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Thursday, July 5, 2012
Beta by Rachel Cohn (Bit of a Spoiler...Vague Spoilers)
In a world constructed to absolute perfection, imperfection is difficult to understand—and impossible to hide. Elysia is a clone, created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen year old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of teenaged clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to be created. Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air there induces a strange, euphoric high that only the island's workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to. At first, Elysia's new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, the most privileged people in the world who should want for nothing, yearn. And, she comes to realize that beneath its flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent amongst Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care—so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind? If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When Elysia's one chance at happiness is ripped away from her with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.
One line review: Beta was an enjoyable read, but I didn't LOVE it as much as I hoped I would. (P.S. sorry if I'm redundant. I've been tired lately for no reason...also. I have a book hangover. Read Pushing the Limits, loved it, so all books seem a bit dim to me right now.)
There was a lot of description in her writing and I'm not quite sure...is that good or bad? I mean, Elysia is a clone so she would think of things in descriptive ways, but it just got on my nerves sometimes. But otherwise Beta was written beautifully! What I liked was that a lot of things were well thought out. Like how one side of the face got the purple fleur-de-lis tattoo to announce that they were clones and the other got a different tattoo, telling what their specific job was. And how the process of creating a clone was where a dead body had to go through the process in 48 hours etc. It just seemed like the world was real the way there were no small holes in the logic! Wait. Did that make sense?
The thing I didn't really enjoy were the characters. One moment, Elysia seemed like the (supposedly) unemotional clone she should've been then an actual human. Sure, half the book she was supposed feel, but even in the beginning, she just switched back and forth and it just annoyed me. (And near the end when she accepts Alexander...she's been fighting to be her own person..but suddenly she accepts him because he's an excellent solution? And because "she" isn't there so it's Elysia's for the taking? What?) And Tahir...well he was OK, but it wasn't really explained why he acted like himself after he met Elysia...
As for the romance...it just seemed a bit sudden, and it didn't feel like actual feelings were there. More like..they were there so they fell in love. That was kind of my feeling for the entire book since their "romance" came to light. Elysia just seemed extremely desperate to love someone and Tahir was there. (Redundance...) But...eh.
Series: Beta #1
Release: October 16
Rating: 3 stars
"My heart suddenly beats faster, as if I am being threatened, when I know I am only being reassured about my duties. "I do not wish," I state. "I serve."