cover image The Originals

The Originals

Cat Patrick. Little, Brown, $17.99 (298p) ISBN 978-0-316-21943-3

Patrick (Revived) is making a niche for herself with high-concept romantic thrillers about girls whose realities are far from the norm, and her third novel may be her best yet. Lizzie is a clone, one of three 16-year-old “sisters,” raised under the strict supervision of their scientist mother. Everyone outside the house thinks Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey are the same person, Elizabeth Best, since their mother has the girls living in shifts: Ella goes to school in the morning, Lizzie takes the midday shift, and Betsy gets evenings. The girls are growing increasingly resistant to this arrangement, especially after Lizzie and Ella fall for two different boys at school. Having three girls masquerade as one certainly sets the stage for conflict, but it’s the strong bond between the three girls as they begin to assert themselves, as well as Lizzie’s tantalizing and clandestine new relationship with classmate Sean Kelly, that will keep readers riveted. Patrick doesn’t dwell on the science behind the story, but instead uses cloning as a vehicle to explore themes of identity, sisterhood, and family. Ages 12–up. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (May)