BETA[Read] ➪ BETA Author Rachel Cohn – 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 an 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 Praise for BETA A terrific premise that is eually well executedReaders can only hope the seuel will be as thrilling as this series kickoff Los Angles Times. I won’t mince words and as a result I am going to spoil this book a little If you are afraid of spoilers please don’t read on Fair warningWhen a book uses rape as a plot point especially when the character was initially a supporting and caring brother like figure I get pissed off When this is compounded with the rape victim getting pregnant and those around her not allowing her to get an abortion because her child is too special then that just makes me rage BETA has this and which made me struggle with giving this one even two stars It gets bonus points for one reason – it is compulsively readable and fast paced But other than that this book deserved one star for a number of reasons and it’s why BETA will probably go down in infamy as my most disappointing read of 2012BETA follows a soulless clone a girl named Elysia that comes off strongly as a stereotypical robot – a slave unfeeling uncaring focused solely on her duty When a soulless clone is narrating a first person present tense story though you are running into a big issue Elysia oftentimes felt very very flat as if she was the victim of a 6 year old’s fanfiction “I did this and this and went here and saw him and this and this” If this story had been told instead in a third person past tense it might have been successful even if at times this personality less visage disappeared – it was inconsistent at bestElysia’s love interests are pretty much stock characters and each fall victim to instalove in their own right Tahir is the boy with secrets handsome and compelling but just as bland as Elysia Alex is the boy we don’t meet for several hundred pages but a boy with a deep connection to Elysia And then Ivan the boy who is apparently head over heels in love with Elysia while making drugs and preparing to enter the militaryThe secondary characters are generally bland Mother and the Governess are stock rich characters you might find in the backdrop on Revenge The Fortesuieus Tahir’s parents are slightly relatable given of a back story that allowed me to connect with them than any other character than possibly sweet Liesel the daughter of the family that owns Elysia When we meet the other teenagers of the story – bland Greer sexed up ditz Demetra aka Dementia – a rather intellectually impaired girl used as a sex object throughout the story – and as an object to make fun of her intelligence among others – we do not delve very deeply into this world than into tales of parties and rule breaking and general disobedience nothing that adds to this dystopian world of man versus cloneBut where this story lost all credibility for me was the point where Elysia reveals to her brother like figure Ivan that she has feelings for Tahir Up until this point Ivan had felt like a calm conscientious figure that trusted Elysia and wanted to be her friend She put her trust in him and he did the same with her Then suddenly he morphs into a devious figure that assaults her choking her and raping her to lay his claim to what he thinks is his property And then she kills him and runs off saved by the good graces of Alex Within what feels like 3 days they have pledged their undying love for one another after a rather ludicrous explanation of his hardcore eco warrior religious society’s mating for life deal when SURPRISE Elysia is pregnant She demands an abortion but Alex and her other savior refuse They force Elysia to carry her rapist’s child saying that the child is too precious too special to abort and use the same tactics of hardcore pro life groups to convince Elysia to carry the child that she does not wantWhat The FudgeI will admit I am VERY pro choice Then again I am a hardcore left wing nutso so that could explain things I do not agree with using rape as a plot point followed by a propaganda ish demand that a rape victim carry the rapist’s baby for no real reason other than plot Mixed with pointless drug use including helping drug a boy so that he loves her back and the dreaded use of suicide threats when the boy of her dreams that she has known for two weeks is taken away from her I began to seethe This rarely happens except when domestic abuse rape and damaging relationships are promoted heavily Elysia’s baby is treated as a gift from God and with the smattering of biblical passages and revenging eco religious warriors I wonder how much of this novel is some weird pro life propaganda tool I mean that’s probably not the case but when it hits me in a side thought that it seems like something a conservative Christian would foist on their child that is not a good signI cannot recommend this book I want to so badly – the plot on paper is amazing and uniue and could have so many opportunities to explore the relationship between the rich and poor between humans and clonesrobots between science and humanity Instead it became an instalove fest of drugs rape and the underlying message that a girl should not abort a child thrust upon her by a rapist even if that child threatens her emotional