Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin Review

Name: Elsewhere
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: May 15th, 2007
Format: Paperback
Buy the book on Amazon
304 pages

Summary:

Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice.

Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?
This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Goodreads

My Review:

I really, really wanted to like Elsewhere, but in the end this book just did not do it for me. I had high expectations when I first began reading it and the plot interested me very much; after all, what part of having an afterlife where you grow from an adult to a child doesn’t catch your attention? However, the characters were two dimensional, the plot was predictable, and the overall book was just meant for a much younger audience than I had originally thought.

I found myself disliking almost every one of the characters, no matter how much I wanted to like them. It’s not as if they were completely horrible characters—in fact, most of them were pleasant and even quite relatable. It may have had something to do with how disconnected the characters seemed because the book was written in third person—though that does not usually bother me—but either way I could not help but find most things that the characters did either completely annoying or entirely predictable. When Liz dies and finds herself in Elsewhere at a young age, she spends the first half of the book wishing she was back on earth. When she finally begins to enjoy Elsewhere after meeting a boy and immediately falling in love with him—unfortunately for those YA fans out there, the love story was not played out well at all—she quickly finds herself disliking Elsewhere again, after she and Owen hit a bump in their relationship.

As predicted, the book ends happily, with everyone spending a fulfilled afterlife in Elsewhere. I enjoyed the end of the book much better than the beginning, as it was interesting to see Liz and Owen’s progressions from teenagers back to babies. There were several plots that could have been fleshed out better though, including explaining why Liz’s best friend on Earth did not attend her funeral and describing more about Liz’s friend Curtis and her grandmother Betty’s life together.

That being said, the book was beautifully written. I think that if I had read Elsewhere when I was thirteen or fourteen, I would have enjoyed it much more. While I was not a huge fan of this book, I would definitely recommend it to a younger audience!

My Rating:




Stacking The Shelves and Weekly Update (23)

Hi everyone!! I hope you all are having a great week and Happy Saturday/Sunday!! Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and is a great way for fellow bloggers to share the books that they have received over the week.

 
How has everybody's week been? Bit of news here at Catching Books! We have a new blogger joining the team..give a warm welcome to Christine! Anyways here is what the Catching Books team reviewed this week!
 
The Innocents by Lili Peloquin

No books again this week :( but next some pre-orders should be coming in from amazon soon for me to read!

What did you get this week? Let us know in the comments :)

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Name: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: March 25, 2008
Format: e-book 
Buy the book on Amazon.
342 pages.


Summary: Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.
Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.
Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.
This is the story of how she got that way.

Goodreads


My Review:
This book isn’t fantasy or dystopia. It doesn’t introduce any cool new creatures, feature a supernatural love triangle, or give the main character an awesome destiny. And yet, I’ve never seen anything quite like this done in contemporary YA before. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a simple story on the surface: a girl takes control of the all-male secret society at her swanky boarding school. Who that girl is, however, takes this book and turns it into something great. Disreputable History isn’t just one of the best novels I’ve read this year – it’s probably one of my favorite books, ever. 

Frankie Landau-Banks is a fantastic main character. Witty, sarcastic, and incredibly smart, her narration draws the reader in from the very first page. In fact, the more you find out about her, the harder it is not to root for her. One of the best things about Frankie’s character is that the author starts out playing on the trope of a typical contemporary heroine.

Over the summer between freshman and sophomore year, Frankie has gone from invisible to beautiful. By the end of the first week of school, Matthew Livingston, the unofficial king of the senior class, has asked her out. Although this seems like the plot of a bad TV movie, the author makes it work, giving just enough hints in Frankie’s narration to show that this romance is not what the story’s really about. Sure enough, as soon as the relationship with Matthew and Frankie starts to blossom, the real focus of the story becomes clear.

