ella are as individuals and you manage to feel like you really get to know the characters. Except Sean – Lizzie’s insta-crush, we don’t really know much about him outside of Lizzie likes him, he’s a nice guy, fairly smart and seems to have a good head on his shoulders. He certainly manages to help Lizzie, Betsey and Ella out in a couple sticky situations. The build up in the plot centers around Lizzie (with Betsey helping her along the way, and then Ella comes around in the end) trying to find out just what her mother is hiding from them and working towards regaining separate lives. It’s a slow build, until we finally get to the high point – and then it’s an intense moment of “what just happened?” followed by a quick resolution that takes little time at all and is very conveniently solved. There is a good explanation for what happened, but it was a bit of let down, really.
I see The Originals as a contemporary with sci-fi elements, and it works in the end to create an interesting story. Despite my misgivings about how the climax and ending resolved itself, I did quite enjoy reading The Originals by Cat Patrick. Like I mentioned above, it is very much a coming-of-age story with some twists that give it a unique edge. I was hooked from the beginning to Lizzie, Betsey and Ella’s story and was pleased with the eventual outcome of the plot if not completely with the way it arrived there. Worth a read!
ARC provided by Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!