The Similars

The Similars

by Rebecca Hanover

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Don't miss the series debut that readers are calling Gossip Girl meets The Umbrella Academy, set in an elite boarding school, where secret societies rule, nothing is as it seems, and the genetic copies of attending students have just joined the Junior class...

This fall, six new students are joining the junior class at the elite Darkwood Academy. But they aren't your regular over-achieving teens. They're DNA duplicates, and these "similars" are joining the class alongside their originals.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about. Who are they? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? And who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emmaline Chance could care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and it's all she can do to get through each day without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi, Oliver's exact DNA copy and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper into their world. She can't escape the dark truths about them or her prestigious school. No one can be trusted, not even the boy she is falling for with Oliver's face.

This exhilarating and riveting debut by Rebecca Hanover is the next obsession for readers who devoured Two Can Keep a Secret, One of Us Is Lying, Scythe, and Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492665113
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 01/01/2019
Series: Similars Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 66,565
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rebecca Hanover received a BA from Stanford University in English and drama and was awarded an Emmy for Best Writing in 2008 as a staff writer on the CBS daytime drama Guiding Light. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America and lives in San Francisco. Visit

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The Similars 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
BooksandBlends More than 1 year ago
The concept of this book is what made me want to request this one. Clones. And not just clones, but clones of people walking side by side with the person who they look like. Could you imagine? Our main character Emmaline goes to an elite boarding school that has just accepted the six Similars into their school. Over the summer Emmaline found her best friend Oliver dead after he committed suicide. Imagine her horror when she finds that one of the Similars named Levi looks just like Oliver. For the most part, I really liked Emmaline as a character. In the beginning, she was very hard to connect with, but everyone deals with grief very differently. I’ve never had to deal with anything that she went through so I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like to see a clone of the best friend that you just lost so tragically. My favorite part of this story was the advanced world that we were introduced to. It really gave me the vibes of Warcross in a way. Not with the gaming but with the technology. There is also a mystery aspect here. You really don’t know who you should trust. The Similars, the school, the parents. Everyone seems to have secrets and it really made it hard to put this book down. I couldn’t wait to see what would get exposed in the end. While I was shocked by some of the things revealed, most of the book seemed predictable to me. There were some things that I called at the beginning and some that I didn’t. That is what really torn me about my rating for this one. Do I rate three stars because of the predictability? Or do I rate it four since even though it was predictable, it was fast paced and kept me reading? Overall, I give this book four stars. I loved the advanced world that we get here and also I’m very curious to see where book 2 leads!
Aurelia1 More than 1 year ago
Intrigue, mystery, sci-fi, romance, ethics and much more are in Hanover’s debut YA novel, The Similars. This exciting book kept me engaged with Emma and her friends, clone and Non-clone , from beginning to end. Emma is a very brave girl who encounters many obstacles but never stops looking for the truth. The science of cloning and AI were very obviously researched by the author and left me thinking of the ethical questions the book raised. I highly recommend this book for teens and adults as well.
Cute_Book_Nerd 10 months ago
I bought this book on a whim, mainly because the cover intrigued me and although I knew nothing about this book, it blew me away. This is the first book I have read that involves clones and I love the concept as well as the dark underlying plot behind the Similars. I loved how relatable this book was in the sense that it took place in a school, which was more interesting for me to read as a student. This book was amazing, the concepts were fresh, the plot was creepy and super cool, ugh I love this book!! There were so many plot twists and turns that it gave me whiplash in the best way possible. Although I hate when great books come to an end, the ending of this novel left me with all the answers but none at the same time. Is there a second book in the future? I really really hope so!!
