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Beta by Rachel Cohn

Friday, October 5, 2012

In a world constructed to absolute perfection, imperfection is difficult to understand—and impossible to hide.

Elysia is a clone, 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 teenaged clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to be created.

Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air there induces a strange, euphoric high that only the island's workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to.

At first, Elysia's new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, the most privileged people in the world who should want for nothing, yearn. And, she comes to realize that beneath its flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent amongst 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 Elysia's one chance at happiness is ripped away from her 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.

Goodreads Summary

What if you were told that you had no soul and were instructed to always serve your owners? Elysia emerged as a sixteen-year-old girl on Demesne, an island that was created for relaxation and perfection. Demesne is staffed by clones that exist to serve their human masters. Initially, Elysia enjoys her life as a slave, but she slowly comes to realize that there is something wrong with her. Elysia experiences sensations she should not and thinks thoughts that she should not. As time passes, Elysia begins to wonder how her human masters can be unhappy on a perfect island, and is the island really as perfect as everyone wants to believe?
Seeing the world through Elysia’s eyes is interesting, she is a blank slate with no previous experience. Elysia slowly learns about herself and the world around her. I felt so bad for her because she is living in such corruption. Cohn did a great job with this novel and I hope to read more of her work. Teen girls will love this book along with most female readers.

5 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Jenni said...:

    I have to admit I past this book up awhile ago without really looking to see what it was about. However after reading your review I added it to my list to read in the future! It sounds really interesting and different.

  1. This sounds so good! Thanks for the review, i hadn't seen it before.

  1. Unknown said...:

    I hadn't given Beta much thought. I may give it a try now. Thanks for the review!

  1. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing the review.

  1. Lisagi said...:

    Great review of this book. I need descriptive reviews to know if I want to read the book. I like how you described the book's content in enough detail so that I know I would love to get into this myself!

  1. Caroline said...:

    It sounds really good! It's already on my to read list on goodreads!

  1. I have read really mixed reviews on this one. It is either great or not worth reading. I am really torn.

  1. Denise said...:

    This book sounded a little overused, so I didn't give it a second glance, but now that I understand the plot better, I think I'll give it a try.

  1. I've been seeing this one around a lot! It's looks really interesting!

  1. The thing that I have heard about Beta that has kept me from reading it is the presence of a rape and a pregnancy due to the rape, and how horrible the handling of both were. I don't know if it was handled as badly as it has been said or not, but that is why I haven't taken a chance. On the other side, I have heard that it is a great story with a great character. This is one of those books that I honestly think I will have to read for myself to see what is really going on, and make my own judgments. Maybe one day!

  1. Chelsea B. said...:

    Oh. My. Goodness. Where has this novel been all my life?! ;-) I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!!

  1. The concept sounds really interesting, but I've heard (as Jaime has) that there's a rape in the book which isn't handled well at all. That sounds really worrying, and I hope it isn't as bad as it's made out to be. Perhaps I'll check it out myself to form a conclusive opinion on the subject.

  1. I never heard of this book but it sounds really interesting! I can't wait to read it, thank you!

  1. Unknown said...:

    I can't find this book in any bookstores near me. Sad. :(

  1. megHan said...:

    This looks REALLY good!! Great review!! :)

  1. Olivia Harvard said...:

    I hadn't even heard of this book until I read your review, but I'm super excited to check it out. I haven't read anything by Rachel Cohn yet, but I plan on reading her collaborations with David Levithan. Great review!

  1. To be honest I had read this book a while ago but couldn't really get into it. I'm not sure but I might just give it another try. Thanks for the great review by the way.