Beta

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Beta

by Rachel Cohn

Disney-Hyperion | July 2, 2013 | Trade Paperback

Beta is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 2.
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 under­current 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.

The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, Beta is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a cor­rupted world.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 in

Published: July 2, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1423157346

ISBN - 13: 9781423157342

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Intriguing premise Mini Book Review: I was intrigued by this book and loved most of it. However the last 1/4 of the book felt rushed, and just made no sense. I don't want to spoil anything but a surprise plot twist just didn't work for me as it was out of character. It reminded me at times of Blade Runner in its treatments of the Clones and their rights (Also mentioned as replicants - hence the connection) which I found truly fascinating. To me it was a fabulous premise that was poorly executed at times. I really wanted to love this more as the premise is one that truly intrigues me, but I just felt at times that the author had a fabulous idea and was pressured by the publisher to execute it. That being said it was good enough for me to pick up the next copy in the series. Working at a bookstore with a minor knowledge in publishing I understand the plethora of trilogies but I truly am getting sick of them -- give me more standalone novels. 3.25 Dewey's I picked up a copy of this at BEA and did not have to publish a review
Date published: 2013-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Much more layered than I thought Maybe it was the all pink cover but I really wasn’t expecting that much from Beta. I mean I was expecting it to be good - it is Rachel Cohn after all, but I wasn’t expecting it to blow me away. But boy was I wrong. Beta is not your run of the mill young adult novel. It is pure science fiction gold. In quite literally a perfect world (or a perfect island if we’re being specific) humans have created clones to wait on them and take care of daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, party planning etc. Though this practice is fairly common, Elysia is different. She’s a Beta, a prototype if you will, of a teenager and she’s brought into one of the influential family who are looking for a kind of replacement for their daughter who has gone off to university. Instead of making this world simplistic in it’s perfection, Rachel Cohn does an amazing job, layering in the detail. And she does so in such a seamless way, you almost don’t notice all the information you’re absorbing. The island Elysia lives on, didn’t spring up out of no where and the author gives us a brief history of Demesne (the island) and the people, without simply dumping information on the reader. But in addition, she also shows us the cracks. What problems the society has, how it’s viewed by those internally, how it’s viewed by those externally, their treatment of others etc. It may not be a solid foundation for a society but it is a solid foundation for a novel. I also didn’t expect Beta to be as deep and meaningful as it was. I found the text was constantly asking questions about what perfection really means, and who has to suffer/sacrifice for that perfection to come about. I also found that I spent a lot of time thinking about what it is exactly that makes someone “human” during my reading of Beta. How would clones fit into our society and how would be treat them? As a vegetarian I often think about how we treat other creatures on our planet and this book really hit a nerve with that part of me. Being a Beta, however, Elysia is quite a regular clone either. We’re led to believe she experiences things a bit differently than other clones on the island and I found this a great way to frame her character because it allowed you to really watch her grow throughout the novel. She goes from knowing almost nothing about the outside world, to question all that she is confronted by. I liked watching this transition and it made Beta an interesting character study on top of everything else. Recommendation: As you can probably tell from this review, I loved Beta. I thought it was beautifully written and incredibly thoughtful and I recommend it to anyone who wants a science fiction novel they can talk about for days. This and other reviews at More Than Just Magic (http://morethanjustmagic.org)
Date published: 2012-12-04

– More About This Product –

Beta

by Rachel Cohn

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 in

Published: July 2, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1423157346

ISBN - 13: 9781423157342

About the Book

On a futuristic island paradise where humans are served by enslaved clones, a 16-year-old clone named Elysia seeks her own freedom. The first in an original science fiction series by a "New York Times"-bestselling author.

From the Publisher

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 under­current 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.

The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, Beta is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a cor­rupted world.

About the Author

Rachel Cohn is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, including Gingerbread, Shrimp and Cupcake and, with David Levithan, Nick and Norah''s Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily''s Book of Dares.