Following the death of her best friend, Oliver Ward, Emmaline “Emma” Chance dreads the thought of going back to her prestigious boarding school, Darkwood Academy.
Although the grief-stricken Emma expects the worst of her school year, she is little prepared for the complications life throws at her: Not only has Darkwood accepted six new students—“the Similars”—who are clones of existing students, but one of them, Levi Gravelle, bears Oliver’s face. To make matters worse, Emma’s roommate and close friend, Prudence “Pru” Stanwick, is brutally attacked and placed in a medically induced coma. In a world of secrets and hidden agendas, it is up to Emma to discover the truth about Pru’s attack and Oliver’s death with the help of the Similars, although she is not sure if she trusts them. While the first half of Hanover’s debut is gripping and the depiction of Emma’s grief tender, the second half falls short on multiple accounts—disjointed and repetitive writing, flat and underdeveloped characters, and an implausible plot—so the potential of an otherwise interesting premise remains largely unrealized. Tired tropes include the handsome but brooding love interest, dead and dying best friends, an unnecessary love triangle, and a one-dimensional villain. The fast-paced narrative and the cliffhanger ending, however, will keep fans of the genre interested. Main characters are assumed white.
Yet another cookie-cutter dystopian novel rife with clichés. (Dystopia. 14-18)