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Perfected #2


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Freedom comes at a cost...

Ella was genetically engineered to be the perfect pet—graceful, demure...and kept. In a daring move, she escaped her captivity and took refuge in Canada. But while she can think and act as she pleases, the life of a liberated pet is just as confining as the Congressman’s gilded cage. Her escape triggered a backlash, and now no one's safe, least
of all the other pets. But she's trapped, unable to get back
to Penn—the boy she loves—or help the girls who need her.

Back in the United States, pets are turning up dead. With help from a very unexpected source, Ella slips deep into the dangerous black market, posing as a tarnished pet available to buy or sell. If she's lucky, she'll be able to rescue Penn and expose the truth about the breeding program. If she fails, Ella will pay not only with her life, but the lives
of everyone she's tried to save...

219 pages, ebook

First published December 1, 2015

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About the author

Kate Jarvik Birch

5 books488 followers
Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit www.katejarvikbirch.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 177 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,691 reviews1,268 followers
December 2, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.)

“They’re killing the pets.”

This was a good sequel, and the stakes rose even higher.

Ella really took charge in this book; even though she was still a bit naïve, and still didn’t come up with the best plans, she knew what she wanted and really went for it, even if it meant putting herself in danger to achieve what she wanted.

“I need to get back,” I said.

The storyline in this was about Ella trying to find Penn, and also about what was happening to pets in light of Ella’s escape. There were a couple of twists in the tale, and the stakes just went up and up. I did find the pace a little slow again, but the story was enjoyable.

“That sort of behaviour is toxic. It has to be extinguished the moment it’s spotted before it contaminates the group.”

The ending to this left us with a bit of a cliff-hanger, and it will be interesting to see what happens in book 3!

7 out of 10
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
720 reviews1,173 followers
December 8, 2016
If you haven’t heard my constant ravings about Perfected over the last year, I’ll sum them up: I fricken loved it. It presented the disturbing concept of human “pets” in a way that acknowledged the darker connotations without dwelling on them, therefore allowing the story to focus on the sweet love story. Tarnished is where all of that darkness and grit comes to the forefront, and it was every bit as compelling as it was heart-wrenching.

I really feel as though this is where the story needed to go. Perfected felt innocent because the main character, Ella, was innocent. One of the things I love about this author is her ability to totally immerse you in the character’s point of view. In Perfected, Ella had quite a sheltered view of the world. In Tarnished, any delusions of safety and security Ella may have had are completely stripped away as she faces the harsh (and disturbing) realities of how human pets are treated in the real world. It showcased an excellent growth of character, which is easily my favorite elements to this book. Ella had to come to terms with the darker nature of humanity, and it was inspiring to watch her convictions and sense of self grow throughout the book. Like the love story, it felt organic, and that’s another part of why I love these books so much. There are so many subtleties adding up to profound moments that you almost don’t see them coming.

While Perfected spoke to my heart, Tarnished spoke to my mind. I hope the third book will tie together the best of both. The only thing I didn’t get out of this novel was a clear motive for Missy, a fellow pet who offers to help Ella at what I’d call extreme sacrifice to herself. I kept waiting for her motives to be revealed, good or bad, but was perplexed to note it wasn’t addressed anywhere throughout the entire book. That alone kept me from fully getting behind that part of the plot as plausible and also kept me from really immersing myself in the story. All I’m saying is, some sort of hint or minor indication early on would have gone a long way. Other than that, everything else about this book was superb!

As you can see, I am a huge fan of this series and recommended most often to YA readers who loved Destefano’s Chemical Garden Trilogy and Oliver’s Delirium Trilogy – both of which I thought were beautifully written and evoking stories. If you’re in the market for a teen read without all the fluff, Perfected is the series for you. I definitely limit myself to recommending it to older teens and adults due to the darker subject matter, even though it’s all handled tastefully.

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com
Profile Image for ᒪᗴᗩᕼ .
1,459 reviews144 followers
December 13, 2015
“Morning was just an idea that night was considering, a blush colored dream.”

