Thursday, February 7, 2013

ARC Review: Beta by Rachel Cohn

Publisher: Hyperion
Publishing Date: October 16th, 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian
Pages: 331 pgs
ISBN: 9781423157199
Source: ARC borrowed from fellow blogger for honest review

Summary from Goodreads:
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. Praise for Beta "A terrific premise that is equally well executed...Readers can only hope [the sequel] will be as thrilling as this series kickoff."--Los Angles Times


My Review: 

Hmm... I'm not sure what to think of this one.  I did enjoy reading this novel because the concept and the writing is great.  It is about a clone who lives with a family as a sort-of replacement for their daughter.  In this dystopian/sci-fi novel, the world is post apocalyspe and the characters live on an island that is meant to be heaven for those that can afford it.  While these people are rich and pay for clones to do their dirty work, there seems to be something missing for them.  Regardless of one's surroundings there will always be problems.  The main character, Elysia is a clone that is trying to do her best to be a companion but she starts to begin feeling emotions that she was told she shouldn't.  She tries to keep things to herself but she begins to notice that things are not quite right and it is getting more and more difficult to keep this to herself.  The reason I say that I'm not sure what to think of this novel is because it is another series.  I have so many series on the go that it is hard to keep track of them.  I don't think I'd mind if things seem to be slightly wrapped up at the end of the book but this book kind of just ends on a serious cliffhanger.  I have to admit that this has been driving me a little bananas lately.  Can I please just have one book that wraps up in a single book.  If you want to make it a series then great but please wrap things up slightly instead of leaving me hanging.  I realize that it is a marketing ploy.  I mean you get someone hooked and then they just have to pick up the next book.  That is really my only problem with this novel.  There are a few gritty parts to this novel and I really liked that.  It doesn't try to sugar coat things but it presents things in a raw manner.  Kudos to Cohn for being able to that because it is not an easy thing to write about uncomfortable things.  I also quite liked Elysia's character.  I wasn't sure about it at first because she was a clone and a little stiff in the beginning.  As Elysia grows, you are able to peel back a few of her layers and you end up really liking her.  I am looking forward to finding out what happens in the next novel but as I say I am a little irked by the cliffhanger.  


  1. I really enjoyed this book, but I agree that I wish it could have been wrapped up in one book. I really enjoyed the characters and I really liked how Elysia dealt with things. I will say there were a few things that disturbed me, like the "brother" was a bit much for me. I'm definitely excited for more from Rachel.

    1. The "brother" was sooo disturbing. It actually shocked me! Thanks for popping by :)