Book Review: Beta

Book: Beta
Author: Rachel Cohn
Recommend: Interesting read..

I have a routine when I go to the library. If I can’t bring myself just to go grab my book(s) on the hold shelf, I walk through and collect books I think I might be interested in based on the synopsis and cover and pop them into my Disney Villains bag. When I’ve got somewhere between 7 and 12 books, I find a seat, hopefully in the back of the library where there aren’t a lot of people around and pull the books out one by one. If they are book I placed a hold on, they stay in the bag but the rest come out and are placed in a stack in front of me. Then I pull the top one and start to read a bit to see if I think the book is worth taking home with me. When I get a substantial way into a book without realizing it, like I did with this one, it usually means it will be the first one I read when I get home. Went to the library today. I’m already done with the book.

Beta tells the story of one of the first teenage clones on an island paradise. The story follows Elysia as she tries to cope with life as a test clone, sold into a life of futuristic slavery. While some of the book is frankly completely unbelievable, this beauty of this book is the obvious parallel to slavery before the civil war. It would be a great book study to introduce this concept in a high school classroom (not that teachers have time for that kind of thing).

I really liked the fact that the author maintains the same view about the sanctity of human life throughout the book. It would have been so easy to simply parrot the popular ideas of today but this author follows her idea to its logical conclusion. I also like that while she doesn’t shy away from some of the more difficult aspects of the life of a slave, she does handle them delicately.

However, this book had one HUGE flaw. The ending. Everything was great until the bizarre ending the author gave her book. I was fine until the very last couple of pages. Then I felt like the author completely phoned it in to set up for the next book in an obvious series. She was fine without her little revelation on the last page. She really could have left things where they were and given us that in more detail at the beginning of book two.

Overall, this was an enjoyable and memorable read minus a couple of flaws. Worth picking up.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂


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Filed under political thriller, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review

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