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Sunday, July 6, 2014

ARC Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Miss Gellner has trained the pets at Greenwich Kennels to sit pretty, stay silent, and smile. She forgot to mention don’t listen, don’t feel, and don’t let your heart rule your actions. Number Eight is bought by Congressman and Mrs. John Kimball. Their daughter, Ruby, needs a companion. The first pet didn’t work out and John can’t admit defeat, especially since he’s a big supporter of pet buying. The genetically engineered girl can barely absorb the beautiful house, the gorgeous clothes, and the stunning young man of the house. Penn, Ruby’s brother, stirs feelings she’d never known existed. He chooses her name, Ella. He hears her play the piano and realizes they share a love of music. The attraction grows from there. A neighbor abhors the pets and likens them to slavery. She kidnaps Ella and ditches her at a “safe” house. Ella must sell her clothes to the woman in the filthy apartment and is cast out. Runaway pets must be returned to their rightful owners. Ella has an embedded microchip and is found. Then the nightmare begins. Whom can she trust? What is the purpose of a pet? Where can she hide? How does one forget love and move on?

Ella and Penn are teenagers whose future has been mapped out for them. Ella has been trained how to behave. She can’t read or write, but it doesn’t stop her from asking questions. The humanness in her only grows when she realizes what she has been denied. Penn has to adhere to his father’s plan. No music study, only business school. Both rebel with unforeseen consequences. Both take many risks to find answers and happiness.

The story looks at power from many different sides. Political, family, and social forces rule every day. What can be done about oppression when a person has no voice or power? People are slotted into boxes before they are born and aren’t allowed to escape or request another route. Ella is a toy given to Ruby. She must play her role to survive. The first pet was returned and imperfection is not tolerated. Penn tries to stand up to his father, but without money and power, he has limited choices. He sees his father in a negative light and must break away.

This is a disturbingly good read and open ended, hinting of a sequel.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |


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