Book Reviews

Review: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

I wanted to love The Similars. I am normally all about a clone book and this one mixed clones with mystery, conspiracies, and a school setting. But at the end of the book, I was like with a kind of mixed bag of feelings.


The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.


(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

So at the beginning I felt very intrigued in this book. From the get go we are immersed in Emma’s grief. And it feels raw and tangible. Then the clones are introduced. And this is where my interest soared. But unfortunately it went downhill from there. While I know this will be a series, and I may like the second one better, on a whole I was lacking some character development. I wanted to know more about the clones, more about the relationships between them and their genetic source.

So what’s the deal?

There was a distinct sense of conspiracy going on before page one which I immediately loved. The Similars almost mashes this decade long boarding school drama, meets cloning, meets politics, meets love story. And I think that’s where it ultimately lost me. I was striving to get a hand hold in the story, the world, the tension. But it kept flitting between all these different hats. And at the end of the night it was just me, in my apartment, and a room full of colorful, but not memorable hats.

I, for one, wish there was more detail on the clones. When clones are involved, I want all the clones! And there was such technological possibilities – especially at the end – where I just wanted more information. More depth especially with the villain, I want a villain with a complicated back story who I almost love to hate. Also I felt like the romance moved a little quick for my taste. I think the whole enemies to friends to more trope can be done well. But for me, there was a lack of little memories that would substantiate romantic feelings.

I wish there had been more depth in some of these elements – the politics of the world, the clone’s relationships, the science – but it all felt a little shallow. That being said, based on the ending of the book I think that there is more potential for the series. With books like this, I worry that they are setting up larger worlds and plots that are going to be built upon in book two. And so, for me, I see The Similars very much as a book I just enjoy, but where the sequel actually holds more promise to me. If you want a book that is full of school drama, secret groups, and clones, then this book may be more of your cup of tea.

Find The Similars on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


What’s your favorite clone book?

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

  1. Ahhh, I didn’t realize this is going to be a series…I am less interested now, especially with your comments. My favourite clone book is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I was curious how a YA clone story might compare.

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