runnergirl83 More than 1 year ago
Emma is at a prestigious boarding school when six clones join the junior class. Cloning is illegal and there was a big discussion and secrecy of who the clones are. They are not allowed to share with the outside world who the clones are. Emma's best friend, Oliver died just a few months ago. She is still in mourning and she is shocked when one of the clones looks just like Oliver. She immediately takes a dislike to Oliver's clone, but it makes you wonder if they will eventually become friends, or more. He is Oliver's clone and they might have similar personalities, or he might be a completely different person with the same face, who knows. It was interesting, bringing the clones to school. A discussion of are clones human, do they have rights, are they the same as their human original? If the author writes more in this series, I would read them. However, for a young adult book with clones at a school, I would recommend Rachel Vincent's Brave New Girl series. That one was really good. This one was still a good story, it just felt like for a while the story wasn't actually going anywhere and I was starting to wonder what was the point, it picked back up towards the ending and had a couple of surprises.
BHanz More than 1 year ago
Not always a fan of YA but heard great things about this one. What a suspenseful read! The setting (a remote boarding school in New England) is so vividly drawn; I was immediately sucked in. And narrator Emmaline's voice manages to be both relatable and original at the same time. Loved the sci-fi elements -- really clever and specific. But most importantly, this book's a page-turner. Read it in three days. Some of the twists at the end caught me completely by surprise. Great for teens and adults alike.
TheBookCoverGirl More than 1 year ago
Reading this book was weird for me, mostly because I haven’t read a book like this in a long while. I’ve been enveloped in a sea of fantasy and contemporary reads lately and YA dystopia was the farthest thing from my mind. But, here we are. While reading it I was reminded of all the things I liked about the genre, but also all the things I hated. This book was a fairly enjoyable read. The premise was really interesting and the writing was quite good. The characters were also pretty decent and the story was overall entertaining. The issue I had was that it was a little too ‘Young Adult’. If I had read this book at 16, I might have loved it. But, I’m a ripe old lady of 22, and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at some points. Things were a little too convenient at times, a little too predictable. It felt at times as if things were happening just to keep the plot going forward. I also couldn’t quite relate to the charcters. They felt like archetypes with no deep or unique personalities. There is also some romance going on between Emma and Levi and I just wasn’t feeling it. Like most generic YA, the romance seemed to come out of nowhere. It felt rushed and as though it only really occurred because Levi was Oliver’s similar and because the book needed some romantic tension. Despite all that negativity, I gotta say, the story was pretty interesting. I wanted to know more of what was happening. I would recommend this book to younger YA readers, or people that unlike me, weren’t avid readers in the early 2010s when every book was a YA sci-fi/ dystopia.
judgie39 More than 1 year ago
Clones arrive at a private high school. These are not just any clones, but rather they are clones of current students. "The Similars" is a story about the prejudices that occur every day in our society, instead of race the author uses clones to give it a fresh twist. This is a fast-paced, high interest novel for young adults.
kimberley Nash More than 1 year ago
Six clones arrive on the campus of Darkwood Academy. Each has a secret but only one has the power to drive Emmaline (Emma)Chance batty—Levi. Why? He looks exactly like Emma’s dead best friend Oliver and, surprise surprise, she’s not only unprepared but very unhappy about it. As you can imagine, after what amounts to a fiery introduction, the relationship between Levi and Emma has nowhere to go but up; however the story is just as much about the history of Darkwood and the origin of the Clones. There is a lot to be uncovered and much of it stems from Emma’s desire to trace Levi’s origins; in doing so she starts to wonder how much she doesn’t know about Darkwood’s past; tons of mystery envelops what becomes an interesting love story between two unlikely characters. Between the six clones, their “originals” (all of whom attend Darkwood), the parents, and the administration itself, there were a lot of characters; while that sometimes led to confusion, it didn’t effect the overall quality of the story. If anything, the attention to detail—particularly the science of it all—coupled with the characters having such well-formed backstories/purpose, added value to the story. I’m not sure if I’m invested in a second book—as a rule I don’t like reading a series unless it’s already complete because I hate waiting for Book insert whatever number here to release; plus the ending chosen for this easily worked as a stand-alone. Even so, with so many characters to choose from, I would certainly understand the interest in seeing where this story could lead. I received an Advanced eGalley of this book from NetGalley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This teen sci-fi novel surely knows how to weave a creative and drawing plot. While the utilization of the clone storyline always piques my interest, the plot and the suspense were perhaps the most interesting parts. The novel dangles the clones in front of the readers quite a few times, but the reader is given a very limited interaction through the protagonist. The protagonist herself wasn’t entirely engaging, and the heavy emphasis placed on her lack of friends made her less relatable and believable. The two most interesting characters were perhaps her living friend and the love interest, but the readers don’t get to see very much of either because one goes missing and the other is shown through such a limited lens that it makes some of the development hard to understand. This problem is probably due to the sudden time skips within chapters, which could range from weeks to months at a time, while the novel itself felt as though it only spanned across a very short period. With this in mind, it wasn’t enough to make this novel at all boring. The mystery was weaved into the scientific elements meticulously, and while I did theorize correctly, that added to the wonder of the story, because it was such a clever way to go. If you’re looking for an easy read with a good hand of suspense, this clone drama is the way to go.