Frankie is a student at Alabaster Prep School, the type of swanky boarding school where everyone’s parents own companies and students are conditioned to believe that they are future world leaders – especially if they’re boys. The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, a semi-serious secret society on campus that Frankie’s new boyfriend just happens to lead, is a representation of the school’s depressingly chauvinistic attitude. This clique of boys rule the school, and even those who don’t like it, accept it. Frankie, however, hates that no one takes her seriously – not her parents, not her friends, and certainly not her boyfriend. So when she sees an opportunity to hack into the Order of the Basset Hounds and seize control, she takes it – with successful, hilarious, and inevitably painful results.

The overall message of the book is simple, but incredibly effective. In fact, the last few scenes of the novel will stay with me for quite a while. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave you with this: If I ran the world, every girl would be required to read this book. 

My Rating:


Waiting on Wednesday 64: Revel

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Name: Revel
Author: Maurissa Guibord
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers    
Release Date: February 13th, 2013
352 pages
Add the book on Goodreads

Summary:
There’s an island off the coast of Maine that’s not on any modern map.

Shrouded in mist and protected by a deadly reef, Trespass Island is home to a community of people who guard the island and its secrets from outsiders. Seventeen-year-old Delia grew up in Kansas, but has come here in search of her family and answers to her questions: Why didn’t her mother ever talk about Trespass Island? Why did she fear the open water? But Delia’s not welcome and soon finds herself enmeshed in a frightening and supernatural world where ancient Greek symbols adorn the buildings and secret ceremonies take place on the beach at night.

Sean Gunn, a handsome young lobsterman, befriends Delia and seems willing to risk his life to protect her. But it’s Jax, the coldly elusive young man she meets at the water’s edge, who finally makes Delia understand the real dangers of life on the island. Delia is going to have to fight to survive. Because there are monsters here. And no one ever leaves Trespass alive.

Goodreads

My Thoughts:
This book sounds AWESOME. I am really intrigued by the plot summary..and I like that it has a sense of mysteriousness to it as well! I am interested in learning about what goes on in this island and why nobody knows about it. Can't wait to read this one when it comes out!!

What are you waiting for this week? Let me know in the comments!

YA Releases September 25th


Hi everyone! This is a new feature I will be starting on every Tuesday where I (Sarah) highlight four YA releases that are coming out this week!

The Blessed by Tonya Hurley-Simon and Schuster

Summary:
From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a captivating and haunting teen trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy—a boy who believes he is a saint.What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

     Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief.
Goodreads


The Mephisto Kiss (The Mephisto Covenant # 2) by Trinity Faegen-Egmont USA

Summary:
The eyes never lie. No one’s eyes are darker than Eryx. Not even the Devil’s.

When Jax and Sasha first see Jordan Ellis, they know she is no ordinary teenager. She’s the daughter of the President after all, but she’s also Anabo – a descendant of Eve.

What they don’t know is that Eryx plans to kidnap Jordan and force President Ellis to pledge his soul. If Eryx’s plot succeeds, the consequences would be catastrophic.

But the Mephisto brothers do know about Jordan’s secret identity. And for one of them, she could be the match that leads to their soul’s salvation.

Now it’s a desperate race against time to save Jordan and prevent Eryx’s haunting eyes from discovering her true identity.

A thrilling story of romance, danger, and intrigue, THE MEPHISTO KISS continues the marvelous mythology that began in THE MEPHISTO COVENANT.

Goodreads



Covet (The Clann # 2) by Melissa Darnell-Harlequin Teen
Summary:
Dangerous to be together. Painful to be apart.Savannah Colbert knows she broke up with Tristan Coleman for the right reasons. Most of all, to keep from killing him with her new vampire abilities. But try telling her heart. Now, lost in a sea of hostile Clann faces, Sav tries to come to terms with what she's becoming and what that means for her future. And that someone is doing their best to bully her into making a terrible mistake.

Tristan can't believe Sav won't even talk to him. If being apart is her decision, fine. Just don't expect him to honor it. But even as he prepares to fight for the girl he loves, forces beyond their control take them both in directions neither could have foreseen or prepared for.