health and wellbeingVERDICT Featuring rape drug use as a tool of control and an anti abortion message BETA thrashed my hopes for an epic story At least it was fast paced155 While Beta has a fascinating premise of clones in a perfect world there are a lot of elements in the plot that I found either unnecessary or very off putting At first I thought I could overlook these ualms but they kept piling up on top of one another until it toppled and became too much for my taste The ending however almost brought this to a 3 stars as it actually caught me off guard for once I would never have expected it though this may not be the case for everyone and it makes me somewhat curious about the seuel Could other readers enjoy this one? Most definitely If constant drug use by adults and teens rapes and slavery bothers you however I suggest you avoid it Beta's world building is depicted very slow and elaborately filled with long descriptions of the pretty perfect island they're residing on I enjoyed this at first as it creates a wonderful scenic portrayal of Demesne though after a while I found myself skipping these winded paragraphs as they began to simply bog down the plot It was not long before I was yearning for technical world building with all this imagery Cloning being a very fascinating matter we're not told nearly enough to convince me of its logic in this case; why a deceased body is needed in the first place Then comes the addition of souls into the matter which only amounted to making me uncomfortable as I'm not sure where I stand on this way of thinking This is the downside of adding a spiritual angle as a means of explanation not everyone will share the beliefs or be open to it If one lives and breathes how can they not have souls? Or if like me you take a scientific approach it all comes to matter and energy therefore if a body has a source of energy aka life you'd have to mess with brain function to make someone have no desire or taste It all comes down to realism and how much you need to suspend disbelief Maybe my head's too thick or maybe and this is the story I'm going with I'm simply too smart for this book HaAll of this is not helped with the very slow pace of the book where often than not I was going over the logic of the story scrutinizing it In addition as it takes a long while for the plot to make its appearance we're left in the midst of winded historical happenings and flat character dynamics Elysia's character the Beta starts off likeable with a fun narration since she doesn't know a lot about society This all goes downhill after she meets Tahir the love interest What follows is a dispassionate romance and bizarre unraveling events that leave our protagonist erratic and rash One could argue that her behavior is purposefully written as such for she is a dysfunctional clone yet her awareness and thought process is inconsistent with this theory In the end she simply failed to charm me So did any and all of the supporting roles There was a lack of heart in each of the characters because of which they fell flat Having a lot of controversial subjects could make this a very hit or miss novel The plot basically consists of buying clones for slavery Even though these are supposedly unfeeling no souls clones their treatments as objects accessories to flaunt and play with that includes sexual activity or assault depending how you look at it did not sit well with me If a clone is found to have human traits such as taste emotion or otherwise they are tortured and killed Why? For research of course Further throughout the novel there is constant talk of raxia the apparent drug of choice for almost all residents of this perfect utopia This drug which is never particularly described is used recreationally regularly and mentioned constantly I still don't understand the need for this to have been included in the book at all It adds nothing neither entertainment nor substance to the story As a shell this book has great potential with its uniue exciting premise Inside this shell however is whole slew of problems that go from mild to simply asking for trouble I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to but it would definitely need to be someone with an open mind It does have a flair of eccentricity and exciting dramatics that I could see readers enjoy so I will leave this up to you An advance copy was provided by the publisher for reviewFor of my reviews visit my blog at Xpresso Reads This review is also available over at my blogActual rating is 35 stars This will be a long ass review by the way I'm just warning you right nowThis book didn't turn out to be as bad as I was expecting In fact most of the time I actually enjoyed myself while reading Am I a little disappointed though? Well not really because I had low expectations from the start I'm pretty pleased that it wasn't as horrible as most of the reviews I've read made it seemIn the world of this book there is an island called Demesne which is pretty much a paradise on earth visually perfect in every way and home to the most wealthiest people on the planet In this island the humans are served by clones who are modeled from actual people that had to die in order to be cloned The clones are unfeeling and designed to work and serve all of the humans on the island