TinaTome More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher/author for an advanced copy in exchange for review. *TRIGGER WARNING* Suicide: the book starts with the line "I don't actively want to die. Not all the time." And there is other talk of suicide in the first few pages, but it's not graphic or throughout the book Emma is a smart, talented, kind girl who has had a rough summer. She is not a super special snowflake (which is refreshing). She goes to school with a lot of other smart, talented kids. This year, six new students are attending. They are pretty special. They are clones, who prefer to be called Similars. One has the face of her best friend, who died over the summer. Then, things really get interesting. This book was... so freaking awesome! It took me some time to get through it, but it was not the fault of the book. Holidays and some personal issues kept me from being able to properly concentrate on it. I finally made myself sit and finish it, and I'm so glad I did. I went in expecting a Science Fiction novel and what I got was a mystery with SciFi elements. It's full of twists that had me second guessing everything I thought I knew from previous chapters. I had sneaking suspicions for some things that turned out to be true (at least partially) and others I was dead wrong about. The characters are interesting. The MC is not annoying, or stupid, or selfish (ok, a little selfish, but so is every other 16 year old). I wish we could have gotten to know all the Similars as well as we get to know Levi, Maude, and Pippa, but the ones we really get to know are well written and you kind of feel for them. There are quite a few political points in the book that can easily be related to most civil rights movements currently, or in recent history. The politics are important, but not the main focus. Over all, it was a book I didn't know I needed. I honestly cannot wait for the rest of the series.
PattySmith87 More than 1 year ago
Many thanks to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Fire, and Rebecca Hanover for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. Imagine the chance of going to school with the first set of human clones. The Similars, a group of six teenagers, will be attending Darkwood Academy and Emma is less than excited. Created by a rogue lab technician, they have been kept secret, raised apart from society, with only each other for company by a mysterious guardian. Until now. Now they will be going to school with their human counterparts. What will they be like? Will they be exactly like their doubles? Will they like the same things, behave the same way, be good at the same things? I mean, they have the exact same DNA. Emma might be more excited if one of them weren’t the exact copy of her best friend, Oliver. Oliver is the only one who won’t be meeting his clone because he committed suicide last summer. Emma still hasn’t come to terms with his death and now she has to run into his face everywhere - in class, in the halls, in the cafeteria. But it isn’t Oliver, it is Levi, his clone. Levi would rather not have to walk around with some dead kid’s face but he wasn’t given a choice in the matter. He gets that Emma can’t stand him, but she doesn’t even know him. But Emma doesn’t trust the clones, something is off with them. They can’t be trusted. But no one believes her. Now Prudence, her human friend has been attacked. Was it the clones? Was it someone who wants the clones dead and got the wrong twin? Emma is determined to find out and that might just give her some answers to why Oliver died. I really like the premise of this story. The execution lacked for me. There were too many things going on and I didn’t find any of the story lines very exciting. It had potential but without development it fell flat. I didn’t really bond with any of the characters, so I didn’t really care what happened to any of them. There was the usual teenage angst, very predictable stuff with the cool kids being mean to Emma and her friends, of course the Emma/Levi romantic storyline, really nothing new, not even an interesting take on the old stuff. It was so predictable that the author didn’t even bother to develop the romantic storyline. They didn’t like each other and then they were in love - for no reason at all. Having six clones meant that there were too many to develop any of their characters, but even as a group we didn’t really get to know them. You could have had their point of view told through a character like Pippa. There were some enjoyable parts and the ending had some worthwhile bits, but overall I was disappointed.
