Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Review: The Originals by Cat Patrick

The Originals book cover
Image from Cat Patrick

Title: The Originals

Author: Cat Patrick

Genre: Science fiction

Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up believing they were identical triplets. Then they learned the truth…and no one else can know. Now, to the outside world, the Best family appears to have a single mother and a seventeen-year-old daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, doing extracurriculars, even dating. Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, the one person who can help her realize she’s not a carbon copy – she’s an individual with unique dreams and desires. Digging deeper into her background and her mother’s role in her life, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

I wasn’t super excited to read The Originals. Yeah, the idea sounded interesting, and Angie at the Bibliophile Support Group blog loves Cat Patrick’s writing. But I wasn’t going out of my way for it. I just threw it on my stack when I found it at the library.

Lizzie was the narrator (the only narrator, which surprised me, in a good way). She was the good girl, the one who did her best and obeyed without questioning…to a point. And once she started questioning, she questioned everything, and she didn’t give up until she had some answers.

The three girls were brilliantly done. Their personalities were the same, but somehow unique. Betsy was the sweet one with a bold rebel side, and Ella had a pushy streak. Those were the very strong impressions I got in the beginning of the book, and they stuck, even through the parts where they reacted the same or similarly.

It was like Cat Patrick wrote the three girls with the same personalities in the middle of the book, but used first impressions to make them also unique. I’ve never seen that done before, and it was brilliant.

The story itself was mostly contemporary, but with multiple sci-fi threads. It was a lot of romance, but nothing sappy or dramatic. It was more sweet and fun – exactly the kind of romance I like. Plus, there were the strong sci-fi undertones of three clones living one life, and not-preachy-at-all themes of individuality.

My only problem was with the ending. It was foreshadowed slightly, and I picked up on all the foreshadowing, but I felt like it came to a head too quickly. There’s this one completely minor detail, and then it comes out of nowhere and becomes the climax. It wasn’t a bad climax, I just thought the story jumped in too fast.

I enjoyed The Originals. I didn’t fall head-over-heels for it, but I did like it. Now I’m going to have to find something else by Cat Patrick.

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