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Version Beta

(Annex #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  7,307 ratings  ·  930 reviews
L'île paradisiaque de Demesne est le lieu le plus exclusif sur Terre, entièrement modelée par des scientifiques pour atteindre la perfection tropicale. L'aller simple coûte une véritable fortune, et encore plus le fait de s'y installer. Outre les paysages enchanteurs et le climat optimal, les eaux des lagons diffusent une sorte d'euphorisant qui agit comme un élixir de jou ...more
Paperback, 424 pages
Published November 22nd 2012 by Robert Laffont (first published October 16th 2012)
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3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,307 ratings  ·  930 reviews

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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  ·  review of another edition
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 | #WatchPOSE
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
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:
Dec 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-challenge, arc
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.

♠️ TABI ♠️
Nov 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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)
Neil (or bleed)
Actual rating: 2.5 stars
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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

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 na
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auf-deutsch
Elysia ist ein Klon, eine Teenager-BETA, wie es sie zuvor noch nicht gegeben hat. Normalerweise werden auf der idyllischen Insel Demesne nur erwachsene Personen geklont. Ohne Seele, eigene Gefühle oder Bedürfnisse. Ihr Wissen stammt lediglich von einer Datenbank im Gehirn, welche die Klone jederzeit abrufen können.
Sie dienen den Menschen, ohne Fragen zu stellen. Elysia wird an die Frau des Governors von Demesne verkauft und muss in ihrem neuen, luxuriösen Zuhause fortan als Unterhaltung für die
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Français

My English review

Après avoir lu de nombreux avis vouant les mérites de ce livre, j’étais vraiment curieuse d’en apprendre plus.

On découvre dans ce roman l’île de Demesne, une île très étrange et différente des autres. En effet, tout y a été modifié pour répondre aux multiples attentes des personnes qui peuvent se permettre de payer un séjour. Et pour cela, l’air même a été modifié pour être de meilleure qualité, c’est-à-dire possédant une grande teneur en oxygène, chose qui e
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 indicating they are a
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Die Autorin Rachel Cohn war mir spätestens seit "Dash & Lilys Winterwunder", das sie zusammen mit David Levithan geschrieben hat, ein Begriff. Von daher war ich besonders gespannt, wie ich den Auftakt ihrer neuen Reihe "Beta" so finden werde. Leider konnte mich das Buch nicht so von sich überzeugen, wie ich es im Vorfeld erhofft habe.

Rachel Cohn hat mich bislang mit ihrem Schreibstil begeistern können, bei "Beta" war dies leider nicht der Fall. Ich weiß nicht, ob es am Plot direkt lag oder s
Check out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***!

As a serious sucker for a gorgeous cover, I fell for Beta; I'll be open about it. However, looks can deceive. I traded it with a friend, so I'm not too upset about not enjoying it that much, besides the fact that it was not an enjoyable read. In the end, Beta didn't live up to par.

In Beta, we were first introduced to Elysia and her first moments waking up as soon as expert scientists created her. She's a Beta, a test drive of
Jessy Rey
Jul 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ich habe selten erlebt, dass jemand aus einer guten Idee so ein flaches, langweiliges, enttäuschendes und widersprüchliches Buch fabrizieren kann.
Elysia ist ein BETA – ein Klon einer First (eines Teenagers, der verstorben ist) nur in einer besseren Version. Quasi. Sie hat keine Gefühle und ist seelenlos, gibt keine Widerworte, schmeckt nicht und kann generell nichts tun, was ihrer „Familie“ missfallen könnte. Der perfekte Diener, oder nicht?
Es ist eine Zukunft auf der Insel Demesne, alle sind re
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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.

Other books in the series

Annex (4 books)
  • Emergent (Annex, #2)
  • Untitled (Annex, #3)
  • Untitled (Annex, #4)
“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.
"Puts out, you know..." His face, already beet red from our run, turns a darker scarlet. "Sex."
I wonder where Greer puts the sex out.”
“Everyone on this island wants something kept quiet.
I want to roar”
More quotes…