Perfected

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3.9 (4)
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Perfected
Age Range
12+
Release Date
July 01, 2014
ISBN
978-1622662685
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Perfection comes at a price. 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.

User reviews

4 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.9
Plot 
 
3.8  (4)
Characters 
 
4.0  (4)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (4)
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human pets?
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Imagine a world where specially bred (genetically modified) humans could be kept as pets. "Perfected" features Ella who was bred and raised to be a pet- complete with catering to her master's whims, being fed special food, used for looks, wearing a collar, being implanted with a microchip, and under threat of being spayed. Ella is happy with her lot in life, because she has been raised to do just that. The wealthy are the ones who can afford the human pets, and even though there is a lot of ethical debates about it (some people refusing to buy them and an underground resistance to help them escape to Canada), it has been made legal in the United States to own these pets.

Ella, at 16 years of age, is a product of the system and a perfect pet- she is happy to be owned and seeks to please her masters- the Congressman who helped to get the laws to make it legal through and his wife and two children who are still at home- Penn, a college student, and Ruby, a young girl. Ella gets a feel for the landscape with this new family as well as begins to realize the more sinister aspects of being a pet. She notes how another purchased pet is touched strangely by the wealthy man who just purchased her and how the Congressman treats her (calling her "Love," kissing her uncomfortably, and touching her with ownership/placing her on his lap uncomfortably).

While a completely enthralling story that was impossible to put down, I am curious how the developed romance will evolve in future books. Ella is susceptible to sexual harassment/assault, even if she doesn't understand what it is. There is a huge power differential between the owning family and herself. Additionally, without freedom to make her own choices, the 'romance' that develops between her and the son, Penn, cannot be real, as she is never really free to choose/never on an equal playing field with him. Will Ella realize this as the series evolves? This is a big question which I am curious to see whether it will develop in earnest in future books. Penn's feelings might be real, but Ella's cannot be, due to the power dynamic and, to an extent, some form of Stockholm Syndrome. I will be curious to see how this plays out in future books. The relationship was uncomfortable, to say the least, to read about, as it mirrors unfortunate parts of the US history.

Although the overall tone seems somewhat light, it carries some very dark themes that make me think of The Lone City series. I would give it somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, but I do want to see how this all develops in future books- what a ride!

Please note that I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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Disturbing concept
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
A new legislation has been passed, allowing the rich elite to now own genetically engineered human pets. These pets are trained from birth to be the perfect companions. Ella is one of these pets and, at first, she loves her role as companion to a congressman's daughter, but things get complicated with his son Penn. Penn seems to be able to see through her perfect act to the real her. Then Ella is kidnapped and quickly learns that not everyone is in favor of human pets.

The concept of this book was disturbing and unsettling, which was the purpose so that was definitely successful. Ella was bred and trained for the sole purpose of being purchased by a wealthy family determined to have the next big 'it' item that declared their elite status. She was treated like an owner would treat a beloved pet but she was human so it led to some uncomfortable moments between her and her owners.

I would have liked to see more about how the legislation was passed and how it became acceptable to own the human pets. Ella was bought by a congressman that had a huge hand in passing the law but it was never really touched upon other than it being the reason he thought their family needed a pet. I could buy into the mindset of the elite wanting the new status definer of owning humans pets and the anti-pet mindset of the groups opposing the law, but more development as to how it came to be would have helped.

Ella could be a frustrating character but in ways I could understand. She was bred and trained to be a certain way, act a certain way, so I could understand her being scared any time she had a 'free' thought or desire. She didn't want to be returned as defective to the kennel. She thought she had a good life, well taken care of, loved, pampered with expensive clothes, and all she had to do was act her part as their pet. It was nice to see the struggle in her head between wanting to be safe as the pet and wanting to be a woman.

Penn, the congressman's son, was a character I really liked. He was rebellious and didn't have much respect for his father or for the whole human pet legislation. Ruby, the congressman's young daughter, I really felt for. She was so innocent and her parents were very hard on her, both their children actually, but Ruby was only ten and didn't really seem to understand the concept of a human pet.

I did find it to be a little predictable. The events unfolded in the way I figured they would. It was pretty fast-paced and easy to read, a good book for a one-night read. The characters and the romance were at the front while the dystopian elements were more in the back so we ended up with more development and focus on the first two than the last.

It's supposed to be the first book in a new series so I'm hoping to get some answers in the next books.
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Perfected
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
First I would just like to say I LOVE that cover and that it is not just beautiful but also accurately represents Perfected! Ella actually wears dresses like that all the time so it's not like some other books with dresses on the cover were the girl only wears a fancy dress in one little part of the book. And the is an great symbol for the caged and put on display life, she has been forced into.

Perfected starts right before Ella and the 19 other pets are shown to their future owners and are being given a kind of pep talk by their trainer. By pep talk I mean the trainer basically says they don't matter except to look pretty and do what their master tells them to do. And yet the trainer wasn't made out to be evil. It was more like she just did not understand that the girls were people with original thoughts and feelings. I think she truly believed that the girls had minds that were somewhere between a robot and a dog.

My favorite part about Perfected is that there is no evil government or villain. Her owner does end up becoming the bad guy towards the end but I never felt like he didn't' have some morality. It made him seem very real and not just a one dimensional cardboard cutout villain. On the same note the government that allows the owning of pets is our current one.(This is set in the US BTW) This might be a few years in the future since they can genetically engineer people but still it's not a hundred years in the future. A bill was passed that says the pets are just that from a legal stand point. It didn't go too deeply into exactly how that happened, or if it did I can't recall, but basically it went through the right process and became law. Albeit with a least some bribing of congressmen.

I'd like to warn that the romance is a large part of the story so if your looking for adventure, you're likely going to be disappointed. Perfected is more of a contemporary romance with Sci Fi elements than an action-packed Dystopian.
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Perfected review
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
First I would just like to say I LOVE that cover and that it is not just beautiful but also accurately represents Perfected! Ella actually wears dresses like that all the time so it's not like some other books with dresses on the cover were the girl only wears a fancy dress in one little part of the book. And the is an great symbol for the caged and put on display life, she has been forced into.

Perfected starts right before Ella and the 19 other pets are shown to their future owners and are being given a kind of pep talk by their trainer. By pep talk I mean the trainer basically says they don't matter except to look pretty and do what their master tells them to do. And yet the trainer wasn't made out to be evil. It was more like she just did not understand that the girls were people with original thoughts and feelings. I think she truly believed that the girls had minds that were somewhere between a robot and a dog.

My favorite part about Perfected is that there is no evil government or villain. Her owner does end up becoming the bad guy towards the end but I never felt like he didn't' have some morality. It made him seem very real and not just a one dimensional cardboard cutout villain. On the same note the government that allows the owning of pets is our current one.(This is set in the US BTW) This might be a few years in the future since they can genetically engineer people but still it's not a hundred years in the future. A bill was passed that says the pets are just that from a legal stand point. It didn't go too deeply into exactly how that happened, or if it did I can't recall, but basically it went through the right process and became law. Albeit with a least some bribing of congressmen.

I'd like to warn that the romance is a large part of the story so if your looking for adventure, you're likely going to be disappointed. Perfected is more of a contemporary romance with Sci Fi elements than an action-packed Dystopian.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
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