I did enjoy this book, although there were some things throughout it that I wasn't so fond of.
Imitation is a dystopian, set in a world pretty similar to our own, except that for all the socially elite people: the daughters of politicians, the sons of senators, leaders themselves have carbon copies of themselves. These exact replicas are grown in test tubes to serve the person they were modeled after, or their "Authentic". These "Imitations" are taught exactly how to act, dress and be their Authentic, so that if anything happens to them, their Imitation will be able to jump in and pretend to be them.
The story follows one particular Imitation, Ven, who is a replica of socialite Raven Rogen, the daughter of the leader of a well known scientific research company, RogenCorp. Ven is called to pose as Raven, as there seems to be people trying to attack her. Ven must pose as Raven; deal with her socialite best friends, her unofficial, arrogant boyfriend, Daniel, and her tyrannical father all whilst trying to figure out just who is trying to harm Raven Rogen.
But Ven will discover things she didn't even think possible, and as she tries to unravel what is happening with the help from a boy who may or may not hate Raven Rogen, she will work out what's really happening with RogenCorp, Daniel and the people who supposedly want Raven Rogen dead.
Fans of Pawn by Aimee Carter, These Broken Stars and other dystopian/science fiction/romance young adult novels will love this mysterious, intriguing dystopian by Heather Hildenbrand.
This next section will contain spoilers for the book, so if you plan to read it, I suggest you read it and come back so you won't be spoiled!
So this book was really engaging, and I enjoyed it. The story had rather unique elements, and I was constantly wondering what would happen next. Despite there being a lot of world building and a lot of background information needed, I felt that I could slip into this world fairly easily, and there wasn't too much lengthy info-dumping.
The world wasn't very different from our own but the subtle differences made this world seem more real, because they were things that I could see happening in our world. The divide between the wealthy and the poor was stark, but unfortunately, didn't really follow on through the storyline. I was hoping it would somehow tie into the whole RogenCorp thing, but in this book, it didn't seem to. I will be interested to see if this is developed in future books, as I believe this is going to have a sequel.
I would've liked to see more of the other Imitations, like Ida and Lonnie, and their interactions with Ven. I really liked their friendship and the dynamic between them, and I hope they turn up again in future books. Ven herself was interesting, because even though she was created solely to imitate Raven, she was very different from her. I thought that maybe all Imitations had their own personality, that they were all different from their Authentics, but when we met Obadiah, it appeared that Ven might be different. It was easy to see similarities between Obadiah and Ida, just subtle ones that made me wish they could meet.
Ven went from being a follower - following orders, doing what she was told, relying on others to protect her and tell her what she should be doing and not really thinking for herself - to being a stronger character by the end of the book. She knew what she wanted and she wouldn't let anyone else stop her from getting it. I really liked seeing her character transform through things like hanging around Raven's friends, discovering the truth about RogenCorp and the Imitations and bonding with Linc. I liked seeing her realise that she was more than just a test-tube-grown experiment made to serve, and that she was valuable and she had her own ambitions and desires.
I wasn't fond of the relationship between her and Linc. It felt a little bit insta-love, like she fell in love with him because he was the first semi-decent and good-looking boy she'd ever met. And in comparison to Daniel, who was pretty much her first romantic experience ever, Linc had pretty much descended from heaven on a cloud pillow with a chorus of angels singing behind him. Their romance felt too rushed, and I didn't really buy that after only a few weeks tops they were totally "in love".
I also didn't like the way Ven seemed to be more spineless and in need of help around Linc. I also didn't like the way he would speak for her, telling other people that she wouldn't do this, shouldn't do that. I felt like Linc was a tiny bit possessive and a little too alpha male for my liking. Ven was constantly relying on him to save her, and taking him places with her to make sure he would protect her. Take this snippet for example:
"I grimace and look down at my sweatsoaked tank. 'I should probably shower first.'
He shrugs. 'We'll take the bike, let the wind dry us off. Let's just go.'
I hesitate again. But it's Linc. And I won't refuse him. 'Alright.'"
That part, especially the highlighted bit, makes me a tiny bit uncomfortable with Linc, and the dynamic between him and Ven, which may stem from the fact he was her bodyguard, I'm not sure.
Despite this, I didn't mind Linc as a character. He was a bit moody, and I sometimes felt like he was two different people. But ultimately, he was willing to sacrifice everything for Ven, and he was always by her side, supporting her. I liked that he didn't freak out and get really angry and annoyed when he found out the truth, like you sometimes see in other YA romantic relationships where there's a secret.
The resistance group at the end was not what I was expecting. I did not expect Daniel to be one of the "good guys", and so I was pretty shocked when I found out he was. I'm curious to know whether he knows his dad is an Imitation, but unfortunately, we didn't find out in this book. I would like to see more of him, despite him being quite a horrible character.
I am excited to see where the story will go in the following book, and what Ven will have to do for the resistance group. I would like to see more of Ida, Lonnie and Obadiah. I'd also like to meet the real Raven Rogen, and see how she interacts with Ven. I think it would be really cool if Raven and Ven developed a sisterlike relationship, and she joined or already was part of the resistance group.
I'm going to give this book 4 stars out of five. The next book is definitely on by TBR list, and I'm hoping to get to it soon!
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See you next week for another post!