Book Title: Tarnished
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Series: Perfected #2
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian-ish, Sci-fi-ish
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Netgalley Arc

Why I picked that quote: The author has a lot of poignant excerpts like this one throughout the book, and this one is my favorite. Such a beautiful way to explain the pre-dawn time of day.

Overall Rating: 3.7/5 Stars

✧Breakdown of Rating✧

• Plot: 3.8/5 -The story starts out really slow and some things that happen seem, I don’t know, glossed over and not fully fleshed out, but as the story progressed it hooked me in more.
• Characters: 3.7/5 -Ella is more likable in this 2nd book, she gets a backbone and starts thinking for herself, I actually started to like her more and more as the story progressed. Penn is somewhat less likable, he’s become like the devoted puppy, sort of. Missy is really a bitch when she first arrives, but I realized that she only wants what is best for Ella and she really has a hard time admitting she cares, about anything or anyone. That’s just a part of her personality.
• The Feels: 3.5/5 -The romance between Penn and Ella is really put on the backburner so to speak in this one. I think I liked this more, because of that.
• Theme: 2.8/5 -While, ultimately, I think the theme of this series is a good one, there is still this underlying theme of dirty old men having their way with very young girls. This part of this series really unhinges me. I mean really their motto is We sell young pretty girls for your enjoyment, what do you think these rich old men want these girls for…ewww…but seriously ewww doesn’t even begin to cover it. I really like to believe that this could never happen in our society.
• Flow: 4/5
• Originality: 4/5
• Book Cover: 4.5/5 -It is really pretty, even though, this dress doesn’t seem to make an appearance in this book. I think it’s main purpose is to convey a feeling of being less than perfect.
• Sex Factor: Not really, but it is hinted at.
• Ending: 4/5 -The ending was sort of intense, I don’t know…I was actually into it. Cliffhanger: Sort of
Will I continue the series? Yes, I like where it seems to be heading now.

My Thoughts:

I was kindly provided with an ARC of this book via Netgalley in Exchange for an honest review.

I listened to the first book, Perfected, on audio and I was really annoyed by the MC’s voice, she was whiny and nauseating. For Tarnished, I read the E-book and that was definitely the better choice. Overall, this book has it flaws, but in it's intended form, as a YA book, it is a worthwhile read. It will certainly get you thinking.

Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book140 followers
March 16, 2018
Tarnished is the second book in the Perfected series. It's a continuous story and cannot be read as a standalone.

Ella has escaped to Canada and no longer someone's Pet. She lives in a camp with other ex-pet girls. The life isn't glamorous but her life is her own. It leaves her wanting to get back to Penn. She plans to escape but then she sees him on the television. Everything is wrong. The words he speaks, his tone and the way he is acting. Ella wants to save him but it won't be that easy. She escapes her refuge and bumps into an old friend.

Missy is world-wise and wants to protect Ella. She doesn't give Ella the full picture to this dystopian world. As this story unravels Ella gains the determination she needs. This isn't just about her this is about all the Pets.

This is the journey middle book. I enjoyed the storyline and the world gets crazier. I'm enjoying this series.

4.5 stars out of 5. Darker than the first and it can only get worse. I received an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Wortmagie.
512 reviews77 followers
November 19, 2019

Auf ihrer Website erklärt Kate Jarvik Birch, ihre Liebe zum Schreiben sei in ihrer Kindheit erblüht. Was sie nicht erwähnt, ist, dass diese Leidenschaft in der Familie liegt. Ihre Mutter, Elaine Birch, arbeitete 30 Jahre als Journalistin, bevor sie eine Karriere als Bühnenautorin einschlug. 2011 wurde das erste gemeinsame Stück von Mutter und Tochter, „(a man enters)“, in ihrer Heimat Salt Lake City uraufgeführt. Die Kritiken nahmen es überwiegend positiv auf. Ihren Debütroman veröffentlichte Kate Jarvik Birch erst Jahre später, aber ich glaube, der Erfolg des Stückes verlieh ihr das nötige Selbstbewusstsein, ohne das ich „Tarnished“, den zweiten Band der „Perfected“-Trilogie, heute vielleicht nicht für euch besprechen würde.

