Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: Beta by Rachel Cohn

Title: Beta
Author: Rachel Cohn
Reviewed by: Cassie
The Fairies Say: Surprising and sophisticated
Summary (from

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

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 induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to.

At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among 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 her one chance at happiness is ripped away 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.

Beta  starts out with Elysia being bought by a very respected woman- the Governor's wife. She's ready to go, ready to serve, and doesn't have any emotions. She is soulless, after all.

Elysia was a character I feel like has potential, but you have to be patient with. She's very clone-like for a good portion of the book, but then these pesky emotions start tainting her. Oh, the horror! She might be a Defect. (dun dun dun) And at times she has these streaks of stubborn that could have been charming, but ended up being annoying. However, she's a curious POV to read about. She's really interesting.

The other characters seemed unimportant from the way they are written about. We don't really get a feel for them, except when Elysia has these bursts of intense emotions. 

The plot is actually really intriguing but to some people it may be controversial. It deals with souls, sexual assault, servitude, and murder. You should try to make your mind extra open for this one, because while it's extremely pretty it's got a lot of ugly in it.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Very interesting review....Favorite line The plot is actually really intriguing but to some people it may be controversial. I think with it you make people curious
    M.C.V. Egan

  2. Thanks :) Glad to hear you liked it!