A reckoning is coming…and not everyone will survive.
Goodreads


The Blue Door by Christa Kinde-Zondervan
Summary:
ZonderKidz launches an exciting supernatural series for kids 11 and up. The Blue Door, the first book in The Threshold Series, introduces Prissie Pomeroy, a teen who discovers she can see what others cannot: angels all around. Even more startling is the surprising secret she uncovers about people she thought she knew. As she wrestles with this unexpected ability she must come to grips with the spiritual battles surrounding her. Especially when she learns she received this gift because God has a unique role for her in his bigger plan. But if she's to fulfill it, she'll need faith like never before.This exciting debut by author Christa Kinde draws on the rapidly growing interest in angel stories, an emerging trend in teen and preteen supernatural novels. Boys and girls alike will appreciate her gifted storytelling that captures their imagination with things beyond human sight. And parents will appreciate the family-friendly tone and godly messages maintained throughout this intriguing tale of adventure and spiritual warfare.
Goodreads

The Innocents (The Innocents # 1) by Lili Peloquin Review

Author: Lili Peloquin
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Format: ARC copy
Buy the book on Amazon
288 pages

Summary:
Nothing ever came between sisters Alice and Charlie.
Friends didn't.
Boys couldn't.
Their family falling apart never would.
Until they got to Serenity Point.
"The Innocents" is the first in a new series of young adult novels that weave a saga of nail-biting drama, breathless romance, and gothic mystery.

Goodreads

My Review:
 
I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  While I am usually not a fan of this particular type of contemporary YA, I found myself inexplicably drawn in by the drama, but more precisely by the mystery.  I was constantly wondering why so many strange facts were being uncovered and how everything was connected.
 

When two polar opposite sisters, Alice and Charlie, move to Serenity Point with their mother and her new husband Richard, they find themselves in a world with clearly established social cliques.  The outgoing Charlie quickly meets the two most popular kids on the island, Cybil and Jude, each of whom have their own troubled pasts.  Alice, however, stays more secluded, simply spending time by herself and having a private relationship with Tommy – the ex-boyfriend of Richard’s hauntingly beautiful dead daughter Camilla – whom she speaks with only at night under the cover of darkness.

This book was centered greatly on discovering things that happened in the past.  Charlie learns much about the histories of her two troubled friends: she learns to love Jude despite his faults and difficult nature, learning why he is the way he is, and she realizes with Cybil that it is good to keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.  Alice, on the other hand, becomes caught up in her mother’s relationship with Richard and, more importantly, Richard’s dead daughter Camilla, whom many mistake Alice for because of their similar appearances.  Most people on Serenity Point seem to remember Camilla as a wonderful and faultless young woman, but when Alice discovers that Camilla killed herself, she starts hunting through the past, realizing that Camilla’s life, which is inextricably bound to Alice’s, may not have been as perfect as it seemed.

While Alice’s passive behavior annoyed me, the sister’s fight at the end seemed forced, and the amount of secrets kept by each character seemed unnecessary, I still enjoyed reading this book.  The cliffhanger at the end of the book left me with many unanswered questions and I can’t wait for the sequel!  Overall, The Innocents was an interesting quick read that I would definitely recommend to fans of younger YA contemporaries with mystery.

My Rating:




Stacking The Shelves and Weekly Update (22)

Hi everyone!! I hope you all are having a great week and Happy Saturday/Sunday!! Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and is a great way for fellow bloggers to share the books that they have received over the week.

 
How has everybody's week been? Here is what the Catching Books team reviewed this week!
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Beta (Beta # 1) by Rachel Cohn

No books for us this week! Let us know in the comments what you got :)


Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman Review

NameBabe in Boyland
Author: Jody Gehrman
Publisher: Dial 
Release Date: 
February 17th 2011 

Format: Paperback
Buy the Book on Amazon 
292 pages   


Summary: 

When high school junior Natalie-or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper-is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected-especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?

My Review:

Babe in Boyland is a really fun novel!When i started this book i didn't know what to expect from it, the plot was really intriguing but i wasn't so sure i would have liked it. Instead Babe in Boyland really surprised me!
The story is one of the funniest i read and the characters, especially the protagonist, are all fantastic!