Ella wurde als Sklavin geboren. Sie ist ein im Labor perfektioniertes Haustier, gezüchtet, um reichen Familien Freude zu bereiten. Doch ihren freien Willen konnten ihr weder die Genetik noch ihr Besitzer nehmen. Die verbotene Liebe zu seinem Sohn Penn verlieh ihr den Mut, ihre Ketten zu sprengen und gemeinsam mit ihm nach Kanada zu fliehen. Leider wurde das Paar an der Grenze getrennt; nun befindet sich Ella in einem Flüchtlingslager für entlaufene Haustiere in Kanada, während Penn in den USA dem Zorn seines Vaters ausgeliefert ist. Ellas spektakuläre Flucht hatte allerdings viel dramatischere Konsequenzen, als die beiden jemals vermuteten: eine grausame Mordserie erschüttert das Land. Die Opfer sind Haustiere. Wenn ihretwegen junge Mädchen wie sie selbst getötet werden, kann Ella nicht tatenlos zusehen. Unterstützt von der ruppigen Missy nimmt sie den gefährlichen Weg zurück in die USA auf sich und wagt sich in die zwielichtige Welt der Schwarzmärkte, um Penn zu retten und ihren Leidensgenossinnen zu helfen. Sie wird nicht zulassen, dass andere den Preis für ihre Freiheit zahlen.

Oh man. Diese Fortsetzung hätte nicht sein müssen. Es wäre besser gewesen, hätte „Tarnished“ nie das Licht der Welt erblickt. Ich war am Ende von Perfected bereits skeptisch, ob ein zweiter Band der Geschichte eventuell eher schadet als sie zu bereichern – ich bedauere, dass ich Recht hatte. Was mir an dem Trilogieauftakt besonders gefiel, war die sanfte, zerbrechliche Note der Erzählung aus der Ich-Perspektive der Protagonistin Ella. Da Ella im Genetiklabor der Firma NuPet mit dem ausdrücklichen Ziel gezüchtet wurde, als gehorsames, graziles Haustier in eine reiche Familie aufgenommen zu werden, ist sie ein unschuldiger, naiver Charakter ohne jegliche Lebenserfahrung. Mit der Handlung des ersten Bandes harmonierte dieses Profil hervorragend. In „Tarnished“ hingegen beißt sich Ellas zarte Charakterisierung mit den actionreichen Ereignissen. Sie passt nicht in diese Handlung und ist keine glaubhafte Heldin, weil sie viel zu schwach ist, um überzeugend die Initiative zu ergreifen. Um ihre Schwäche zu überspielen stellt ihr Kate Jarvik Birch die resolute Missy zur Seite, die sie ganz praktisch aus dem Hut zaubert, sobald Ella an ihre eng gesteckten Grenzen stößt – also innerhalb des ersten Kapitels. Zu Beginn des Buches befindet sich Ella in einem Flüchtlingslager in Kanada, aus dem sie zu entkommen versucht, weil sie meint, ihre große Liebe Penn aus den Fängen seines sadistischen Vaters befreien zu müssen. Dass sie ihn durch ihre Anwesenheit möglicherweise zusätzlich gefährdet, kommt ihr nicht in den Sinn und wohin sie mit ihm fliehen möchte, will sie offensichtlich spontan entscheiden. Es ist dieser Egoismus, getarnt als unsterbliche Liebe, der mich in Young Adult – Romanen immer wieder aufregt. Dummerweise ist Ella nicht einmal in der Lage, sich allein unentdeckt vom Gelände des Lagers zu schleichen. Auftritt Missy. Woher sie kam, Kilometer entfernt von ihrer Heimat in den USA, wird nie geklärt und wieso sie Ella hilft, obwohl die beiden kaum als Freundinnen bezeichnet werden können, ist ebenso ungewiss. Sie ist da, weil Birch sie brauchte, um die weitere Handlung von „Tarnished“ anzustoßen. Auf sich selbst gestellt hätte Ella es nämlich niemals zurück in die USA geschafft. Missy führt Ella in die zwielichtige Welt der Schwarzmärkte ein, die einzige Möglichkeit für entlaufene oder ausrangierte Haustiere, zu überleben. In diesem Rahmen nervte mich Ellas Naivität maßlos, weil sie nicht erkennt, was die Mädels hinter verschlossenen Türen tun müssen, um nicht auf der Straße zu enden. Von dort aus machen sie sich auf den Weg zu Penn – der Startschuss für einen Handlungsverlauf, der an mangelnder Logik und Plausibilität kaum zu unterbieten ist. Die Hintergründe für und die Reaktion der Bevölkerung auf die Mordserie an Haustieren sind meiner Meinung nach vollkommener Unsinn. Birchs Szenario ist dermaßen unrealistisch, dass es mich ärgerte. Als ob ich wirklich jeden Quatsch glauben würde, nur weil er gedruckt wurde.