That is so because if humans tried to do any work they would barely be able to accomplish anything due to the euphoric air of Demesne Everyone on the island strives to achieve maximum ataraxia which basically means pure happinessElysia is a Beta one of the first teen Betas ever created When the wife of the Governor purchases her she experiences a life serving the Bratton family one of the most wealthiest families in all of Demesne and she takes on the roll of being a companion to Mrs Bratton's kids Ivan and Liesel At first Elysia is content with her life but soon she starts seeing visions and memories from her First the girl she was modeled after who had to die in order for her to exist And she also discovers that she is able to feel human emotions She must then make the choice of keeping her secret and living the life she was destined to lead or fighting for the chance to live her own lifeI really liked the whole concept of the book and thought it was pretty uniue And also the author's writing especially the descriptions I was able to actually see Demesne vividly and I could even feel myself being there As for the world building well I don't usually critiue that but in this book I felt like there isn't really much info on what happened before Demesne Maybe several paragraphs here and there telling of how there was this war called the Water Wars that destroyed everything but then the humans eventually started rebuilding again I do hope that as the series progresses there will be insight on the rest of the world outside of Demesne There's a city called Biome City that is mentioned a lot but is never actually one of the locations during the book Although I do see it being a possible location in the seuelLike any dystopian book out there there's always a resistance or rebellion of some sort In this book it's called the Insurrection and I believe it consists of these things called Defects who are clones that are able to feel human emotions What caused this could probably have been a drug called 'raxia which gives whoever consumes it an even intense physical high than the air in Demesne and basically ataraxia in the form of a pill Anyway I also hope there will be insight on the Insurrection stuff as well as the series continues cause I didn't feel like I saw much of it during readingMy problem with this book is the romance It is extremely shallow and kind of reminds me of the romance in the Vampire ueen series by Rebecca Maizel in that it's pretty much mostly based on looks Both of Elysia's love interest are extremely muscled and gorgeous and she had insta lust for them at first sightThe main love interest iswell I'm not even sure which one any At first it was Tahir the son of the most wealthy family in all of Demesne the Fortesuieus I can't really say much about him without giving massive spoilers but I will say that him and Elysia's romance was crappy vapid insta loveThe other love interest is one that doesn't appear until very very later on in the book the boy that Elysia sees in her visions the boy who had a romantic connection with Elysia's First He's a mega muscled surfer god and extremely gorgeous of course and Elysia constantly gets her panties wet over him Nearing the end of the book it gets really ridiculous Elysia just becomes too heavily in lust with this guy that she pretty much forgets about Tahir Also if I had a penny for every time there was a description of his flawless muscles I would probably be able to buy all of Demesne Some of the things Elysia thought of near the end when she was getting all down and dirty with the surfer god dude whom I will not name for some reason really made me dislike her A lotThis book is pretty heavily sexual even for a YA Everyone wants a piece of Elysia really And I mean everyone Nearing the end there was a very disturbing rape scene and it really surprised me because the one who raped her was not at all the man I was expecting It was really disgusting but soon after that things got a turn for the better when Elysia practically goes berserk which I enjoyed I didn't really care much for the other characters in the book They were all so extremely shallow—well I guess that's to be expected due to the whole theme of the book Nearing the end Rachel Cohn pretty much just continuously bitch slaps you with unexpected twist after unexpected twist There were so many I could barely even handle them The ending was the biggest twist of all and it was a pretty huge cliffhanger that made me want to see what happens next in the seriesOverall this was a pretty enjoyable read despite its obvious flaws I would recommend it I suppose but I don't think it's for everyone I apologize for the extremely long review xD I would LOVE to read this on NetGalley but apparently Disney Hyperion isn't accepting blogger reuests at this timeIt's okay Rachel I'll own your book eventually The cover of this book is so amazingly beautiful that I spent a few minutes being creepy and caressing it The satin finish of it complements the colours and the model is so incredibly beautiful and the cover merges so very fantastically with the content in the novel I went into this book knowing that it was about clones and that’s about it I have read other books by Cohn and liked them so I was reasonably confident that I would