Sunday, 19 April 2015

Book: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Title: Perfected
Series: Perfected (#1)
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Release Date: 1st July 2014
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Ella is a pet. A genetically modified human that is designed to be kept by the elite to show status. All she has to do is look pretty and display her talents, which for Ella include her true passion; the piano. When Ella is selected by the Congressman she is taken from the Kennels into a world completely alien to her, and quickly finds herself with a new playmate, Ruby. But more than that, she finds herself drawn to the congressman's son, Penn, in a way that she never even thought possible...

Perfected is one of those books that's been sitting on my kindle for a while, and then I read Berls' Review and it made me curious again, so I hunted it down and read it! And I must say, that I agree with Berls, though I did find evidence of a sequel (called Tarnished) so I'm now happy with the ending, whereas before I was a bit like: What?!?!? No not there!

The big thing about Perfected is that it is a really creepy concept. Ella is kept in luxary, with special food, special clothes and nothing to really have to do, she's a pet and it really comes across that she is one. The concept is so well done though that it gets to the point where you wonder exactly why you're ok with it as a reader. And at one point it even had me questioning the morality of keeping pets at all (then my adorable Cavalier King Charles came to find me for a cuddle).

At the end of the copy of Perfected I read, there were a few of the key scenes from Penn's point of view, which I think were good for two reasons. The first was that it made clear what his feelings were (though it had been pretty clear all along, this just clarified it) but also that it made him sound like a normal teenage boy. The things he did to help Ella weren't being done just to help Ella, but rather because of his wants as well, which felt realistic.

The relationship between Ella and Penn was a slow growing one. There was an attraction between them, but as the first person narrative only told Ella's side (until the bonus content) most of the focus was on her coming to terms with what she was feeling, especially as she was never 'taught' what to do in that situation.

There was a point when I was worried that Perfected was going to fade into the background because of the other book I was reading at the same time (A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway) and how enjoyable that was, but I thought that in the end it really held its own and was a great story, with a well done, but incrediably creepy, concept!