Ich fand „Tarnished“ grenzenlos enttäuschend. Mit dieser Fortsetzung nötigt Kate Jarvik Birch die Geschichte in eine Richtung, die sowohl ihrem Wesen als auch dem Charakter der Protagonistin und Ich-Erzählerin völlig widerspricht. Man kann ein verletzliches, sensibles Mädchen wie Ella nicht zwingen, im Eiltempo ihre Kämpfernatur zu entdecken. Genau das erwartet Birch jedoch von ihr und deshalb wirkt sie fehl am Platz und kann den Entwicklungen allein nicht gerecht werden. Der zweite Band verlangt eine Heldin, die Ella nicht sein kann. Diese Fehleinschätzung der Autorin erweckt mein Mitleid für Ellas Figur, weil es unfair ist, ihr eine Handlung zuzumuten, die ihren Horizont weit übersteigt und der sie nicht gewachsen ist. Darüber hinaus tat sich Birch auch selbst keinen Gefallen mit „Tarnished“, denn sie präsentiert ein äußerst abwegiges Handlungskonstrukt, das den positiven Eindruck, den ich nach Perfected von ihr hatte, beinahe komplett entwertete. Ich werde das (mutmaßliche) Finale Unraveled nicht mehr lesen. Ich möchte nicht erleben, durch welche unmöglichen brennenden Reifen Birch die arme Ella noch springen lassen will.
Profile Image for lacy white.
528 reviews54 followers
April 2, 2018
a special thank you goes out to Entangled Teen and Netgalley for this eARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book was a bit better than the first one. And the reason that is is because of information. Finally, we are getting info about the Pet program and the secrets surrounding it. I knew things about that program were shady but I just couldn't place what was shady about it. I love it when my intuitions are right. The program still wigs me out and I'm not really keen on humans being Pets but I am more or less intrigued by it now as opposed to just downright disgusted. Well, I'm still disgusted. I'm just confusing, aren't I?

Character development was also much improved. Ella slowly realized she is not just some scared little Pet. She is a fighter and she will fight for the ones she loves. She made some stupid decisions at times and her inner monologue could be slightly irritating especially when it was all about Penn. But I can forgive that because of how she grew up. She didn't understand the feelings she had and how the world works. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing a "weak" character grow. I'm glad Ella has improved from the first book.

I also enjoyed a new side character, Missy. She is another Pet that was briefly in the first book. I would have love to get a POV from her. She was so sassy and didn't tolerate anyone's crap. She didn't tolerate Ella's nativey and let her know it. She has been through some things and she was just so sad and my heart broke for her all the time. I hope she is involved even more in the first book.

Overall, despite the Pet program wigging me out and Ella getting on my nerves a little bit, this series has gotten getter. I am interested in reading the conclusion and I hope it ends on a happy note. Ella and Missy deserve it.
Profile Image for Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive).
2,360 reviews50 followers
December 5, 2015
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

After reading Perfected last year I immediately added the sequel to my wishlist on GoodReads. Quite unlike my TBR, my wishlist only holds a dozen or so books, making it quite special. I was very looking forward to this book.

