Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

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.

I was definitely in the mood for a dystopian when I picked this book up to read, but I knew I didn't want the same old type of dystopian I've read in the past.  Perfected was exactly what I needed, and it delivered.

Ella comes from what I term a factory, a place where young girls are engineered and trained up to be "pets" for the elite of society.  Imagine a puppy mill, except with young girls trained to be the perfect pets, complete with etiquette, obedience school, and pretty much anything you can think of.  They are all trained in certain talents so that they can entertain their owners, they all are trained how to address people correctly, and how to be the perfect pet.  In this society, I suppose they don't consider this to be slavery, but I did.

Ella is purchased by an older man, a congressman, as a pet for his young daughter.  And let me tell you, I had a bad feeling about this pretty much from the moment she was bought.  He and his wife take her home where she meets the sweet little daughter, and the son who is a little older than her.  Almost immediately, I got strange vibes from the congressman from the very beginning, and there was a mystery surrounding this, as she's not the first "pet" the family has had.

The very interesting part of this story, besides the unusual and unique premise, was the relationships built between Ella and the congressman's children.  The young daughter is adorable, so sweet to Ella, and is someone she can care for.  Her relationship with the son was ever so much more complicated, and I loved every second of it.  I so enjoyed watching him awaken her to things she's never seen, heard, or felt before.  It was a slow-building, sweet, and yet still passionate romance.

The story had a wonderful mixture of intrigue, danger, romance, innocence, and dystopia to really satisfy all my desires.  The author did a fabulous job making you care about the three main characters, and to root for Ella.  I loved it and am eagerly awaiting the second installment!

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