Author: Kate Jarvik Birch (Website | Twitter)
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Source: A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Perfection comes at a price.
As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.
Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.
But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.
For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.
Find Perfected online
My Review: This story idea isn't super original in the dystopian arena, but the writing style and the interesting developments within the novel made it stand out as I read. This is a beautiful and terrifying world that Kate Jarvik Birch has woven and the story she takes us on, while not as dark as I expected it to be, showed just the beginning of the horrors that this world has to offer.
The story starts pretty quickly. The opening scene throws us right into the situation Ella is in and I was horrified but also really intrigued watching the auction where Ella and the rest of the pets were bought. It was so nerve racking seeing different buyers come up to her and inspect her and the other girls. Just thinking about it now makes me feel all yuck.
When we finally do meet the family that decided to take her home, I was both relieved and wary. The Congressman and his wife were okay, although, I had a feeling it wouldn't stay that way long with ho the wife was acting. I suspected what had happened to their last pet from the beginning but it didn't lessen the horror of having it spelt out. And the story progressed, I felt more and more disgusted by the Congressman. The other family members, Penn and Ruby, were fine. I liked Ruby a lot from the start but wished we had gotten more of a chance to get to know her. The same applies to Penn. Even though he was the love interest and we did see quite a lot of him, I never felt any whoa-this-is-meant-to-be connection between them so I didn't really understand his sudden loyalty and attention toward her.
The plot didn't move too quickly but, this time, I didn't mind. I liked seeing the way Ella interacted with the family and how the world was. I was happy to learn more about it but at the same time, I was waiting for Ella to do something for her situation. I also wish this had been a little bit less about the romance and more about the world and how it affected her.
The ending was what I had a huge problem with. It happened so quickly and left us seriously hanging. It reminded me a lot of a similar ending in *Spoiler Warning* Delirium by Lauren Oliver *End Spoiler*. That ending had completely pissed me off and this one did the same. Luckily, I've been told that the author is working on a sequel so I hope that's true. I don't want to just be left with that ending.
Perfected was a novel that held a lot of promise, a haunting world, and a plot that kept me interested. The ending was upsetting but I hope to read the second book in the series (hopefully) soon so I can find out what happens!
“I was bred to be the perfect pet. I was bred for my beauty and grace, to be a showpiece, an ornament to sit upon the couch, to sing, to dance, to play the piano and paint. I was bred to willingly put my owner’s happiness before my own”.