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Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Synopsis: 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.
Review: This book! I don't even know where to start, I loved pretty much everything about this book, this story, and the world. It's so interesting and unique and it was definitely a breath of fresh air.
Ella is such an interesting character. I mean, there are books where girls are treated like slaves or are slaves and are not given the opportunity to follow their dreams or think for themselves. But Ella is raised to be a pet. Not just a slave, but a literal pet. Like a purebred cat or dog. She begins her life in a kennel, and is trained to make sure her eventual masters will be pleased with their purchase. It's absolutely insane, but incredibly interesting at the same time.
As a pet, Ella shouldn't have feelings. At all. She shouldn't love one of her talents more than the other, she shouldn't form opinions on her family, and she certainly should not fall in love. But then there's Penn, who also knows better than to love a pet, and he and Ella begin to shake the very foundation of Ella's life and training. Their romance was slow and, although there's definitely an attraction or interest at first sight, it's not at all insta-love or any of that. I really enjoyed the progression of the relationship, and how it seemed like Ella had to learn to find herself and know herself before she could find love.
I think my favorite part of this book was the world-building though. Sure, it's set in the US in the not-so-distant future, but I felt like it was worlds away from any future i could imagine. Learning about the world and its laws through Ella's perspective was also incredibly fascinating, since she knows only a little more than the reader. She knows that she's a pet and that she lives to please her family, but that's about it. Learning about how the laws came to be and how people are so wildly opposed to it and how the girls are bred was just fascinating. It's not something I ever want to see happen, but it's interesting nonetheless.
I would totally recommend this book to any fans of YA dystopian stories, especially if you're looking for one that totally breaks the mold. Although it's very different from The Selection series, I think fans of those books would definitely enjoy this book as well. I'm excited to find out what will happen next, and I really hope that there's a sequel (or sequels) in the works! I love Kate's writing and I can't wait to find out what other projects she has in store for us. A 4/5 for sure!