Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
Published July 1st, 2014 by Entangled: Teen
Source: ARC provided by NetGalley and Hardcover (purchased)
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
Ella is a Pet. She has been trained and bred at Greenwich Kennels to be an obedient and faithful companion to the rich and powerful. She was engineered to be beautiful, she has impeccable manners, she's a skilled pianist and she lives to serve her owner. She is even a playmate for the household children. The government passed laws allowing this to happen and it is the life that Ella was born to live. Ella is girl, but her life is not hers to live.
When she leaves her kennel for the first time to meet her adoptive family, she sees the world for the first time. All she's ever known has been the kennel and her training, but nothing could really prepare her for what lies beyond the walls that have sheltered her for so many years. She expected to be a perfect Pet and allowed to live in luxury, wearing the finest gowns and being pampered, but the price for this lavishness is the complete lack of freedom. She must do whatever she's told, eat a special approved diet and always be loyal to their masters. It all seems simple until Ella meets Penn, her masters son, who has a rebellious streak and love for music, just like Ella does (but isn't supposed to). He introduces her to new concepts, plays her new songs and tempts her with new foods. He makes her feel things she has never felt before and these feelings are mutual. Their love is forbidden, yet they still continue to steal away into the night, spending precious time together. In a way, they are alike. Both of them are captive to Penn's father. Penn wants to be a musician but his father thinks it's a waste of time. Ella is nothing more than a possession in the eyes of society and there is no way for them to be together unless they can get away, but if Ella is caught, the consequences are terrifying. After all, the family had a Pet before her who was disobedient and nobody ever saw her again once she was disciplined. They must decide what is more important, living a secure, lavish life or risking it all for love and freedom.
What do I think?
Perfected is beautiful, heartbreaking and breathtaking. The romance between Ella and Penn will leave you feeling intoxicated and exhilarated and as they try to overcome the hardships of their situation, you will want to root for them to make it. Perfected also raises ethical dilemmas about human rights and genetic manipulation. The way that Ella was treated, like an animal and not a person, just made me feel so bad for her. I honestly didn't expect to feel so much while reading this book. I hear people saying..."OH, THE FEELS, THE FEELS!" and I would normally laugh at them, but seriously...the feels...they got me. I found myself gasping and holding my breath, crossing my fingers and sighing. Kate Jarvik Birch's writing is stunning and gorgeous and thoroughly transports you into the pages. I admit that this is one of the books I was most looking forward to reading this year, and it definitely lived up to, and exceeded, my expectations. I only hope there is a sequel set to release SOON, because I NEED IT.
Other books to read if this sounds good:
The Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano
The Blackcoat Rebellion series by Aimee Carter
Delirium series by Lauren Oliver