Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted July 8th, 2014 in Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway / 19 comments
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by Kate Jarvik Birch

Publisher: Entangled Teen (July 1, 2014)
Genre: Dystopia, Romance, Young Adult
Format: eARC (304 pages)
Source: Free book from blog tour for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)

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.

At A Glance
It gave me the chills in a good way.

The Good
I have never read a book like Perfected. Yay! I love unique concepts in dystopia, because they have been hard to find lately. Perfected is going to creep you out. The concept is spine-chilling and the execution of the topic was even better. Birch really did create a world and characters that will make you a little sick to your stomach by their lack of morals, and make your heart swell by their compassion and sweetness.

Ella was an amazing character. She is naïve about the real world, but she was bred that way. She serves her master without question or thought to her needs. That is the perfect pet. But human is human, and Ella starts to see the world for what it really is, depraved and wrong. Being a pet is suppose to be an honor, but all it is is glorified slavery. Be ready to be sick: these ‘Masters’ have the right to spay and euthanize their pets! Yes, you heard right, they can kill and maim their human slaves. Effing sickening, right? But not all people feel that way, especially Penn, the older brother of the family that owns her. Ella and Penn have this connection from early on. And with that connection, Ella starts to want more out of her life. She wants to be free, but their are so many people are out there who want to squash any freedom she thinks she has. *Shivers*

My skin is still crawling from this story. It really hit me hard. The characters were well done. Good writing and dialogue. The pacing was good, even if I was looking for a little more action. I would for sure read the sequel to this book, especially with how Perfected ended. It can’t end that way!

The Bad
The world-building was a bit lackluster. It was hard enough to picture the government saying owning people as pets is legal. I really needed more backstory and development.

The mystery was easy to figure out from the beginning, and without the big surprise at the end, there was nothing super exciting about this book except seeing how it would end.

The Snuggly
Ella and Penn together were cute, but I didn’t necessarily feel the spark like I hoped. I just thought Penn would be there for Ella more. But by the end, I felt better about them.

Very YA in content, but you will be creeped out about the undertone of sexual abuse by Master to Pet.

Final Thoughts
Not the perfect dystopia, but definitely a unique concept with great characters. I am excited for this new series (I am assuming this will be a series) and you should be too. Very recommended.

“Your sole purpose is to enrich the lives of your new owners.”

“I was bred to be the perfect pet. I was bred for my beauty and grace, to be a showpiece, an ornament to sit upon the couch, to sing, to dance, to play the piano and paint. I was bred to willingly put my owner’s happiness before my own”.

I cracked the lid and stared down at the gold chain that glittered ever so softly in the dim light. On the end of it was a round pendant. I lifted it back up and held it to the light so I could see that the gold pendant was encircled with a ring of shining diamonds. Inside something was engraved in loopy script.
“It’s your name,” he said, reaching out to run his fingers over the letting. “And on the other side it has our address and phone number.”

Author Bio
Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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19 Responses to “Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

  1. Stephanie Faris

    Dystopia exhausts me! I’m glad publishers are saying “no” to them because they’ve been done to death. But I think we’ll see small presses and self-pubbed dystopian for years. I’m judging a contest and I’d say half of the manuscripts are dystopian.

  2. Nick

    It’s always disappointing when I can figure out the mystery early on, but this actually sounds like an interesting dystopian novel since it seems to have a unique take. I do think I’ll want more from the world-building and the romance.
    Glad you liked it overall though! 🙂
    Lovely review!

  3. Brandi Kosiner

    Totally with you on needing more backstory that led government to say its okay. I agree too that it was chilling and a unique premise

  4. Melliane

    Oh something different? It’s the only thing that always intrigues me the most I confess. It’s really great! thanks for the discovery!

  5. Braine TS

    Saw this at Brandi’s blog the other day and she also complained the lack of baclstory. But I agree, girls or women as pets are quite creepy and interesting.

  6. Jaclyn Canada

    YAY we had similar feelings on this one. I loved the uniqueness as well. I’m with you on the humans being humans. No matter how they are raised, we all WANT and we have different things that make us each happy. That was bound to come out. Excellent review 😀 Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

  7. Jessica Haluska

    Wow. I’m glad you liked this one, Jennifer, but I’m kind of over dystopians right now, and the premise of this one is seriously creepy. I actually like that, LOL. If I get a wild hair and decide that I DO want to read another dystopian, I’ll for sure keep this one in mind 😉

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