Thursday, March 7, 2013

BETA

BETA
by Rachel Cohn
New York : Hyperion, c2012
331 pages, young adult novel

Demesne is an isolated luxury island resort for the very wealthy. It was created after The Water Wars and is very exclusive. It has it's own self-contained atmosphere so the air can have a special blend of oxygen that makes the residents happy and relaxed. The water surrounding the island is infused with special healing properties and is free of dangerous waves and currents. The technology is so advanced that the entire work force is made of clones. These clones have been altered so they are not affected by the special air and they have no emotions. Their faces are tattooed revealing their status as clones and their specialty. Elysia is a Beta, an experimental teen clone. She is promptly purchased by a wealthy lady as a companion for her children. Elysia knows from the start that she is different from most other clones. She knows enough to keep it a secret from her owners as she seeks information about the supposed Clone Insurrection that is rumored to be mounting.
You might think life is complicated for all teenagers, it is even more so for a clone teenager.  Elysia is a character who I mostly liked. I had to keep telling myself that she was a clone so she wouldn't react like other kids to a lot of things. I have to admit that I guessed the big climax of the story quite awhile before it happened. The end was wrapping up quite nicely until the very last page when I was kind of thrown for a loop and now I can't wait for the next one. As a caution: there are some rather adult moments in this book so I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under 16 and even then it would depend on the individual teen.

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