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.
PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :
Published by: Hyperion Books for Children's
Author: Rachel Cohn
A BIT ABOUT MS COHN :
Rachel Cohn is the author of critically-acclaimed YA novels Shrimp, Pop Princess, Gingerbread, and middle-grade novel The Steps. A graduate of Barnard College, she lives and writes in Manhattan. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is Rachel's first book for Knopf.
David Levithan is a children's book editor in New York City. The author lives in NYC; Hoboken, NJ.
You can find her on Twitter and Facebook!!
YouTube video!! Although this is in German, you can get the drift of the cloning of Beta from an ordinary girl. The picturing is interesting and in keeping with the book. For those of you who speak German...even better! :]
THE BOOKISH DAME REVIEWS :
I loved this YA novel which I'm recommending as a cross over for adults who love dystopians. It was edgy and had a new take on the old concept of cloning. I had a great time reading it. Kept wanting to return to the book despite the fact that I was reading 3 other books at the same time!! This one is a keeper.
Rachel Cohn has a fabulous imagination, and also a way of grabbing our attention in the details. Her characters are gorgeous physically, yes...but they are also quick witted and intelligent. No simpletons in this batch of young adults. Conversations were valid and interesting. It was a pleasure to read about them. Beta is an especially compelling character as she has a slow awakening to the fact that she "feels" emotions and physically experiences more than she's been programmed to.
The mystery and suspense written into this book keep the plot moving and action-packed. Never a dull moment. And, the land that Cohn has created is beautiful and darkly believeable. I was reminded of a sort of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" by the women who inhabited the island paradise. The women are both bored and held captive in their own ways...
This is a book I couldn't get enough of and that I look forward to reading more in sequel. The ending is unexpected and a real stunner! I highly recommend it to everyone. You'll be fascinated by the clones of all ages.