The Originals by Cat Patrick Review: It’s a Clone Life

June 11, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

The Originals by Cat Patrick Review: It’s a Clone LifeThe Originals by Cat Patrick
Published by Hardie Grant Egmont on May 7, 2013
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository
Add to Goodreads

Ella, Betsey and I look like sisters: triplets, you might think.

But that's not what we are at all.

We are clones in hiding. We split our lives and exist as one person in the outside world. And we've always been happy. 

But now I've fallen in love ... and that changes everything. 

Because to let love in, I need to be allowed to be Me.

The Originals is a unique book covering the life of three identical clones – Lizzie, Beth and Ella who all live one life under their mother’s direction. I enjoyed the blend of contemporary, sci-fi and mystery, it is a really unique concept that I haven’t seen explored before in YA fiction.

The concept of these three girls living the life of one person, Elizabeth Best, was quite extreme, as they each split up the day into 3 segments and lived like that each day. It became apparent that it wasn’t going to work when they wanted to make friends or start dating, and that their mum was taking extreme measures to hide them for their protection. So Lizzie and her sisters start rebelling against the system and start breaking the rules in order to date who they want and do the things they want as well.

As Lizzie starts dating the guy in her class, Sean, she starts to get more and more reckless as she even reveals what her mum has been hiding their whole lives – that they are living the life of clones – just so she can date him. There is a hint of insta-love here as Sean’s immediate reaction isn’t to run away screaming, but instead to stay and stick it out because he likes her. He was a kind, caring and understanding love interest, who Lizzie was able to rely on throughout and I adored him.

I think it’s made worse by the fact that we’re sharing one life, but the bad side of looking like two other people is feeling like I don’t have my own identity at all. Like there’s nothing unique about me. 

I didn’t like how their mother was the villain, yes her measures were extreme but she was genuinely doing it to protect her kids. Her decision to make them live one life was not the right way to go about things but there could have been other options. When Lizzie and her sisters find out that their mum may be hiding things from them, they start snooping around her office, stalking her, going through her bank statements, getting private phones and even going out together. They blatantly disregard their own safety when a photo of themselves is posted on an app called Twinner, which finds someone who looks similar to you, and they continue chatting to said person. This disrespect for their mother was not cool at all, especially since she had sacrificed so much just to raise and protect them.

The clone concept was quite interesting and explored in a different way throughout the book. It needed a bit more explaining and details around it though, especially when it came to their conception and how the donor could find their “perfect” clone. I liked how Lizzie, Ella and Betsy each had a different personality to show that cloning wouldn’t necessarily be the same.

Today’s the day we get our lives back. The only thing is that we’re not exactly sure when or how to do it. 

Cat Patrick’s writing is seamless throughout and I enjoyed reading it. I liked how the plot featured a heavy dose of intrigue and mystery throughout, as the girls discovered that there mum was hiding secrets from them. I kind of knew the clones were playing with fire though and it all comes to a head later on. I wanted more ooph though, as the big reveal was kind of lacklustre to me.


The Originals had a unique and interesting concept about clones living the same life, but left a bit to be desired when it started discussing why they were living in that way. I wish things were less about their mother and more about the cloning process and why this was allowed, so there wouldn’t be so much disbelief and frustration while reading the novel. Instead, it was a book about individuality, self-expression and independence, which was a worthwhile message in the end.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont for sending me this book for review.

The following two tabs change content below.
Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

Tags: , , , , ,

39 responses to “The Originals by Cat Patrick Review: It’s a Clone Life

  1. I love love love Cat Patrick. Most of her books have "different" concepts, and I also love seeing how they may play out. I agree with you, sometimes she doesn't stick that much to the concept per se, and actually focuses more on a message she's trying to send out. Those messages are usually really good, too. Great review, Jeann.
    Marianne @ Boricuan recently posted…Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer MathieuMy Profile

  2. Now when i think of it, i don't remember the big reveal… but i loved this book and although the mother-villain did bothered me a lot, i was more fascinated with the living as a one person concept and musings about identity and individuality.

