Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

By: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: July 1, 2014
Genre: Dystopian YA

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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.


1thoughtsElla is a genetically engineered “pet”. She was bred and trained in a kennel and then sold. Her new owners are given instruction on how to care for her. For instance, don’t give her you’re food, she has a strict diet and giving her food from your plate may make her sick. If she runs away, she must be in heat and therefor you should have her spayed so she won’t stray. Oh yeah, there were multiple times where I looked over at my dog with sad eyes. The only difference between a human pet and a dog is the human pet has to worry about her masters coming on to her.

We are with Ella on the day she is purchased. She’s chosen by a caring husband and wife to be their daughter’s friend. However, the image they portray is nothing like what you get behind closed doors. At first things seem okay. You know something is off since there is talk of a previous pet, a pet that they returned to the kennel because it was sick. Returning a pet to a kennel is not like taking your dog to the shelter. They don’t adopt them back out. Instead they take the returned pets to the red door in the back and have them euthanized. Yeah, this story was seriously screwed up.

Ella has no idea that her perfect little bubble of a world is about to burst. Tiny things start happening here and there. The author hints at what really happened to the other pet and the fate that awaits Ella. Even though there were no surprises in this story, it’s still shocking to read about the events that take place.

The author did a great job taking a slave type story and twisting it into this weird dystopian novel. It made me wonder what my dog would say if he could talk. Hopefully, he’d say I’m the best dog mom ever but after reading this, who knows. Maybe I’m an obnoxious helicopter “mom”. Maybe he hates that I call him “handsome”. That was all I could think about throughout this story since the similarities between human pets in the book and the pets of our day are almost identical. This is a great story. A little creepy, but still heavily enjoyable. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a dystopian that will not only creep you out but make you wonder at the same time.

1favequote“Powerful men tire of their toys easily. And the novelty of a pet doesn’t last forever. After a while even the prettiest things become ordinary.”

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