Ella now is in Canada, where keeping girls as pets is - luckily - not allowed. But she's not happy, and from here the story goes downhill.

I finished my review of Perfected saying that it felt like reading Wither but making more sense. Unfortunately this isn't were it ended. Tarnished felt like Wither's sequel, complete with all the running around for seemingly no particular reason at all. Also, the world must be saved by the heroine of the book, of course. The more I thought about it, the more stupid the whole premise looked. I mean, as far as the more subtle dystopians go why would some ever pass a law that makes it legal to breed people as pets? I suppose that at this point more than one alarm bell is ringing already.

This being said, I enjoyed myself while reading it. It was a very fast read and not a bad sequel all in all, just not as good as its predecessor.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Stacy.
1,330 reviews63 followers
December 3, 2015
PERFECTED was an interesting book, but TARNISHED definitely stepped the series up another level.

Ella tended to annoy me in PERFECTED, but TARNISHED brought her out of her 'pet' shell. She goes from meek to fierce and her loyalty to those she cares about shines through in just about every situation. She still has a few sheltered girl moments, but when she catches up to the game, she totally redeems herself in my eyes.

The romance between Ella and Penn. It's missing the spark I would expect to feel and they don't really have time to grow a relationship in TARNISHED. You can tell they feel things for eachother, but it isn't quite there for me yet. Maybe book three will bring their relationship into another level that will make me feel like they are a couple.

TARNISHED really surprised me. I was hesitant to pick up a review copy and when I had it it took me a while to read it. Thankfully when I started reading it, I had no problem staying engaged and it made me want to continue the series. Not sure when book 3 will be out, but I will make sure to keep an eye out for it.

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Melissa.
744 reviews133 followers
November 8, 2015
Once I picked it up, I didn't want to put this book down. Perfected was a compelling and creepy story, even though I could see some things coming way before Ella realized them. Tarnished is just as - if not more so - creepy. Ella and Penn were separated at the end of book 1 by police officers at the U.S./Canada border, and this book begins one week later with Ella stuck in a Canadian refugee centre. This book was more action packed than the first one with plenty of twists and turns along the way, showing the reader the dark underbelly of NuPet and the black market. I loved how Ella grows over the course of the novel from a pampered Pet, who can't fend for herself to a fierce young woman. Can't wait to see how the story continues.
Profile Image for Lauren - SERIESous Books.
1,601 reviews58 followers
March 28, 2018
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This is a voluntary review; all opinions are my own and not influenced by my source.**

This was an impressive sequel! It seriously elevated this series into new heights!

I found the pacing of this novel was awesome. The story is always moving; new elements are constantly being added but it was never overwhelming. There were some good twists along the way as well. It just had me craving more and seeing how everything would come together.

Ella continues to have fantastic character development. I love good character progression and Ella--though she makes some mistakes along the way--is endearing in her efforts.

I also loved the unexpected friend Ella finds. I don't want to give away who it is but I'll just say that their character is a nice compliment to Ella's innocent approach and brings in some much needed realism (even if it is a little jaded).

Overall, I just loved how this book focused on developing the world and creating that larger picture that I felt was missing from the first novel. I can't wait to see where the finale goes!

Check out more spoiler-free book and series reviews on my blog SERIESousBookReviews.com as well as read book series recaps!

Full Review: https://wp.me/p7hLUw-2pZ
Actual Rating: 4/5
Profile Image for Anna 'Bookbuyer'.
665 reviews78 followers
May 23, 2018
I really enjoyed this sequel! I loved how Ella found herself in this book. I was a bit annoyed at how she kept bugging poor Missy about helping out and then getting herself into trouble but I can understand why she did. She was finally free and wanted to make her own choices.

I have a love/hate relationship with Missy and to be honest I never really understood her. I don't know why she decided to help Ella and why she was willing to go through hell to help her. She barely knew her.

I was appalled at what Nupet was doing to the girls and the babies! Just because they weren't perfect they were killing the infants!!!

