#NeedMoreSciFi #Sale: Perfected-Kate Jarvik Birch

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This book held my attention until the very last page, at which point I was screaming for MORE. I want another book in this series. I want this novel on the big screens. -The Schwartz Reviews

I found myself gasping and holding my breath, crossing my fingers and sighing. Kate Jarvik Birch’s writing is stunning and gorgeous and thoroughly transports you into the pages. -Michelle’s Minions

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s sick and wonderful and everything in between. – Yohara Leon Gonzalez

synPerfection 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.

Excerpt“Remember… You’ll never be one of them,” Miss Gellner said, repositioning each of us on our divans in the sitting room so our gowns draped elegantly around our crossed ankles.

She stepped back and gazed at the group of us, her face pinched and stern like always, but I spotted a tiny glimmer of pride behind her rheumy eyes. Twenty girls: lovely, demure, quiet. She was pleased with us, even if she wouldn’t say it out loud.

Miss Gellner blinked, as if bringing herself back to the moment. “Things won’t change once you leave here,” she went on. “Simply because you’ll be pampered and spoiled, your life’s mission won’t suddenly be any different. Remember that. Your sole purpose is to enrich the lives of your new owners.”

I read Perfected as an advance reader and it was easily one of the most unique and riveting dystopias of 2014, so I decided to share again what I loved about it in preparation for book two, Tarnished, releasing on December 1, 2015. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Perfected:

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Keep reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Perfected-Kate Jarvik Birch

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4/5 Stars

***I received this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Entangled Teen.

“I thought that freedom and happiness would be indistinguishable, but now I didn’t know. Maybe freedom wasn’t a state of being. Maybe it was an act of courage. Maybe freedom was definace and sacrifice and pain, something that couldn’t be won without giving up something else in return.”

***

“I reached out for him in the dark, desperate to feel him, as if his presence could keep me from being swept away. My touch was like a lit match, igniting him. He pulled me to his cheat, just as frantic to hold me as I was to hold him.”

cooltext1544204149 copyPerfection 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 full 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…if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate worse than death. 

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

-via Goodreads

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Ella has known nothing but the inside of the Greenwich Kennels her whole life. She’s been primped and pruned, genetically designed to not only be pleasing to look at but to acquiesce to her future master’s every desire. Ella has been taught poise, etiquette, talents to impress and most importantly how to be the perfect pet. Ella has wanted for nothing and she’s never known what it means to yearn because she never knew that anything like free will was a possibility. Her life, her every action caters to the wants of others.

When Ella is purchased by a very eager congressman, she’s comforted by the knowledge that the girls at Greenwich are not pets for just anyone, they’re elite, the toys of the top 1% of upper class society and this means that nothing unsavory or bad could ever happen to her. 

Ella is content in her new life but she has the sneaking suspicion that not all is as it seems. Ella learns of a previous pet, one that has a supposedly untreatable illness, of people who are against pets who run an underground haven for girls like Ella, and of what happens to pets once they get older.

Ella is not safe, she never was and the harder she fights to be perfect, it seems the more trouble she gets into. Ella knows she must not dream, that she should be grateful for what she has, after all, it’s what she was born for, but her heart has other plans. The congressman’s son, close to Ella’s age and a mystery, seems to call to her, awakening something in her she never knew existed. More than a thirst for companionship, this runs deeper and more fierce. Penn sees her as a person, as something more than an accessory or pretty house decoration to be shown off. To him, Ella is very real and very much alive with her own thoughts and feelings. 

But Penn and Ella can never be together. She’s not permitted to love or to disobey, she must do as she’s told and never question. When her life is put on the line, Penn and Ella hatch a plan, one that if it fails would doom them both.

