Wednesday, 19 November 2014

REVIEW || Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Book Title: Perfected
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publisher: Entangled Teen, July 1st, 2014
Source: Bought!
Format: Hardback, 304 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
Perfected follows Ella, a pet as she goes to live with her new family. To be honest I was expecting a gritty YA dystopia with loads of excitement... and the tiresome romance - I was presented with something less dystopian and more normal, and unfortunately less exciting. Basically, the only notable difference between America-in-real-life and America in the book was the fact that a bill was passed, in the book, that allowed families to own humans as pets - modern day slavery.

That aspect alone intrigued me, although it did have me on the fence from the beginning, wondering whether or not it could be executed in just the right way. It didn't improve that much. Ella for one was likeable enough but nothing special, there's wasn't much character development or any real arc for her and that irritated me slightly. And the romance? Instalove. Erm. No thank-you.  Don't get me wrong I did actually enjoy reading the romance, its been a while since I've read a decent one - it was easy and not too heavy, I warmed to it because at first I could very much accept it as more instant attraction rather than love, but then Ella just had to go and "fall in love" and Penn too. Instalove. Sigh. On the topic of "feelings" I felt that Perfected also lacked a lot of emotional depth, the moments when the potential to really use it just felt like tarnishes in the story.

The pace and excitement of the novel greatly increased towards the end (definitely my favourite bit of the whole book). I only wish it wasn't as predictable as it turned out to be. Secondly, keeping in mind that at the time I was under the impression it was a standalone, the ending was very unsatisfactory, for me. This book had a lot of potential to be better than it was but needless to say I will be picking up the sequel because a) I need to know what happens next and b) I'm hoping that the sequel will be an improvement what with all the leading-up having been done within this first novel. Hopefully the world building that this book lacked will be made up in the sequel, but I would have preferred more development of the world in this one.

Overall Perfected was a pretty average read, I enjoyed reading it and I'm definitely going to be following the series but in the end it wasn't anything that really stood out for me. I do recommend it because I know a lot of people will enjoy it more than I did, so if you're a fan of The Selection series then definitely give this one a go!

Rating = 3 Bookish Birds

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