Perfected - Kate Jarvik Birch

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 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.


This was a well executed book, but I ultimately couldn't buy premise.


I was wary about the idea of humans keeping other humans as pets, but curious, too. I wanted to hear the backstory. I wanted to hear how these pets were genetically engineered and what differences were made in their genetic code to make them pets. I wanted to know what society had defined being human as.


Alas, earwax. It seems to me like the only difference between Ella, a 'pet,' and an ordinary human was her appearance and her upbringing. I feel like any baby could eventually be turned into a pet given the right breeding.


But I continued, hoping I'd be proved wrong. Ella is initially very submissive, and very eager to do exactly as she's trained. I wanted to hear how she'd evolve, how she'd change, how she'd come to eventually want freedom. I figured she might read books, eavesdrop, and have intellectual conversations.


But instead, she just falls for a guy with a pretty face. And the romance in this book honestly kind of sickened me. As the blurb gives the romance away, I'll talk freely--Penn and Ella seem to have an instant physical attraction, and Penn's interest in Ella comes from her looks and her ability to play the piano with emotion. It seems like Penn's father's interest in Ella came from practically the same aspects, yet Penn despises his father. Where's the difference?


The romance happens incredibly fast. If it had built up steadily over a year or so, maybe I would have bought it. But it happens practically instantaneously. The weak, naive female protagonist needs to have a guy to show her what the world could be like. Lovely.


Throughout the book, since the premise hadn't really been explained, the idea of keeping people as pets just made me squirm. I thought I'd be okay with the premise because I thought it'd have much more explanation, but honestly I was in no way okay with the whole idea.


While this did have potential, I was pretty disappointed by this book.