Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
Age Range: 12 – 17 years
Series: Perfected #1
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Teen (July 1, 2014)
Genre: Science fiction/social issues
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
About the Book:
Ever since the government passed legislation allowing people to be
genetically engineered and raised as pets, the rich and powerful can own
beautiful girls like sixteen-year-old Ella as companions. But when Ella
moves in with her new masters and discovers the glamorous life she’s
been promised isn’t at all what it seems, she’s forced to choose between
a pampered existence full of gorgeous gowns and veiled threats, or
seizing her chance at freedom with the boy she’s come to love, risking
both of their lives in a daring escape no one will ever forget. For
fans of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Kate Birch’s debut novel melds the feel of The Handmaid’s Tale with the historic underground railroad and wraps it in a glamorous–and dangerous–bow.
Find the Book:
About the Author:
Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist and author living in Salt Lake
City, Utah with her husband and three kids. Her essays and short stories
have been published in Isotope, Saint Ann’s Review, Scissor’s and
Spackle and Indiana Review. Her first play, (a man enters), was produced
in 2011 by Salt Lake Acting Company.
Owning another person seems to be a popular theme, but I have only
read one other book surrounding the idea. The concept of selling
genetically perfected girls as “pets” is horrifying, yet Ella doesn’t know
anything else. She has been bred and trained to be a pet. She can’t
even read. At first, she wants nothing more than to make her new owners happy.
Slowly, she comes to realize that being a pet isn’t what she
thought it would be. She is treated barely better than a dog.
The setting and characters were well developed and vivid. It was easy
to visualize the entire book playing out in my mind. Penn was a wonderful
character and the only person who honestly started to see Ella as human rather than a pet. The congressman was marvelously
revolting and creepy. I couldn’t put the book down once I started to
read. I read it all the way through and then suffered from a major book
hangover because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
There were a lot of tense moments when I sat on the edge of my seat,
cringing and hoping that Ella would manage to get out of a situation. Other
times I would feel sick for her, screaming internally for her to get
away from that house. I would recommend this book to young adults, but
as always, I suggest parents read the book first.
Content: Surprisingly pretty clean. When you take on a topic such as
beautiful girls being sold as property, there is going to be a dark side
to the story. There are suggestions that the pets are abused, and
times when men or boys try to push their agenda on Ella, but the author
did a good job of showing the problem without subjecting the reader to
anything more than the fear of what could happen. There is some
language, kissing, and swimming in underwear, but no sex, f-words, or
Cover: I love the cover! It’s simple, yet it portrays the concept of the story well.
Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.