Friday, January 25, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Beta (Annex #1) by Rachel Cohn

     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 bio engineered 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.
    The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from bestselling author Rachel Cohn, "Beta "is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a corrupted world. Praise for Beta "A terrific premise that is equally well executed...Readers can only hope [the sequel] will be as thrilling as this series kickoff."--Los Angles Times.
Rate: 2 out of 5 stars
My thought:
     I really wasn't expecting much from this book. I don't know if it was just me, not being that interested in the book, or the fact that I read a bunch of reviews on this book, and most weren't that great. But, overall, the book was...... ok.
      The  cover is pretty but it feels like someone went a little overboard in photoshop. The tattoo and violet eyes would have been much more impressive if they had been part of the original photo shoot rather than being added later. I do like the stark, unfeeling expression on the model's face, though.
     I really liked the concept. A world where clones are created to serve the elite. Where slavery is allowed because the clones do not have a soul. And then meet Elysia, one of the first Teen Betas: an experimental type of clone that has not been fully tested. Entering the world at 16, Elysia becomes the companion for a group of teens and is allowed a glimpse at the secrets underlying this tropical paradise. 
     I couldn't develop any feelings for the character of Elysia. I understand that she is a newly "born" clone, and that she is still learning about life, however, I was looking for growth over the course of the book and I just didn't get it. :(  I didn't feel as connected to her character, as I usually am with other characters in other books. Also, Elysia's moods where really unpredictable. One second she's happy, the next she's angry. This happened very often, without indication that it was coming.
     The love story in this book was also a giant fail. We have a case of inst-love on our hands, people!!! Elysia instantly falls in love with one of the characters in the book, which really annoyed me, because the only thing she really knew about him was that he was hot and rich. That's it. And the only times he like her back, where when he was on drugs.To me, it felt very much like a "if I just do this, then he will love me" situation and that really annoyed me too. That being said, once the first love interest was out of the picture, Elysia very easily accepted a new man,  proving that she clearly did not have feelings for anybody - despite her arguments to the contrary. The weird love triangle-thing felt more like it was being added on, to get people to want to buy the next book.
     I only remember reading about  drugs, nudity, sex and rape in this novel. It seemed like every few pages featured a mention of 'Raxia (A drug) or of someone getting near naked for no reason.  And in most chapters, they always mentioned playing a weird video game and eating. Not to mention the fact the Elysia is repeatedly motioned to be "perfect". Perfect body, perfect face, perfect skin, perfect hair......! I feel bad saying it. But It kind of took every reason I had to like it and smashed it to pieces.
     I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, but hey.... to each his own, I suppose.. :\
What's a slut?" I ask him.
"A girl who puts out too easily."
"Puts out what?" I imagine Greer putting out dinner and don't understand what Iwan wouldn't like about that.
"Puts out, you know..." His face, already beet red from our run, turns a darker scarlet. "Sex."
I wonder where Greer puts the sex out.”
Rachel Cohn, Beta

“Maybe your unspeakable defects give you power too?”
Rachel Cohn, Beta


1 comment:

  1. Hey! I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Check it out here: :)

    Happy blogging!
    - Katharina