Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Our Teens Review Books: Beta by Rachel Cohn

Author: Rachel Cohn

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Synopsis 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 under­current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care-so why are overpowering sensations cloud­ing 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 happi­ness 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. 

What I thought: 

Beta is an intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging story of identity and free will that will have you on the edge of your seat.  In Beta, they live on an Island called Demense, where only the wealthiest people in the world live. 

            Beta tells the story of Elysia, a first in a teenage line of clones.  She is not able to experience emotions or desires.  Elysia is only a toy, a servant, to the people.  She’s 100% expendable.  Any signs of being a “defect” will result in immediate termination. But, what happens when Elysia finds out she might actually be a defect? Will she fight for her freedom?

            Beta is a jaw-dropping, well-written story with many ups and downs that will keep you guessing. The only complaint I could have about this amazingly beautiful book is the ending.  My goodness.  A cliffhanger you would never imagine.

            Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  It was a serious page-turner with all kinds of plot twists. I recommend this book for a new, thrilling dystopian series, and I cannot wait to read the next one.

4 STARS

-- Gracie
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Want to check out Beta? Find it here on the CMRLS catalog and place a hold on it!
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