appreciate the writing if not love the story I didn’t start the novel and love it immediately No – well okay let me restart this review so I don’t sound so fracturedIn Beta Rachel Cohn presents readers with a utopian society existing on an island engineered to be paradise on earth From the rejuvenating waters of the sea immediately surrounding the island to the fresh and pure air pumped in the atmosphere to the aesthetically pleasing clones manufactured to serve humans in all capacities Our protagonist Elysia is one of these clones but she’s a Beta that is one of the first teen clones ever manufactured Now I do not know much about science but I felt that the explanation and the process of clone making is thought out but obfuscated from the readers for reasons that become clear at the end Cohn does a remarkable job in world building though and her world actually makes sense – it could have been a dystopian setting – maybe it is but somehow I doubt it The entire novel takes place on Demesne the human engineered paradise with brief mentions of other cities that waterlogged though they may be still existThere are two major reasons I loved this book The first one is Elysia At the beginning she is machine than human and I was so impressed by Cohn’s ability to successfully portray a being who is a girl but not a girl It is way difficult to do than it seems There is a definite growth in Elysia as the book grows and you can almost see her begin to cohere into something someone than what and who she is created to be Her uestions are endless as she seeks to learn about this world she has emerged in as she gradually realizes the concept of personal freedom of owning herself rather than being owned by someone else She is not a shade of the person from whom she was cloned she is her own person and Elysia seeks to prove that once and again in her thoughts and her actions She takes what little agency she has and she utilizes it She avenges herself and she saves herself She is not ashamed of her sexuality and she is not apologetic of her desires For a being who was born perfect she is charmingly flawed but at the same time there is this sense of innocence about her that reminds you that no matter what she behaves or looks like she is not human She is something other“What’s a slut?” I ask him“A girl who puts out too easily”“Puts out what?” I imagine Greer putting put dinner and don’t understand what Ivan wouldn’t like about that“Puts out you know” His face already beet red from our run turns a darker scarlet “Sex”I wonder where Greer puts the sex out pg 59The second reason I really liked this novel is the plot Oftentimes I can predict what’s going to happen next but this was definitely not the case with Beta I won’t say too much about it because I don’t want to give anything away but I would definitely love to discuss the book with you once you’re done because Cohn makes some brave narrative decisions that leave me curious as to where the story is going to go The book ends in a cliffhanger and while I am a bit nonplussed by that as opposed to being annoyed I am than curious to know what happens next Because Cohn takes what I thought I knew about the world the clones and the humans and turns it upside down so all I have are uestions and no second book to answer them It’s a good cliffhanger though I liked itThe novel deals with themes of greed rampant materialism and rigid class system It asks the reader what it means to be human and asks whether you have to be born and created in a womb to be human It asks how you can uantify souls and how you can say something that has never even been seen or measured can be said to exist in one person and not in another Demesne could easily exist in the world Highly exclusive highly illegal and highly coveted – the island where just breathing makes a person feel better is perhaps the ultimate vacation destination of the future What are the implications of a society so bent towards leisure and pleasure that they would manufacture humans to be little than slaves – no worse than slaves?I could go on and on about this book – talk about the relationships the power dynamics and so much But I think it would be fun for you to go and find out for yourself how awesome this book is Strongly recommended Elysia is the second teenage clone Beta still with flaws she is sold to a prominent family on the perfect Utopian island Desmesne Her goal is to be a perfect companion to her human family But when she meets another teenage Beta and she starts seeing her First's memories she starts to uestion what is right for them and what is right for herManufactured perfection in a little island called Demesne I thought it sounded just perfect But we all know that nothing is perfect Everyone is beautiful and young or they try to be These families are one of the most superficial and snobbiest characters I've read I wouldn't be caught near any of these people in real life for fear of wanting to punch them And even though they are humans there is also the master race called the Auine who are genetically engineered people with great looks and strength I loved the world that Rachel brought to my attention and I liked the technology she created like the grav games which would be terribly exciting if they created it in real life I