Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

By: Kate Jarvik Birch
Published: July 1, 2014
Publisher:  Entangled Teen
Source:  Publicist (eARC for honest review)
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GR's Summary:

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 Keira Cass’s 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.

My Thoughts:

Perfected, by Kate Jarvik Birch, was a very interesting Dystopian that made me think of many societal issues pertaining to morals and ethics.  This story was very fast-paced, and easy reading.  The more I read, the more I became fascinated.  I hope that this story is the beginning of a series, because it was left open-ended, and I have so many questions...

Perfected is the story of Ella.  She was genetically engineered in a kennel, along with several other females to be a household "pet."  The sole reason that she, along with the other pets were created was to entertain and bring happiness to their "master."  In this dystopian society, pets are a symbol of status and wealth.  Only the most powerful, wealthy, and prestigious families may own a pet, and even then, they have to put their names on a waiting list, and only a select amount are chosen through a raffle.

Perfected was a very character driven story.  It focused on Ella, her thoughts and feelings, and how she evolved.  Ella was very naive.  She was like an innocent child, sent out in to the world to fend for herself.  She thought that she was meant to entertain her master and his family through her special gifts, but eventually was able to sense that she was in danger.  Her "master," had a sick fascination with her.  He treated her like a thing, and was obsessed with her.  Ella eventually realized that she was trapped in a gilded cage.  The family's son Penn, made her realize her worth.  He was kind, and treated her like a person with unique thoughts, feelings, hopes, likes, and dislikes.  She also got along well with Ruby, the youngest daughter in the family, who loved Ella and was in desperate need of a friend.

I found the way that Ella along with the way the other pets were treated horrifying.  These girls were de-humanized in so many ways, and I was appalled from beginning to end.  Ella started coming in to her own, by the end of the story.  However, I am hoping for a sequel, in which we see a strong Ella recognize her worth, and fight for her individual rights, as well as for the rights of other pets.

My Rating:

Perfected was a very fascinating story with an intriguing premise. This story has a lot of potential, and I hope that it will become a series.  I would like to learn more about the society, and evolution of genetically engineered humans being used for pets.  I think it would also be interesting to learn about other "pets" experiences.  I think it would add to the understanding and fulfill a bit of my curiosity if we learned how pets were designed, the history behind them, why their aren't male pets, and what happens when they get old.  I give, Perfected, by Kate Jarvik Birch 3.5 Fast-Paced, Intriguing, Contemplative Stars!  If there is a sequel, I will be reading it!!!  If you enjoy the Y.S. Dystopian genre, Perfected is a good start to a hopefully new series.

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About Kate Jarvik Birch:

Kate has loved writing ever since she was a little girl. She wrote her first novel in fourth grade (the main character was suspiciously similar to herself). As an adult, her essays and short stories have been published in Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, Saint Ann's Review, Scissors and Spackle and in a forthcoming issue of Indiana Review. Her first play, (a man enters), co-written with Elaine Jarvik, was produced in 2011 by Salt Lake Acting Co.


  1. Hmmmm....dystopian doesn't always do it for me. I do like that it's a character driven story though.

  2. Sounds really good, I don t read a lot of dystopian but will put this book on my TBR list. Thanks for your honest review


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