    Lovely review!
    Boyanna recently posted…[random] YOU ONLY LIVE TWICEMy Profile

    • It was actually quite fascinating, the big reveal was just behind why the mother wanted them to live that way, which wasn't that big anyways. Thank you Boyanna for visiting my blog!

  3. All I can say is that I liked this novel. I just found it a little ridiculous that they couldn't just be triplets instead of going as one person. Or have them at different schools or something other than the solution their mother came up with. I can understand why you gave it 3 stars
    Francoise recently posted…{Movie Review} The Fault in Our StarsMy Profile

  4. I think I would need to know WHY there is three of them? I mean is that explained *wails* I don't think I could read the book if there isn't a reason given to the fact that there are three versions of the same person. O.o

    The girls sound like they do some pretty stupid stuff and disrespect their mother (which isn't cool), but I have wanted to read this book for AGES, so I'll probably still give it a go! 😀
    Chiara @ Books for a recently posted…Book Review: The Word Ghost by Christine PaiceMy Profile

  5. This one kind of reminds me of The Different Girl (my nemesis) by Gordon Dahlquist except a little more tolerable. I hate it when YA characters, or really anyone, treats their parents like crap, it makes me really frustrated. I may get around to this one someday but for now I think I'll be skipping it. Great review, Jeann!
    Alise recently posted…Marooned: Hidden by Marianne CurleyMy Profile

  6. Yikes! I was really looking forward to reading this one, but what you said about the blatant disrespect for the mother irks me already. I mean, come on girls. I know you want to be free and to know more and all that, but wouldn't you try to at least see the situation in your mother's shoes, and recognize her efforts to raise and protect you? If it weren't for her, where would the three of you be? I understand how this aspect can be frustrating, as I'm feeling quite darkened with this knowledge already. Not sure I wanna read this one despite the other intriguing factors. Thanks for the honest review, nonetheless!
    Faye @ The Social Po recently posted…Random Things in Motion #3: Which Would You Polish More – Your Goodreads Presence or Your Blog?My Profile

    • Ooh I have been watching Orphan Black and it is an amazing show, I marathoned the first season all at once! Sounds interesting, I'll check it out. Thanks for the recs!

  7. This one sounds pretty cool, but sounds like there's not much of a back story about why the girls are clones, does it at least explain who they are clones of? Or is it just each other? I'm definitely going to give it a try, but having three girls playing the one part, I'll probably end up super confused and with a huge headache. I'm pretty slow like that. Wish me luck 🙂

    Awesome review Jeann.
    Kelly recently posted…Read along with my buddy Gina: Gone by Michael GrantMy Profile

  8. I never actually gave this book a second glance at the bookstore, but it sounds like a pretty promising story! Unrealistic cloning prose aside, I do want to meet these three girls and I'm curious as to how they can keep such a big secret. And of course I want to meet Sean. <3 Awesome review, Jeann!
    Aimee @ Deadly Darli recently posted…The Types of Male LeadsMy Profile

  9. This really does not sound like something I would enjoy .-. I really hate it when parents are villainized or well the wrong person is villainized for something, that in my opinion, was not wrong but only extreme. .-.

    I am glad that you did end up enjoying this in the end though in spite of your issues with it! 🙂

    Lovely review as always, Jeann! <3
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula StokesMy Profile

  10. Oh, I think it's the parent-dissing that kind of puts me off. I don't like that in books, very much, or else it has to be done very logically. I haven't heard of this book at all though! Kind of sounds like Replication by Jill Williamson. x) I haven't read many clone books, sooo…maybe I'll add it on Goodreads. 😉
    Cait @ Notebook Sist recently posted…Honest YA Blurbs #2My Profile

  11. This concept reminds me of What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang. I'd actually LOVE to see a contemporary version of this – maybe conjoined twins trying to lead their own lives? Cat Patrick is my sister's favourite author and she loves this book, but I had no idea what it was about until now. Maybe I should check it out 🙂
    Emily @ The Loony Te recently posted…Every Word by Ellie Marney: Interview and ReviewMy Profile