4 stars · young adult

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch



author : kate jarvik birch

pages : [hardcover] 304

favorite character : ella

summary :

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.

review :

This book was amazing and a quick read. I wasn’t quite sure of what the summary reminded me of when I’d read it-only that it sounded so interesting-but while reading I was reminded of Beta, which I loved, and Wither, which was okay. Thankfully Perfected leaned more toward loved. While it wasn’t perfect, I was left hoping that there’s a sequel. I absolutely need one. I’m not ready to let go of these characters yet and think that so much more can be done!

The world building in the novel is so interesting and frightening because it is the world as we now know it, only humans can be bred to become pets. How this came to be accepted was flooring; I loved hearing several different perspectives on the legislation throughout the novel. There were unexpected opinions coming from unlikely sources. What was also interesting to me was how my concept of who the ‘villain’ of the story was continued to shift throughout the novel. There were several twists to the story that completely surprised me. They took an idea that I’ve seen in other forms before and made it something completely new and interesting, something that’s going to keep me looking out for more writing by Birch.

The characters in Perfected are very interesting. Some have the personalities that you can expect and assume simply from the summary, yet the characters are presented as so real that I was never bored reading about them even if I felt I already knew so much about their motivations and personality type. There was enough of a unique shade to each keeping me intrigued, particularly regarding how everyone saw pets and treated Ella.

I really liked her as a character. I was afraid that because of her upbringing and what she has experienced she would be more frightened and complacent. Instead, she was anything but a passive character. I loved how she thought for herself-whether right or wrong-and she created a sort of respect for her in me because I’d expected to pity her and also be frustrated with the decisions she was making. I honestly think that this is one of the few novels I’ve read in which a heroine is rising from this sort of oppression and I wasn’t continuously put-off by bad decisions and whiny behavior. Ella was fantastic!

The only criticism I have about the novel, the only thing keeping it from five stars, is that I think the romance progressed too quickly to be believable at the end. Of course the relationship was fairly predictable but up until the end I thought that it was very sweet and charming. Yet it took another turn when the ending came. I wish that either that depth had been saved for later or that more time had been spent focusing on the characters of the relationship, though I do find it hard to believe in any feelings  that arise while one character has no freedom.

Overall, I loved Perfected and am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a sequel! I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read filled with interesting characters and a new take on this kind of story.

4/5 stars

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