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Scott Reads It!

I blog over at Scott Reads It! I'm a reader, a writer, a blogger, and a humanitarian. I'm prone to fanboying about the latest nerdy films and books on a consistent basis! I'm nerdy and I know it.

Beta

Beta - Rachel Cohn Seen at Scott Reads It!**I 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 unique 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 anymore. 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 sequel is as likely as the world ending in 2012.