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(Annex #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  7,519 ratings  ·  949 reviews
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
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Hyperion
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,519 ratings  ·  949 reviews

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Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I won’t mince words and as a result I am going to spoil this book a little. If you are afraid of spoilers, please don’t read on. Fair warning.

When a book uses rape as a plot point, especially when the character was initially a supporting and caring brother-like figure, I get pissed off. When this is compounded with the rape victim getting pregnant and those around her not allowing her to get an abortion because her child is too special, then that just makes me rage. BETA has this and more, which
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, own
While Beta has a fascinating premise of clones in a perfect world, there are a lot of elements in the plot that I found either unnecessary, or very off-putting. At first I thought I could overlook these qualms, but they kept piling up on top of one another until it toppled and became too much for my taste. The ending, however, almost brought this to a 3-stars as it actually caught me off guard for once. I would never have expected it--though this may not be the case for everyone--and it makes me ...more
shady boots
This review is also available over at my blog.


Actual rating is 3.5 stars. This will be a long ass review, by the way, I'm just warning you right now.

This book didn't turn out to be as bad as I was expecting. In fact, most of the time I actually enjoyed myself while reading. Am I a little disappointed, though? Well, not really, because I had low expectations from the start. I'm pretty pleased that it wasn't as horrible as most of the reviews I've read made it seem.

In the wo
Mar 13, 2012 marked it as to-read
I would LOVE to read this on NetGalley . . .

. . . but apparently, Disney-Hyperion "isn't accepting blogger requests at this time."

It's okay, Rachel. I'll own your book . . . eventually.
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The cover of this book is so amazingly beautiful that I spent a few minutes being creepy and caressing it. The satin finish of it complements the colours and the model is so incredibly beautiful and the cover merges so very fantastically with the content in the novel. I went into this book knowing that it was about clones and that’s about it. I have read other books by Cohn and liked them so I was reasonably confident that I would appreciate the writing if not love the story. I didn’t start the ...more
Elysia is the second teenage clone Beta, still with flaws she is sold to a prominent family on the perfect Utopian island Desmesne. Her goal is to be a perfect companion to her human family. But when she meets another teenage Beta, and she starts seeing her First's memories, she starts to question what is right for them and what is right for her.

Manufactured perfection in a little island called Demesne, I thought it sounded just perfect. But we all know that nothing is perfect. Everyone is beaut
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who have an interest in a YA book about Clones.
“Everyone on this island wants something kept quiet.
I want to roar”
― Rachel Cohn, Beta

This book is about Elysia, a human clone who was a lab. I had never read a book about a clone before but being a fan of dystopian novels I wanted to try one out and chose Beta.

I did enjoy this book..sort of. The writing was excellent. I loved the warm descriptive imagery of the tropical island and I love that it is slow moving so the reader can take their time and think about what is happening.
May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
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 nearl
Dec 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc, 2012-challenge
Extremely predictable for most points (about the secrets of different characters), so that was annoying... but what wasn't predictable at the end of the book then became major issues for me to give this story a bad rating.

Jan 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Clones have not suffered as badly as most other sci-fi/fantasy creations have in the recent field of YA literature. Cloning! How interesting is that? Not to mention that they’re (presumably) genetically altered clones created to be immune to the bliss-inducing skies of a tropical island. I bumped this novel to the top of my to-read list as soon as I added it and waited until it came in at the library.

I started reading.

This is an accurate depiction of my face at any given moment during that time:
♠ TABI⁷₈⁷ ♠
Nov 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nah-bro
This was on of those was one of those impulse borrows. Neat looking cover, interesting plot on the inside cover...I thought, "Eh, what the heck?" and brought it home.

My mind needs to be bleached. And my eyes.

I am so glad I decided to start this one before all my other library books.
The story-line and idea was pretty original...and the writing wasn't half-bad either, but it's a tangled mess where the main plot points are all sexually related (view spoiler)
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
A provocative, intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging tale of humanity, identity, ethics and free will, BETA is, in a word, fascinating. In this fun to read, absorbing and unique novel, Rachel Cohn addresses some interesting ethical issues about the pitfalls of cloning and bio-genetics. She introduces us to a great new heroine that, engineered to serve the wealthy residents of Demesne, is forced to either obediently follow all the rules or die. Disquieting, thrilling and haunting, ...more
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars - Gotta love a sci-fi dystopian book with a cliffhanger.

This book wasn't what I was expecting - your typical "I'm a clone, and I'm not allowed to feel" type of book. Yes, that was what this book was about, but I hadn't realized that Elysia was purchased to serve as a member of a privileged family and a companion to her siblings and their friends.

I will say it took a while for me to get into the Book. Cohn uses a lot of description - which I have yet to decide if it is a good or a bad t
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Ready for a new heroine? Katsa, Katniss, and now Elysia, the clone. Water Wars have changed the earth, but the richest people have managed to create a special island, Demesne, with pure air, lovely violet water, and a population of clones to do all the work. Most of the clones are fully adult, but the doctor in charge is now experimenting with teen clones, still in the Beta stage. The governor's wife buys one for her family and is delighted with the beautiful, compliant, young woman. But Elysia ...more
Neil (or bleed)
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Actual rating: 2.5 stars
Beta is a shining example of an idea that was clearly just not thought through enough.

Its basic concept is one with obvious appeal: clones allow for an interesting exploration of ideas of personhood, and making them property of the uber-rich brings issues of class into the mix. This premise could have been a fascinating and philosophical one, but… instead it gets dragged down, reflection on the nature of humanity drowned out by romantic subplot.

