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

Posted December 7th, 2015 in Blog Tour, book review / 23 comments

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

Review: Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch (Blog Tour & Giveaway)Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch
Series: Perfected #2
Publisher: Entangled Teen on December 1, 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 219
Format: eARC
Source: Blog Tour
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars
Heat: half-flame

Freedom comes at a cost...

Ella was genetically engineered to be the perfect pet—graceful, demure...and kept. In a daring move, she escaped her captivity and took refuge in Canada. But while she can think and act as she pleases, the life of a liberated pet is just as confining as the Congressman’s gilded cage. Her escape started a revolution, but she’s trapped, unable to get back to Penn—the boy she loves—or help the girls who need her.

Back in the United States, pets are turning up dead. With help from a very unexpected source, Ella slips deep into the dangerous black market, posing as a tarnished pet available to buy or sell. If she's lucky, she'll be able to rescue Penn and expose the truth about the breeding program. If she fails, Ella will pay not only with her life, but the lives of everyone she's tried to save...

At A Glance

An exciting sequel but some stupid actions brought it down.

The Good

Tarnished was a great sequel to Perfected.  Perfected introduced us to the world and Ella’s life as a pet, but Tarnished  pumps up the action and suspense. Ella is on the run from her horrible owner but she can’t resist going back for Penn, the only boy who gets the she is not just a pet, she is a thinking and feeling human being.

Ella grows so much in this book. She is still naïve in a lot of ways but her journey hardens her. But she is still brave and caring and growing even more so. The things she sees, the things she does, it’s all so horrible yet exciting. Ella learns all about what really happens to pets in different regions and each revelation is worse than the other. She is determined to change things.

There is a lot of running and hiding but Ella is slowly making a difference for pets. The ending was killer, a major cliff-hanger. I see the end of the series coming and I am nervous to see how it all turns out.

The Bad

Though I liked Tarnished, I was kind of upset with how randomly stupid everything was. There wasn’t much of a plot. The goal was to get to Penn pretty much the whole book despite how stupid and dangerous it was. First, Ella had to escape the place in Canada that was keeping her safe because they are so horrible. Can you believe they…. Well, they also…. Oh wait, there was nothing freaking wrong with the place, Ella just couldn’t stay away from Penn. *Sighs*

There were more stupid actions that put everyone at unnecessary risk and pure luck escapes that didn’t make sense. I guess that’s why its fiction. Still, I like my books to be more realistic.

The Snuggly

Not much romance except for some cuddling with Ella and Penn. There is some sexual assault though, just a glimpse.

Final Thoughts

Tarnished killed me with emotions and Ella’s difficult journey and it was awesome! I just wish some of Ella’s decisions weren’t so moronic. I would still highly recommend this series. Start with book one, this is not a stand alone book.


“Morning was just an idea that night was considering, a blush-colored dream.”

“But I wasn’t angry. I didn’t hate this new look. If anything, it strengthened me. Maybe now this new girl, the one that stared back at me from the mirror, would have a fighting chance to make it back to Penn. She looked tough, and strong, and fearless.”

About Kate Jarvik Birch

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


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

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      TSTL? Gotta help me out here. I’m old. lol OMG, I totally just realized what it meant. Yes, she is 100% too stupid to live.

  1. Victoria

    I’d forceably make my way back to him :).. it’s my personality to give as good as I get!

  2. Nathan

    It sounds like this series is a good emotional read. It also sounds like the author is imagining a dystopian world were people have used genetic engineering to make “pets” (genetically engineered humans) for their pleasure or labor. On the one hand you want to say it is far thetched, on the other, we know there are people out there who would go for owning others. Maybe I should start this series someday.

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      Honestly, how the book is written, it didn’t feel far fetched at all.

  3. Melissa (Books and Things)

    The premise sounds interesting but I can also see why it could be tricky to write. I always worry about the TSTL aspect that often comes about in these kind of stories. Still sounds entertaining. Might have to check it out due to my curiosity. 😀

  4. Jaclyn Canada

    Yes, I said the same thing about the having to leave Canada thing and how it didn’t make sense. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the story. It was a very quick read and moved things along nicely. I’m excited to see how it all wraps up.

  5. Christy

    I’ve seen this around, but I just now realized it’s a dress on the cover. Just call me Sherlock. lol. Ahh, gotta love random stupid actions.

  6. Kristin

    I feel ya. I was looking forward to this book but I just felt like Ella’s decisions really ruined it for me. I found a lot of it to be unbelievable. However, the gritty stuff they go through to get to Penn kept me interested in the story.

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