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PROS:

  • The premise of this book is just a jaw-dropping shock to the system. The idea that humans, the elite upper class of society would breed people to put on display like show dogs is completely disgusting and utterly unsettling. Perfected is an original, eye-opening story of how morally bankrupt and delusional society can be. 
  • Kate Jarvik Birch does an amazing job channeling the slimy, creepy gaze of the congressman and the others whose seedy eyes rove Ella’s body, equating her to something less than human, a toy to be played with and who would be a source of amusement, regardless of her feelings. She’s someone they can use and abuse, taking advantage of her and her role as a possession is just nauseating. The sense of danger, the perilous and precarious position she’s in is emphasized with every moment that Ella is alone with the congressman and the way he caresses her body, possessive and domineering. It’s despicable and will make your skin crawl. 
  • Spaying. Horrific. Seriously nightmare-inducing and disturbing; the thought of forced sterilization just because an ‘owner’ doesn’t want to deal with the possible repercussions of their actions. I was appalled and so sick with how easy it was to dismiss Ella’s rights and feelings as a woman. 
  • Perfected makes you think. So many things that are taken for granted, our ability to choose, to procreate, to love and receive love are just some of the many deep, philosophical questions on morality and humanity that are piqued in this story.
  • Ella’s growth is stunning and beautiful to read. As she discovers her feelings and what her heart yearns for it’s breathtaking and almost whimsical, watching someone who had been refused the ability to choose and to feel open her eyes is something profound and incredible to watch. As Ella’s delusions about how life is supposed to be crumble, she comes into her own and realizes that her life shouldn’t belong to anyone but herself. Ella is childlike, sweet, and so insanely innocent. She’s meek and charming and doesn’t know what to do with herself. The struggle she goes through to find the correct response to scenarios she hasn’t been trained for is heartbreaking. So much has been taken from her and as she realizes just how much it’s hard not to feel for her. 
  • The scenes between Penn and Ella are magical. They’re short and tame but full of longing and their chemistry just glows right off the page. They’re playful and loving, they get each other and sometimes their encounters are embarrassing and awkward yet full of angst.
  • Penn is a regular hero. He’s a musician with a big heart and strong sense of morals. He’s calculated, caring, and goes out of his way to make Ella comfortable to open up and become her own person.

CONS:

  • Parts seemed to drag on where nothing really happened. Sitting in the lap of luxury is a dull and tedious lifestyle and much of Ella’s time is just slow-paced and Gatsby-esque.
  • There’s not much character development other than with Ella. Many of the others were closed off and something was lacking in interactions and dialogue. Apart from small insights into their overall character, many were one dimensional. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading, 

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Upcoming Reviews

I know it’s been an extremely long time since I’ve done one of these posts and I’m still a little behind on reviews but since I can never keep track of when I receive books to participate in Stacking the Shelves, this is the next best thing. I’ve decided to do color as theme. This week is blue 🙂 There will probably be more than just these four but for now…

Coming up:

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Between the Layers by SaraJean Panek

Most fifteen year old girls are trying to figure out who they are; I’m trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what.

I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal.But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.

I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.

The Silver Tower by Colee Firman

At eighteen-years-old, Sophie Hayden’s entire life has already been planned out for her. Just like her parents, she’s on the fast track to becoming a Guide for The Silver Tower. In three weeks, she’ll graduate from Slatemore Academy and move away from home—away from her controlling father and spoiled siblings.

When Sophie heads out to do fieldwork required for graduation, she hardly expects to cross paths with students from her school—much less witness them using an ancient relic that’s not supposed to leave the grounds of Slatemore.

Sophie’s decision to find out exactly what they’re up to nearly costs her everything. It seems like a miracle when Leo Emerik swoops in and saves her from disaster. Sophie’s ready to thank him and move on. He has other plans for her.

The minute Leo set his sights on Sophie she knew she was in trouble. Just being in the same room as him has her perfect world ready to spin off its axis. Getting mixed up with Leo is the last thing she needs, and suddenly the only thing she wants.

A catastrophe with Sophie’s name on it seems to be waiting around every corner since meeting Leo. Somehow, he’s always there to bail her out.

Everyone else can see the one thing she can’t—her bad fortune may all lead back to him.

*WARNING* CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE. MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER AND/OR SENSITIVE READERS.

Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellision

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

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.

If you have a color you’d like to see for the following week, feel free to comment. As always, if you’ve read any of these and would like to discuss them or really would like to nominate another blue book comment as well 🙂 

Pleasant reading, 

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