Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beta by Rachel Cohn

Author- Rachel Cohn
Published- October 16th, 2012
Disney Hyperion
304 pages
Received through SBB ARC Tours

Elysia is 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 a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.

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 induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to.

At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing 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 her one chance at happi-ness is ripped away 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.

The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, "Beta "is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a cor-rupted world.
I was actually pretty hesitant before starting this book. Most of the reviews I had seen were extremely negative. I try to not let others change what books I want to read, so I decided to try it out anyway. I am glad that I trusted my gut!

The thing that drew me towards this book more than anything else was the cover. Yes, I am a self professed cover snob. The font is very neat and sci-fi, and I feel absolutely mesmerized by the eyes of the cover model. Plus, this cover matches up with my rendition of Elysia almost exactly which I found pretty neat. And on top of that, the cover had this awesome sheen and smooth finish that was so neat to look at.

So, what was neat about this book was that it was set on this amazing island in the middle of the ocean. The island is modified to make occupants have a "high" feeling because of drugs pumped into the atmosphere. Everything about the island is perfect except for the fact that they have clones that they use like slaves. Clones are replica's of humans, except for the fact that they possess no soul which means they have no sense of feeling, taste and other factors of life.

Elysia was a really neat character. I found her easy to connect to and easy to sympathize with. She had this great, easy going nature and amazing romantic connection with a fellow Demesne inhabitant. I loved the fact that the entire story was told from her perspective so we heard every waking thought of hers.

Beta delved into some really tough topics, some of which were rape and slavery. Rape was a common occurrence in Beta. Clones were used as toys almost. No regard was made for them, but only what their owner wanted. It was definitely tough to read about, but the book brings a great awareness to the subject.

The end of Beta absolutely made the book for me. It was definitely an unexpected ending and it had a fantastic cliffhanger. No doubt about it, I cannot wait for book two!

Overall, I really enjoyed Beta. It was a unique book with a quick plot and fantastic ending! I would highly recommend it to all sci-fi/ dystopian lovers!

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