I was unhappy with the way the public reacted as well. Why blame the pets??? Because it's easier than to blame right powerful people??? -.-

I'm really happy that Penn stayed with Ella. They are really good together!

I was also surprised to find out that Ella had a 'brother' and that she now knew who her mother was!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Serap.
679 reviews69 followers
May 3, 2019
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Profile Image for Lesia Joukova.
217 reviews51 followers
November 26, 2015
I have been provided an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Entangled Teen. All the opinions are my own.

I do not know how to rate this book. On one hand, there are definite plot improvements comparing to "Perfected", and I found myself curious about what would happen next at times but for the life of me, I could not understand why any of the characters were behaving the way they were.

Let me provide you with an example of what I mean. Quote incoming.

That's it. Moment's over. The character's concern lasted for two sentences. Is this in any way realistic? I think not. This is the way the whole book went on.
It didn't make any more sense than the first one. I don't see any sound reasoning behind any actions of anybody in this book. For most of the time, Missy was the voice of reason, but even her actions didn't match up with what she was saying.

The plot goes like this. Ella, our main character, finds herself in Canada, a sheltered center for refugee pets, but she ends up running away with no funds and a map she can't read to get back across the border and find Penn whom she saw on TV. When Missy makes an appearance in the book, we get zero explanation of why she turned Ella in during the "Perfected" story. Despite making a big fuss over Ella being unprepared and overly stupid for going all the way back for just a boy, Missy ends up helping anyway. Why did she suddenly turn goody-goody? Why would she sacrifice her body (literally) and soul (figuratively) for Ella? For deus ex machina reasons? We get zero insight into the thought process. Ella's decisionmaking is even worse.

Ella makes especially unreasonable choices considering her lack of experience with the real world. But the fear of it somehow vanishes really fast: in "Tarnished" Ella becomes a badass really quickly. It's a matter of half a page really. From the "I can't run anymore" she goes to "It needs to be done". Personally, I've been expecting some character growth in the first book, and this was quite overdue even if it was sudden.

Other than that, I felt that what seems to become a trilogy should have been one normal book. Both books are really short and it does nothing for the story to split them into different parts. It was good that "Tarnished" brought more seriousness into the situation, however, despite all the harshness, this books still raises a question: how does the misuse of pets affect other black market trades, illegal slavery, prostitution, etc. The story remains underdeveloped.

Meanwhile, the love story doesn't progress much either, with Penn having a very bland character. He doesn't do much for the plot, doesn't add anything to the book, except being the light of Ella's life, for some reason. Ah, the mysteries of first love...
Profile Image for Kim | mybookishlife.2.
143 reviews20 followers
December 5, 2015
This book is a solid 4.5 stars.

Warning: This review may contain slight spoilers.

This book took me a week to read. But it doesn’t have anything to do with the book itself. It was because of my schedule and me feeling overwhelmed by starting about 4/5 books in one day because my attention span fluttered away.

There are so many things to say about the book but first off, character development.

Like, I was absolutely amazed. First off, Ella is still naive in the beginning of the book, but not as naive as she was in Perfected. Her character becomes stronger and more aware of what is happening around her. The things she doesn’t know, she is determined to find out what it is. (Is there another word that means extremely determined, because if there is, I need to know that word for Ella.) For someone who was bred to be dependent she is actually very independent. Yes, she is still dependent on things, but who wouldn’t be for someone who is just learning things?

Secondly, Penn. I honestly was kind of rooting for there to be at least one point of view from him like there was in Perfected because it was just downright awesome and although he didn’t have a huge character development, he still grew up and I really really really liked that. But I felt so bad for what his horrible father had made him do. I also believed that he was going to be written as insane but he’s not. *happy dance*

Last, but not least, Missy. I really did not like her in Perfected, she was stuck up and all just blegh. I don’t know how much of a spoiler it is to say that she is back in the book? But she is and I did not trust her until after a certain incident happened in a certain area of the woods. BUUUUUT, she is an amazing character you get to see her brains and her spunk in Tarnished.