When everyone start criticising her relationship column on the school paper, Natalie (alias Dr. Aphrodite), realizes that maybe all the guys who hate her are right, and that she's not the best person to dispense love advices, since she hasn't even had one boyfriend.

So she tries to ask guys all the questions girls want to know about them. But it doesn't go very well...and Natalie ends up with nothing. Then she has an idea, and she decides to undercover at the all boys school Underwood Academy as "Nat".

During her week at Underwood Natalie will learn a lot of things about boys she didn't know about, and she will meet new friends and maybe even love.

First, i have to say that the strength of this book lie in the narrator. Natalie is one of the most fun, reckless, witty and strong characters i ever read about. She's so honest with herself and her friends, it's so easy to empathize with her!

I loved how the author developed this character!There is a big difference between the Natalie at the beginning of the book and the Natalie after the "undercover experience", and her development isn't hard to believe or awkward at all, but realistic and really authentic!

So my rating is four stars!Babe in Boyland is a really fast and fun read (perfect for weekend!), that i couldn't put down and i finished in one sitting!Reccomended to all Contemporary fans!






OPAL BY JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT COVER REVEAL!!

 

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love. 

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.
Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!
 USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.
Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

Can it be December now?!!!! SO EXCITED!!!!

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence Review

Name: Mystic City
Author: Theo Lawrence
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Format: E-Book ARC
352 pages 
Pre-Order the book on Amazon

Summary:
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.


Goodreads

My Review:
At first, I really didn't know what to expect with Mystic City. I've had a love hate relationship with dystopian books-some I have absolutely loved and others I have really loathed. I am happy to say that I really really enjoyed Mystic City! Has to be one of my favorite dystopian's that I have read in a long time!

One of my favorite parts about Mystic City definitely was the uniqueness of the plot. It was interesting to see what the author imagined what New York might look like in the future. It was cool to see the different advancements in technology and how the world had become such a different place. I really loved how the author was able to use such vivid imagery in describing the city: I could really picture it in my head! What I liked about the plot was that it had sort of a Romeo and Juliet feel to it-but with many twists and turns! I loved how the plot was unpredictable at times and there were so many parts that I didn't expect. The aspect of the mystics was a great part to the plot too! It was cool to see how the author Incorporated that into the plot and made it very unique! I liked learning about the mythology of the mystic too..and I can't wait to learn more about them in the next book!

I also really liked the main character Aria. It was great to see her progress throughout the novel and I really liked seeing her character develop! What I liked so much about her was that she didn't give up-and when she knew something was wrong she wasn't going to give in. She knew that she didn't love Thomas-and she didn't give into all the lies swirling around her. I also liked seeing her relationship with Hunter. No matter what they went through they kept fighting for a chance at love and I really liked them together! I thought their relationship was very sweet and I can't wait to see more of them in the next book.

Overall, I really enjoyed Mystic City! It was a great summer read and an awesome dystopian book! If you are looking for something similar to delirium and shatter me..definitely pick this one up!

 
My Rating:







Waiting on Wednesday 63: Shadows in the Silence

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Name: Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire # 3)
Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
Publisher: Harper Teen     
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
384 pages
Add the book on Goodreads

Summary:
Your strength in heart and hand will fall. . . .
Ellie knows that the darkest moments are still to come, and she has everything to fight for:

She must fight for Will.
The demonic have resorted to their cruelest weapons to put Will in mortal danger, and Ellie makes an unlikely alliance to save him and to stop Lilith and Sammael, who seek to drown the world in blood and tear a hole into Heaven.

She must fight for humanity.
As the armies of Hell rise and gather for the looming End of Days, Ellie and her band of allies travel to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions in her quest to come into her full glory as the archangel Gabriel.

And Ellie must save herself.
Her humanity withers beneath the weight of her cold archangel power, but Ellie must hold tight to who she is and who she loves as she prepares for the ultimate battle for Heaven and Earth.

In this final installment in the Angelfire trilogy, Courtney Allison Moulton brings her dark world of epic battles and blistering romance to a blazing bright conclusion.

