Monday, July 31, 2017
Book Review: Perfected
Basically, what you need to know about Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch is that it is set in a future in which teenage girls have now replaced tiny dogs as the new "it" accessory for the rich. These girls are genetically engineered to be beautiful and taught absolutely nothing except how to sit and be pretty.... they are literally pets: they are raised in kennels, and at one point, the owner of the book's protagonist (Ella) is actually given a freaking DOG TAG to wear around her neck.
Because of the way she was raised, Ella actually thinks she has it pretty good. Her new family seems nice enough (even though they make her eat in the kitchen and she has a specially formulated super bland diet so she doesn't gain weight) and they dress her up and give her a pretty room. Plus she really likes the family's young daughter. And then her new owner starts acting kind of creepy. Sexually creepy. And she starts hearing about the LAST pet... and how she got "sick" and sent back to the Kennel. Plus she starts developing feelings for her owner's son, which the owner does NOT like.
Just as she is trying to figure out all her confusing new feelings, Ella is kidnapped by a well-meaning but misguided person who thinks all pets should be set free. Penniless, illiterate, and completely terrified, Ella is left to wander the unfamiliar streets and must decide if she wants to go home, or try to start a new life out in the world.
As far as the story goes - there's nothing new here: books about genetic engineering and people as pets have been around a long time. Still, the writing style is engaging, and though Ella is hopelessly dull as a character, some of the other characters, especially some of the other pets are interesting and fun.
Rating: 3/5 bookmarks, because I actually WANTED to read book 2 to see how this played out.