Kristy_K More than 1 year ago
The premise of this story sounded unique and I was eager to get my hands on it. And for the first half or so of the book I was thoroughly enjoying it. With the sci-fi, mystery mix and a dash of romance, this seemed the beginning of a good YA series. But then things began to turn and I found myself rolling my eyes as The Similars fell into familiar YA traps: predictable twists and teens who can outsmart adults. I really struggled with the last 10-15% of the book. I think teens will enjoy this but I feel adults will share my sentiments more.
Lisa_Loves_Literature More than 1 year ago
This one grabbed me from the start, and I couldn't put it down. I loved the idea behind these clones, and so much about them fit in with how the world is today with other types of discrimination. But when I would think one thing, something happened and it went another way, and I loved all the twists and turns that kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat. Even though I wanted to be done with it by the weekend before Christmas, I also had wished I'd been on Christmas break already so that I could have stayed up and finished it one night, it was that good. I'm happy to see that it is supposed to be a series, or at least have a sequel, because the ending left it so that we need to know more!
DressedToRead More than 1 year ago
What an intriguing premise.... 6 human clones attending a prestigious boarding school, Darkwood Academy. I was excited to read this YA fantasy themed novel, BUT it failed to capture my attention or "wow" me. I think my expectations were too high and I was craving more of a Stepford Wives type of scenario (full of suspense with a touch of horror). This one had some of the ingredients, but just fell flat for me. Darkwood Academy has accepted six clones that are referred to as "the similars" and they are all clones of existing students. Creepy huh? When the original students see their clones, they are quite stunned. There is a back story to the clones creation and we get the POV from one of the students, Emma who is mourning the death of a friend, Oliver. She learns that he has a clone, Levi and this is devastating news. I enjoyed some parts and wanted to see how the story would play out, but in the end it felt a bit one dimensional and lacking suspense. Recommend for fans that are just looking for a fantasy read with a bit of a dystopian flavor. Thanks to NG for my advanced Arc to read/review. Book is out in January 2019.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
Clones, dark secrets, shocking truths, acts of revenge, and a budding romance - The Similars has it all. After reading the first three words in the description, I knew this novel was for me. The first half of this book teased me with hints of dark truths, mysteries, and hidden agendas - I couldn't put it down. Emma's situation is heartbreaking at times, and she has a lot on her plate, but her drive and determination to get to the root of everything is admirable. The girl gets things done. Along with the boarding school goings on is a political angle. What are clones' rights? Should they be treated as human beings and afforded the same privileges? Are they a threat? Things to ponder. The second half seems to veer off the rails just a tad. The first half is well-planned and creates a believable world - but the second didn't seem as carefully thought out, and plot developments come from every direction, many of them predictable. I'm not a fan of love triangles, and by no means is romance the central focus of this story, but there's a hint of the most unique triangle I've come across. I'll have to wait for the next book to see if it pans out. Overall, this is an intriguing book that held my attention from the first page, and I fully intend on continuing with the series. If you're a fan of layers upon layers of secrets, sci-fi, thrillers, and mystery, add The Similars to your TBR. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
The Similars is an interesting mystery wrapped in a secret society plot, mixed in with a bit of politics, and set in a futuristic world where human cloning has become possible but is still legally banned (at least in the US). There are a lot of moving parts to the story so I think I will go through them one by one. So, from its synopsis it is about a group of cloned teens who have been accepted into a private American school as some sort of 'social experiment' where they will be sharing a campus with the teens they were cloned from. But there seems to be something shady going on regarding their enrollment, and Emma unwittingly gets dragged into the conflict when she starts searching for clues for the attack on her best friend. Now, about the politics first - the first half of