Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February Reader's Advisory Challenge Pick - Beta by Rachel Cohn

Beta by Rachel Cohn
Published Oct. 16, 2012 by Hyperion 
The island of Demesne is a retreat away from the harsh realities of a world changed by global warming and wars fought over water supplies. The wealthy citizens who live there use clones as servants and companions. Elysia is a teen clone who is purchased by the wife of the governor to fill the emotional role of daughter and sister in the family. As a clone, Elysia should not be able to feel human emotions, but as time goes on, she realizes that she not only feels things she shouldn't, she also has memories from her First, the person she was cloned from. This puts her in a dangerous position.
What I liked:
There wasn't very much that I liked about this story, to be honest. It felt very derivative of many other books and I didn't connect with any of the characters. Add in a seriously problematic plot twist, and this wasn't a personal favorite of mine.
Reader’s Advisory Challenge
Science Fiction is the genre I read for February. It covers a huge amount in terms of sub genres (dystopians and steampunk to name a couple) and honestly, I find it all a bit confusing. The rule of thumb I'd always heard for SF was that if it could eventually come true due to scientific advancement (living on space ships or inside biodomes or something), it's science fiction.  If you add in a paranormal element, it ceases to be SF and becomes fantasy. That's a pretty simplistic explanation, but it makes sense to me.
Kelly and Kimberly at Stacked wrote a great blog post about the genre and included a ton of recommended titles.
The Andre Norton Awards are given to the best science fiction and fantasy titles in YA.
I'll be back next month with a pick for High Fantasy!

Click to read more about the Reader's Advisory Challenge.

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