Perhaps most important, though, is Cohn’s choice t
Patsy Frey-Davis
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
After reading (and enjoying) many others by this author I came to my egalley of Beta with high expectations that the book utterly failed to live up to. While the world is interesting the character development felt poorly paced. This would have normally still earned 3 stars from me but for two major issues: a race of characters in the book that are genetically modified to be the "best elements of human kind" and are therefore utterly Aryan and worshiped by normal people for their beauty AND a nas ...more
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Elysia is a new beta, one of the first trial teenage clones. She is sold to the Bratton family to be a replacement for their daughter Astrid who moved away. Elysia is to play with her new "brother and sister" Ivan and Liesel. She must also call the woman who bought her "mother." Clones are made and sold to work on the island. They have different tattoos on their face according to their jobs. They have no feelings so the drugged air does not affect them and they will work hard. Demesne's island h ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Good

The variety of topics addressed.  What it means to be human, women's rights, coming-of-age, finding your own way, determining who you are as a person, technology ethics, rape and abortion--there are so many different interesting topics addressed in this book and they're all interwoven into the story so well, it's unbelievable.
The cloning process.  To make a clone, the original person must die. Clones are then branded with two face tattoos: one side with a tattoo indicatin
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Elysia is a clone. A teenage Beta, to be exact. One of the first of her kind and thus likely to have several bugs. But unlike the other teenage Beta, she's absolutely gorgeous. Thus, she gets taken into a household fast and becomes a companion, replacing a daughter away at college.

Thus begins Rachel Cohn's foray into science fiction. Cohn might be known for her (masterful) contemporaries, but BETA doesn't read like she's stretching out of her comfort zone. Cohn feels familiar with science fictio
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
It's a little futile to talk about YA dystopia novels, much like horror movies, procedural TV shows, romance novels, and tween pop. Each genre has its formula firmly in place and an audience who views formula not as laziness, but as a salve against an unpredictable world. There might be small tweaks to the formulas here and there and the occasional meta hat-tip, but by and large it's mostly the same ol' shit. So Beta was pretty predictable save the ending when (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dystopian, young adult, romance
I so much enjoyed the story and characters and the world building. This is no run of the mill dystopian young adult romance. This novel actually had more chocolate flavor to it than plain vanilla.

What I liked was the slow development of characters and social interaction in this book. There is no insta love attraction but romance slowly emerges into the novel. I really enjoyed reading the unhurried and vivid description of the island and its inhabitants.

When I think about the romance and love i
Nov 02, 2012 rated it liked it
One of the very few disadvantages of using an e-reader is that you can't really enjoy beautiful covers just like the one on this book,but it is also true that you are less likely to buy a book because of the cover.

Beta is more than a beautiful cover,though.It's the story of Elysia , a clone with no soul who starts having human feelings and desires even if she was created in a laboratory.And it is also the story of the people who surround her .

Demesne , the island where the novel takes place , is
Jan 24, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dystopian, was-poop
This book belongs on my "was-poop" shelf for several reasons: Number one, there is no plot, I mean, literally nothing happens for 85% of the book an then the last 50 pages an entire plot that is filled with holes tries to form itself. Second, the rules of the setting make no sense, some people are clones, some people aren't, some people are pretending to be human but are actually clones, but there is no explanation for why the clones even exist in the first place. Third, the author decided to sh ...more
Dichotomy Girl
So, my library e-book of this expired when I was at 40% of this, and I couldn't put it on hold again, as it looks like the library's e-book license also expired. As I don't care enough about the rest to buy it. This is going to be a DNF for me. ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Originally reviewed on A Reader of Fictions.

Before I got to read this one, I saw a few non-flattering reviews roll in, so I was on my guard, prepared for another in a string of disappointing reads. Thankfully, I enjoyed Beta pretty much all the way through, although I am definitely immensely skeptical about where the series is heading.

Beta takes place on an island paradise, home to only the richest and most fashionable of people. These people are so rich that they have clones, programmed to be e
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ya
Recommended to Jillyn by: Nicole
Shelves: blog, favorites
The island of Demesne is a utopia. Humans aren't bothered with trivial things like work, only luxury and leisure. Instead, the work is done by clones- servants cloned from the recently deceased. Void of souls and feelings, they are perfect for a life of servitude. Elysia is a Beta clone- one of the first few teenage clones in existence with a rampant threat of defects. On the island pf perfection, defects mean death. But Elysia isn't like other clones. She can taste food. She can remember memori ...more
Beta is a wonderful first installment of Rachel Cohn's new series. It's about a young clone named Elysia who was created to become a servant to residents on a euphoric island. Being a teenager, she's the first of her kind. Everyone else is in their 20's or older. A woman finds Elysia and buys her on the spot. She's told by her new owner -- "Mother" -- that she will be a member of the family, replacing her daughter that went away to school. While helping around the house and communicating with he ...more
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Elysia is one of many clones created to serve the population of Demesne. People have created clones that they want to act like pre-programmed robots created to serve them. The clones aren't supposed to feel, think, or experience anything on their own. They are supposed to serve their owners and get their information from a chip that varies based on what their role in this society will be. Elysia is one of the several clones who are considered defects because they show signs of being human rather ...more
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Rachel grew up in the D.C. area and graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Political Science. She has written many YA novels, including three that she cowrote with her friend and colleague David Levithan. She lives and writes (when she's not reading other people's books, organizing her music library or looking for the best cappuccino) in New York City. ...more

Other books in the series

Annex (4 books)
  • Emergent (Annex, #2)
  • Untitled (Annex, #3)
  • Untitled (Annex, #4)

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“What's a slut?" I ask him.
"A girl who puts out too easily."
"Puts out what?" I imagine Greer putting out dinner and don't understand what Iwan wouldn't like about that.
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“Everyone on this island wants something kept quiet.
I want to roar”
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