The events in this book had me so enticed when I picked it up that it was so difficult for me to put down when I was reading it. This book could be a quick read if you have time for that quick read (go figure) due to the fact of how captivating it is. Yes, there are some mellow parts but it’s good mellow parts. I am so happy of the friendship that brews with Ella and Missy. Oh and how can I forget the part with Ruby!? Oh my god, I wanted to cry. It was so hearttouching and the way that Ruby showed more maturity was just so…gah! The plot of the story continues a little bit after Perfected but it takes you on a ride that is not expected. The intensity and detail in-well in both books-but in Tarnished that shows not really entirely gruesome but just twisted(gruesomish) details is done really well, and it shows how screwed up their government is. I really loved this book.
Profile Image for Kristin .
1,152 reviews168 followers
November 30, 2015
Tarnished picks up shortly after Perfect ends. Ella was able to successfully make it over the Canadian border but unfortunately Penn wasn't as lucky. While she's loathing the safe house for pets that she's in, Penn's back under the clutches of his father/her owner. Unable to be away from Penn, Ella breaks out of her "prison" where she meets up with another pet from the U.S. The two of them cross the border back to the states in order for Ella to be reunited with her love. However, their journey isn't as easy as that. First they need to get across the border, lay low while getting money to cover food and shelter, and then get in contact with Penn, all without anyone spotting them.

Needless to say, I had a big problem with Ella in this installment. I could understand her naivety in Perfected because she was a newly purchased pet. She knew nothing but the kennel and training facility that she was raised in. However, she's spent time as a pet under the ownership of a not so great man. She's learned that her life as a pet isn't all rainbows and sunshine. Which is why she did everything she could to get out of there. So, when she's able to escape that horrible place and is instead in a community home for pet refugees, why does she insist on going back? She risks everything to escape the US only to go back because of love. :\ I just didn't understand her logic.

I liked that Tarnished has more of a plot than just "the life of a pet". We get a behind the scenes look of how the pets come to be and what happens to the imperfect pets when they are brought into the world. Plus, we follow Ella and her friend as they hide out in the black market for pets--a place where for a price you can rent a pet for whatever purpose or purchase a previously owned pet. There was so much going on that is brought to life that I was pretty much horrified the entire book and yet unable to put the book down.

While I liked that the author continued to push the envelope on touchy subjects, I just didn't fully buy into the story. Ella was a bit all over the place and it was hard to follow her mood swings, let alone understand the insane choices she made. I didn't fully buy into her and Penn's love story, nor did I think it was realistic that she'd rush back to the US to be with him. Let alone that another pet would accompany her on that mission and put herself in horrific scenarios in order to help Ella achieve her goal of getting to Penn. I just didn't understand it all. While I really enjoyed Perfected, Tarnished left me unsure. The characters and plot seemed all over the place and in the end I don't think I will be continuing with this series.
1,357 reviews32 followers
November 28, 2015
Five stars are not enough for TARNISHED.

TARNISHED is simply outstanding! This had to be said right away. I’m not sure whether someone who hasn’t read the first book of this series, Perfected, will be able to easily follow, because TARNISHED continues exactly where PERFECTED left off. However, TARNISHED is so good, I believe that readers should make an effort to read TARNISHED, or better yet read PERFECTED before. To cut a long story short: the “pets”, are genetically engineered girls, whose life is dedicated to making their owners’ life more pleasant; they’re much like slaves. Ella had been bought by Congressman John Kimball, but eventually Ella and Penn, the Congressman’s son, fell in love. Things became intolerable for Ella and she escaped to Canada, where it’s illegal to own “pets”. But Ella has vowed to try and reunite with Penn, one way or another...