also thought the lavender waters would be too perfect to see and swim in and was a nice touch for me to imagine such a worldAs I'm reading along I really did want there to be an uprising and a rebellion of sorts against the humans making the Beta clones privy to the right to live but that wasn't what I received There are three instances in the end that didn't seem necessary and I was uite horrified to learn what transpired It was too much all in one go and I wanted to ignore it for my review but I just couldn't I thought it was a bit ridiculous to be honest If those things didn't happen I would have loved this Especially with that cliffhanger ending Beta seems like it could have delivered a flawless story about humans and cloning but it didn't It exploded its own executionRATING 35UOTESTalking to soulless creatures is less exhausting than interacting with their own kind 124I must remain a toy to stay alive 181I would rather die than for us not to experience our own freedom 251 Ohdear Review to come Seen at Scott Reads ItI would like to thank Disney Hyperion for providing me an ARC on NetGalley Beta is one of those books that came with alot of hype and publicity I read many mixed reviews for Beta but I didn't let that stop me from reading it Beta has a super interesting concept but I don't think it was executed well This a book where there is an extremely slow paced plot where throughout the majority of the book nothing seems to happen There was way too much dialogue and not nearly enough conflict Beta joins the ranks of books like Matched where the romance is way too overwhelming and slows down the plot To say I'm disappointed with Beta would be an understatement Beta takes place on Demense an island that is considered by it's wealthy residents to be flawless The air on Demense even gives the residents an ataraxic high Clones are employed by the residents of the island as servants who fufill the residents of Demense's every whim These clones are replicated from dead humans who are called Firsts but clones do not have memories of their Firsts In addition to not having memories of their Firsts clones are not supposed to have emotions otherwise they are considered defects Defects are illegal due to the fact that they aren't the mindless zombies the residents of Demense want them to be Clones also have a tattoo that reveals what their occupation is on Demense I really enjoyed the descriptions and anecdotes about the clones on Demense Our protagonist is Elysia was adopted by a general's family and lives on Demense She is a Beta an experimental teen clone which makes her uniue on Demense Elysia begins to realize that she isn't the mindless clone everyone thinks clones should be I did like Elysia but her perfection became extremely annoying She was extremely athletic social smart pretty and the list goes on and on The fact that she displayed emotion didn't make her anyless perfect in my opinion The emotions made her stronger as a character and helped her face challenges I wasn't a fan of the romance of Beta at all because it seemed superficial When I read romance I like it to feel that the characters have a connection but Tahir and Elysia didn't have any connection Their so called romance was superficially built on looks and I feel like they barely knew each other As soon as Elysia meets Tahir it's insta love and she begins to swoon over Tahir I really liked Elysia until this point because she felt very strong and independent As soon as she met Tahir she was extremely reckless rash and ignorant and I felt like she was too smart to be so brainwashed into believing that it was true love Seriously you know nothing about him at all and you still think you're in love? That's not love at all it's purely ridiculous infatuation The plot of Beta seemed to be almost conflict less and bereft of any action Beta moved at a very sluggish pace that I struggled to keep reading At a certain point there way too much swooning and insta love until I couldn't take it any For 85% of the novel there was so little tension and eventful things that I could have just skipped it all If I had just read the last 15% of Beta after reading the beginning it wouldn't have made any difference because virtually nothing happened at all I became so extremely bored with Beta that I kept putting off reading it and at a point each page felt like a struggle By the time I reached the ending where something finally happened I was too bored out of my wits to care at all Also Beta was way too predictable and I knew what was going to happen 99% of the time Beta was way too cliche for me and predictable for me Rachel Cohn decided to explore very controversial topics such as sexual abuse and drug use in Beta I didn't really think she handled these topics well in Beta at all because everything felt so nonchalant The teens on Demense are constantly using a drug 'raxia to achieve ataraxia Doing 'raxia really had no importance in the book at all and it just felt extremely unnecessary There was no deeper meaning where people are warned that drugs are bad for you at all so I am not sure why this was included in Beta Why are clones sexually abused? There are cases of sexual abuse in this book but they didn't feel serious at all I think these scenes were way too casually executed