the book delves repeatedly into the ramifications of having human clones and their rights. A lot of people have been otherizing them like immigrants, saying they can't be given the same rights as regular human beings (and they even have a no-clone rally!). This sub-plot is left aside and forgotten, when the mystery subplot gets more prominence towards the middle of the book. The Mystery involves an exclusive club at the school of academically elite kids, who have sort of a secret society thing going on, and are very much practicing hazing in 20-whatever-the-year-this-is, and nobody bothers to involve the authorities. As for the authorities, Emma vehemently declares regularly throughout the book how progressive and diverse their school is (much like someone who never faced discrimination), but we don't really see it in practice now, do we? Finally, the science-fiction element - I feel it wasn't as strong a presence as the mystery plot, maybe because it is just meant to be an appropriate setting where much of the events can transpire as opposed to actually being involved in the plot. There are some shady things happening at this school but most of it is just excused away through whatever scheme the adults are playing, and lack of communication, and just plain old not-following-clues (just look at the damn note, Emma! before it is too late!). And the whole thing stinks of things done without consent - their genetic material being taken, the characters being drugged on three different instances, the whole living situation of the clones. Oh, and the coup de grace - the timeline is confusing. I might be venturing a little into spoiler territory here, so I will be vague: there is an unexplained difference of two years between the supposed creation of the clones and a particular event. If the clones were made after, they are actually younger, but if they were made before, the motive for making them falls apart. So, that plot hole irritated me enough. Overall, an interesting sci-fi mystery but had some plotholes, and unused subplots.
courtofbingereading More than 1 year ago
The Similars is a unique, debut novel with a promising future. While this novel didn’t knock my socks off, I do believe that the next book will be much better. The premise of this series is very unique and fun which I think a lot of readers will enjoy. This book follows our narrator, Emma Chase, as she returns to her reputable boarding school, Darkwood Academy, for her junior year of high school. However, this school year is different for two reasons. One, Emma’s best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and she is still reeling from this loss. Two, the Similars will be attending Darkwood this year. The Similars are six clones of students from Darkwood. The thing about the Similars is that they were created secretly without the permission of the families of the original children. None of the families realized their children had been cloned until a few months ago. But, it isn’t until the first day of school that Emma, along with the rest of the student body, learns the identities of the six clones. Emma is shocked to see just how identical the Similars appearance is to their “originals”, but she never expected to see Oliver’s face on one of the Similars. Emma detests Levi, Oliver’s clone, on the spot. Yet somehow, she gets swept up with the Similars. She finds herself defending them in class. Then, before she knows it, she is delving deep into the secrets of the Similars--and spending more time with Levi. My Complaints: From the way this book is written, I believe it’s written for a younger YA audience which is part of why I think it wasn’t perfect for me. It’s chock-full of tropes such as a love triangle and the mysterious, dangerous love interest *yawn*. All of these tropes caused the book to feel predictable. I saw that ending coming from a mile away. The next issue I had with this book was the romance. It needs to be developed quite a bit. I found it very hard to believe these two characters cared about each other; it felt forced. I also wasn’t a fan of the execution of the action scenes in this book. There were only a few action scenes and they were brushed over fairly quickly. It felt as if they ended just as they began. Lastly, the plot twists could have been written better in order to achieve maximum impact. This story is full of twists and turns yet I never felt surprised. Emma’s reactions to the various revelations throughout the book fell flat which in turn made them fall flat for me also. Overall: I did enjoy this book. I just expected more from it based off of the synopsis. That being said, I will read the sequel when it comes out. I still have high hopes for this series because it has a lot of potential. *fingers crossed*