Goodreads

My Thoughts:
After the epic cliffhanger at the end of the last book, I CAN'T WAIT to read Shadows in the Silence! I've been a huge fan of this series from the very beginning..and I'm interested to see what will happen in this final installment! Also, I love the cover of this book..the colors are gorgeous!


What are you waiting for this week? Let me know in the comments!

YA Releases September 18th


Hi everyone! This is a new feature I will be starting on every Tuesday where I (Sarah) highlight four YA releases that are coming out this week!

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian-Simon and Schuster

Summary:
BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Goodreads


The Diviners by Libba Bray-Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary:
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

Goodreads


Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout-Spencer Hill Press
Summary:
Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.
Goodreads


A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty-Macmillian
Summary:
Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop.

Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours.

They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter.

A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.

‘Perfectly strange, and absolutely comical and heartfelt ... Jaclyn Moriarty is one of the most original writers we have.’ – Markus Zusak

Goodreads

Beta (Beta # 1) by Rachel Cohn Review

Author: Rachel Cohn
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Format: ARC copy
Buy the book on Amazon
304 pages

Summary:
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

My Review:

I enjoyed reading this book very much and thought that the idea of creating unfeeling clones to service humans was certainly a new and unique one.  When Elysia is first sold to the Bratton family as a replacement for their eldest daughter that moved away, she is happy to be with them.  Having known no other way of life besides serving, Elysia politely and obediently does everything her adoptive family asks of her, most of which involves playing with her two new “siblings” Ivan and Liesel, and acting as her “mother’s” little toy doll to dress up and parade around town.  However, when Elysia suddenly begins to realize that she is much less “unfeeling” than she should be, she understands that she must keep her defective nature, and her yearning to control her own life and desires, to herself unless she wants to be the next clone to die.

Elysia is introduced to Ivan’s cute yet remote friend Tahir, and almost immediately falls in love with him.  The author may have made her sudden love for the boring Tahir difficult to believe on purpose, since as a clone she is not used to having such deep feelings and thus does not know how to express her emotions, but either way their romance appeared more like physical attraction rather than true love.  Yet, at any rate, Elysia still cannot stop thinking about Alex, the lover that her clone, Zhara, had before she was killed.  She knows that remembering anything about her clone’s life, including her name and what her lover looked like, automatically marks her as a Defect and will lead to her death, but she cannot stop thinking about them, especially Alex.

The Bratton family seems like a relatively normal, loving family at the beginning of the book.  However, as it progresses and more about the family is uncovered, it becomes clear that they are slightly evil and very disturbing.  They treat clones with the utmost disrespect, as though they are merely the playthings of humans and should do their every bidding, since they have no feelings and were made solely to work for and please the humans.  Yet, contrary to popular belief, many of the clones are actually developing feelings and desires, which leads to brief mentions of a rebellion, which I assume will be discussed in greater detail in the second book.

While most of the clones were just so unfeeling that they were difficult to connect with, they were also a great source of entertainment.  The clones have databases embedded in their brains that they use to look up information that they don’t automatically know, but slang words and other phrases are not included in their databases.  Therefore, it was quite comical watching Elysia as she tried to communicate with the other kids her age, since she did not understand slang or sarcasm much at all.  There was also a surprising cliffhanger at the end of the book that made me anxious to discover what happens next.  In general, I thought that Beta was an interesting book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

My Rating:



Stacking The Shelves and Weekly Update (21)

Hi everyone!! I hope you all are having a great week and Happy Saturday/Sunday!! Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and is a great way for fellow bloggers to share the books that they have received over the week.


Hi everyone! I hope you all are having a great week! Here's what the team at Catching Books reviewed this week!

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
The Iron Prophecy by Julie Kagawa
The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Okay so here's what we received this week!
 Ever by Jessa Russo (thank you Netgalley and Curiosity Quills Press!)
Doomed by Tracy Deebs (thank you netgalley and Bloomsbury!)

What did you get this week? Let me know in the comments!