Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch | Review

September 3, 2014 Book Reviews 10 ★½

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch | ReviewPerfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
Published by Entangled Teen on July 1st 2014
Pages: 304
Format: eArc
Source: NetGalley

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.

PERFECTED had the makings of a great dystopian novel but unfortunately its poor execution made this one a disappointment. PERFECTED tells the story of Ella, a genetically engineered human who has been bred specifically to live as a pet. Trained to be obedient, demure and talented, Ella and her fellow companions are sent to the homes of the rich and privileged.

Why? We never find out which is the first of many problems with this book. It’s like the story has been created from a mish-mash of popular elements found in recent YA novels without any real thought for plot or character development. After a promising start I reached the one-third mark and started to grow frustrated at the fact that I could barely differentiate between any of the characters not to mention the absence of any world building. There were several disturbing elements to this book that could really have opened a dialogue on issues that affect our society today including the sex trade, slavery, abuse however the tone of the book and the paper thin plot meant that the book truly missed the mark and never reached its potential which was such a shame. Although this review is negative it is written with a heavy heart because with every page I was willing for this book to develop its themes and plot rather than tease.

Ella was a sweet character and while I could understand her naivety and appreciate her gentle and kind nature I couldn’t bring myself to care for her. The sinister backdrop to her arrival and the constant references to her “family’s” previous pet added an air of mystery but again fell short of stirring any real emotion in me. The always unwelcome insta-love unfortunately finished any hope of this book growing on me and I was relieved more than anything else when I turned to the end and even the so-called thrilling, fast paced cliff-hanger couldn’t raise any feelings of anticipation of continuing Ella’s story.

The one highlight was the character of Ruby, she was by far the most realised character in the book and her personality made her a favourite amongst the mediocrity.

Sadly one big disappointment. If you’re looking for “Diet Dystopian” then stick to The Selection and give this one a miss!



10 Responses to “Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch | Review”

  1. Emma @ Never Judge a Book by its Cover

    I bought this book from Foyles last week and I actually can’t wait to start it. It reminded me of The Jewel that I finished reading last week so I hope it lives up to my expectations. Sorry it was a disappointment for you. Lovely review, Danielle! 🙂

    • Danielle

      I really hope you like it! It worked for lots of my friends so I wouldn’t worry. I had been waiting to read it for months so I think I may have overhyped it in my head! Let me know how it goes! I can’t wait to read The Jewel! 🙂

  2. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Hehe I like how you described it as a Diet Dystopian! It seems like a lot of dystopians these days on the tail end of the craze could fit into this category. I like how there are some deeper issues explored, but it sounds like it wasn’t executed right. Lovely review Dani! (I have missed you!)

  3. Trish @ Between My Lines

    I liked it a bit more than you, in a read it and forget about it kind of way. It’s a shame it wasn’t developed further as it had potential. I think it might work better for a younger, new to dystopia reader.

  4. Ana @ Read Me Away

    Hehe, “diet dystopia.” I like that term. The synopsis of the book intrigues me but I think I would be really frustrated by a good premise but bad execution kind of book. 🙁 Thanks for the heads up, and great review, Danielle! 🙂

Leave a Reply