Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

March 25, 2015 Reviews 14

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Perfected by Kate Jarvik BirchPerfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Series: Stand Alone
Published by Entangled Teen, Tantor Audio on February 10, 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Length: 7 hours 13 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

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.

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

When I finished Perfected, the first thing I did was look for some sign that it wasn’t a stand alone, even though I was pretty sure it was. And from all I can tell, it is 🙁 I want more – even just two more chapters!

See, Perfected has one of those semi-open endings. Things could go really well or really badly, a lot is going to depend on people and decisions. And there’s all kinds of possibilities. I’m mostly satisfied, though, because I have written out in my mind exactly what happens and it’s all happy. But I really would have liked to see it happen for reals.

But my like / discomfort with the ending is par for the course. That’s how I felt pretty much all through Perfected. Its a really creepy concept – humans bred as pets, not a far cry from slavery and yet, made to look different because they’re pampered rather than laborers. I loved the creepiness of the concept at times and at others the creepiness was done so well I just felt creepy for even enjoying the book, if that makes sense. And it was worse because the entitlement of the top 1% in this country makes me think this isn’t a huge stretch. *chills*

The characters were written so well, from Ella (the pet) who’s been bred to not understand so much that she’s almost incapable of caring for herself to the Congresman (her primary owner) who I thought might be a nice guy at first but felt oogyier and oogier about as Perfected progressed. And Fynn *sigh* he’s YA book boyfriend material from start to finish. He and Ruby (his sister) were equally lovable for their own reasons, but mainly because they didn’t fit the cookie-cutter mold their Congressman father wanted them to.

Its a somewhat slow build – I was interested from the get-go, but as Ella grows more aware and tastes possibilities the tension and anxiety grows to a really exciting conclusion. The last few chapters I couldn’t put down.

And Tavia Gilbert’s narration was a slam dunk, as usual. It’s been a while since I listened to anything read by Tavia, but I love her voices – from women to kids to men there’s variety and personality that males listening a joy.

If you like books that kind of mess with you because they put what’s wrong with the world in an uncomfortable but entertaining way, I think you’ll enjoy Perfected. Its a quick read and I definitely recommend going with the audio.

4 stars Pretty Great

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About Kate Jarvik Birch

Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

14 Responses to “Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch”

    • Berls

      I’m one of those readers that really likes my endings to have neat little bows LOL! If not, at least give me every reason to believe things will turn out one way… and this one had so many possibilities! But it was still a great book and the ending wasn’t bad – I just wanted a bit more. I recommend reading it for sure, let me know what you think when you get to it 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLeanMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Naomi! Yes, I really thought he’d be nicer! The whole thing was this troubling combo of great and creepy lol.

    • Berls

      Right?! So creepy! I can see why you’d say the world was under-developed, I pretty much accepted that it wasn’t very different from our world. But since we’re getting it from the pet’s POV I think it’s harder to give a full picture, at least directly. A lot has to be inferred.

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    I remember shelving this book at b&n and thinking I’d like to read it. I love the creepy factor and it sounds like the world building and characters are very well done. Then that last paragraph you wrote sold me! Excellent review, Berls. I’m moving this one up in the queue.

    • Berls

      Oh I hope you get to read it soon! It definitley does creepy well. The world isn’t too different from ours, which makes it all the more creepy 🙂

  2. Red Iza

    Loved your review, but I’m not sure I’d like to read YA these days… Mmmmm, but it does look good… Well, I’ll think about it, thanks for sharing !

    • Berls

      It has some adult themes that I’m not 100% a YA audience would pick up on, but mostly it is YA. I love YA, but it may not be for you. I will say it doesn’t really have the teenage angst thing, if that’s a factor for you 🙂

    • Berls

      It wasn’t TOTALLY open, but I would have liked a bit more resolution. I think the main point was achieved, but I wanted the secondary elements taken care I of too. I’m greedy like that :p

    • Berls

      I know! When I got the list of titles from Tantor and read humans as pets I was sold! I hope you enjoy it!

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