Book Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch



3 stars

A new legislation has been passed, allowing the rich elite to now own genetically engineered human pets. These pets are trained from birth to be the perfect companions. Ella is one of these pets and, at first, she loves her role as companion to a congressman’s daughter, but things get complicated with his son Penn. Penn seems to be able to see through her perfect act to the real her. Then Ella is kidnapped and quickly learns that not everyone is in favor of human pets.

The concept of this book was disturbing and unsettling, which was the purpose so that was definitely successful. Ella was bred and trained for the sole purpose of being purchased by a wealthy family determined to have the next big ‘it’ item that declared their elite status. She was treated like an owner would treat a beloved pet but she was human so it led to some uncomfortable moments between her and her owners.

I would have liked to see more about how the legislation was passed and how it became acceptable to own the human pets. Ella was bought by a congressman that had a huge hand in passing the law but it was never really touched upon other than it being the reason he thought their family needed a pet. I could buy into the mindset of the elite wanting the new status definer of owning humans pets and the anti-pet mindset of the groups opposing the law, but more development as to how it came to be would have helped.

Ella could be a frustrating character but in ways I could understand. She was bred and trained to be a certain way, act a certain way, so I could understand her being scared any time she had a ‘free’ thought or desire. She didn’t want to be returned as defective to the kennel. She thought she had a good life, well taken care of, loved, pampered with expensive clothes, and all she had to do was act her part as their pet. It was nice to see the struggle in her head between wanting to be safe as the pet and wanting to be a woman.

Penn, the congressman’s son, was a character I really liked. He was rebellious and didn’t have much respect for his father or for the whole human pet legislation. Ruby, the congressman’s young daughter, I really felt for. She was so innocent and her parents were very hard on her, both their children actually, but Ruby was only ten and didn’t really seem to understand the concept of a human pet.

I did find it to be a little predictable. The events unfolded in the way I figured they would. It was pretty fast-paced and easy to read, a good book for a one-night read. The characters and the romance were at the front while the dystopian elements were more in the back so we ended up with more development and focus on the first two than the last.

It’s supposed to be the first book in a new series so I’m hoping to get some answers in the next books.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Filed under books, reviews, ya books

5 responses to “Book Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

  1. Dying to read this forever!

  2. Human pets!? Yikes, that sounds a little too weird. I think I would need to read more dystopian books before this one, so it doesn’t feel so disturbing.

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