because sexual abuse is a serious issue The mentioning of sexual abuse in Beta seems just randomly added in because it doesn't even feel like an issue Rachel Cohn doesn't even make us have empathy for the character who got sexually abused The sexual abuse in this novel didn't appear to have any significance at all and it bothered me how it felt just effortlessly thrown in Beta wasn't the book for me at all If you enjoy reading sluggishly paced books with no conflict at all Beta may be your fix I don't really enjoy romances when I can't even like the male romantic interest at all Beta has a serious case of insta love to the point where it is extremely painful to read I really felt like Beta had a ton of potential but Rachel Cohn focused way too much on romance The chances of me reading Beta's seuel is as likely as the world ending in 2012 “Everyone on this island wants something kept uiet I want to roar” ― Rachel Cohn BetaThis book is about Elysia a human clone who was madebornin a lab I had never read a book about a clone before but being a fan of dystopian novels I wanted to try one out and chose BetaI did enjoy this booksort of The writing was excellent I loved the warm descriptive imagery of the tropical island and I love that it is slow moving so the reader can take their time and think about what is happeningMy one issueand it's the thing that kept me from really loving this bookis that it sort of descends into YA territory There is nothing wrong with YA I read all sorts of genres and I like YA But the tone changes and the focus becomes romanceand I just could not get into that aspect of the book Added to that the tone itself moves away from the descriptive imagery and moves really into YA speak I got a bit turned off by that and found my attention laggingSo in summary I'd say I thought the first part of the book was better then the second And now for a SPOILERAs others have mentioned there is an unexpected act of violence that I was not prepared for and I did not se coming I also felt it was not in keeping with the actions of the character who committed this violence I have very mixed feelings about Beta I felt it was well written but was trying to be to many thingsa Dystopian novel a YA romance a piece of Women's fiction So it was a little disjointed for me although I would really like to give it 35 stars I do wish Goodreads had5 starsI still found it an enjoyable read but not amazing as I'd hoped Clones have not suffered as badly as most other sci fifantasy creations have in the recent field of YA literature Cloning How interesting is that? Not to mention that they’re presumably genetically altered clones created to be immune to the bliss inducing skies of a tropical island I bumped this novel to the top of my to read list as soon as I added it and waited until it came in at the libraryI started readingThis is an accurate depiction of my face at any given moment during that time Plot The cost of paradise doesn't come cheap in the future where the world's richest and most influential people gather on the blissful isle of Demesne While the over oxygenated air produces a lasting sense of calm and pleasure it makes any sort of labor impossible for whoever ventures to the island Clones make running life on Demesne possible but are cruelly forced to perform all of the work necessary to keep society running and have had their souls removed from them at creationAs a new beta model of teen clones Elysia has a secret she can feel She has independent thoughts and ideas of rebellion are growing increasingly common within them If anyone finds the truth about Elysia she will be taken and experimented on to find the cause of her defect With no one to turn to or anywhere to hide will Elysia survive paradise?Can you understand my fascination? Science fiction clones and a seemingly perfect paradise that hides a dark secret? I was ready for action and rebellion usually adoring novels from the perspective of a protagonist who isn't uite humanInstead 75% of the novel was this That's right this book with its amazing premise focused not on the science suspense or anything else of value It was mostly about the slave Elysia being reuired to hang out with the teen son of her owner and his friends This isn't my cup of tea but if you're looking for a book filled with scenes involving teens enjoying leisure time acting like clichés and doing drugs this book is for youCharactersELYSIA I expected a badass unhuman original babe to lead this story through its dramas Instead I got the air headed Elysia who spent most of her time dreaming of boys and engaging in some of the most ridiculous conversations I have laid my eyes on with her mandatory friends Has the author ever spent any time around a teenager? Was she even a teenager herself? Elysia as well as all of the other teens in the story act as if they just came out of a freaking Disney channel sitcom but with drugs sex and the occasional SAT worthy vocabulary word thrown inEvery action Elysia took warranted a groan of annoyance from me view spoiler Except for when she stabbed Ivan That was actually the only good part in the book hide spoiler

BETA Epub ¿ Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 331 pages
  • BETA
  • Rachel Cohn
  • English
  • 08 March 2016
  • 9781423157199