Ella has escaped and wishes to find Penn, the boy she loves, but she then learns that “pets” are being killed. She wants to find out why and who is murdering them, then is looking for a way to bring justice to the poor innocent, dead girls. What she didn’t expect to find is a very unlikely ally: her acquaintance: Missy…

I had loved the first book, and I was hoping TARNISHED would be as good, but it’s much, much, much better! TARNISHED is absolutely fantastic! Exciting, filled with action, and very fast-paced; I am overjoyed! So much happens, there are amazing plot twists, and character development is remarkable. Ms. Jarvik Birch’s prose is absolutely seamless, flowing; the writing is simple but gorgeous and very eloquent. The characters’ dialogues are impeccable: they fit their personalities and their social statuses, and the teenagers sound like they should. TARNISHED is a resounding proof of why Young Adult books can be so successful: the storytelling is captivating, the plot is air-tight, the characters are very relatable. Ella, Missy, and Penn are all different from each other, and I love them all. Missy was a wonderful surprise! I wish I could have read TARNISHED in one sitting; life kept getting in the way of my reading and I just didn’t want to stop. And the cover is genius: it is what the book is all about; you’ll see when you read it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Danielle.
368 reviews23 followers
February 20, 2016
Read this review and more on my blog.

I received a free copy of Tarnished for my honest opinion.

Is it sad that this isn't the first book that i have read second or third book first?
Some books are written in a way that even if it is the second or third book in a series, you do not need to have read the previous books it still makes sense. Unfortunately Tarnished was not one of those books. Right from the start I was playing catch-up on what was happening, and even after finishing reading Tarnished, i still don't full understand what is going on.

What I was able to gather from it was that girls are genetically altered to be pets (no not to be able to transformed into pets as i thought). They are meant to be the 'perfect girl' and are meant to be superior to other pets like dogs and cats.

Ella, the protagonist, was annoying and completely naive. A lot of what happened did not happen because she went about it, it happened because of who she was with. Missy was constantly changing her mind; she kept changing from being strong and smart to being completely stupid. Penn did not really do much, just pine away for Ella without doing anything.

The was that Tarnished finished, their is defiantly going to be a sequel, but I am not going to be reading it. I am not invested in this story.
Profile Image for Morris.
964 reviews160 followers
January 8, 2016
This review of “Tarnished” is going to be short, because when I requested it I neglected to notice that it was the second book in a series. I’ll review it based on the plot and writing, but as a reader you should begin with the first book ("Perfected") to save yourself the same confusion I brought upon myself.

The premise is disturbing while also being compelling. As soon as I saw that it included the concept of humans being kept as pets, I knew it would be a good dystopian plot. I am excited to read the first book to see what it was like getting to the beginning of the second book of the series.

The characters were sympathetic and likable, and the writing flowed well. While I was confused over some details, I still feel confident recommending this series to older young adults and up.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
19 reviews
May 17, 2016
Every bit as good as the first, and I am on tenterhooks for the third...which will happen, right?
Profile Image for Sandra "Jeanz".
1,155 reviews162 followers
November 25, 2015
After reading and thoroughly enjoying Perfected I was really looking forward to reading Tarnished. the only slight worry I had was that sometime the second book in a series doesn't quite live up to the first!

So as I said at the very beginning of the post about the covers for this book series so far you already know I love the covers! The dress featured on the cover is Tarnish is definitely a statement dress and certainly catches your eye! The dress and it's colours had a lot of meanings within the book. I mean its a beautiful dress belonging to a pet, but it is also bright red! and whoever wears it is going to really stand out and draw attention to themselves. . . will they receive the type of interest they really want or maybe receive the wrong kind of attention. The dress kind of explodes on this cover and that is a great way to describe the whole subject of pets in this book. There is also a fantastic byline on this book cover "Freedom comes at a cost. . . " and we learn through Ella's story what price she has to pay for her freedom, a life without Penn? We also see Ella discovering the prive Missy is willing to pay to help her too. So, my usual question, would the cover make me stop and encourage me to pick it up from the book store shelf? Definitely yes!
At the end of Perfected we saw Ella finally escape being a pet, so part of her dream of freedom coming true. However Ella and Penn were separated on the border, her pulled to freedom on the Canadian side and Penn held back ny the police on the USA side. So though Ella has her freedom she is not spending it with the love of her life Penn. Tarnished quite literally picks up Ella's story a few days after the ending of Perfected. Ella is living or more like existing in a refugee centre with other pets. To Ella she seems as if she has exchanged on set of enclosing walls for a different set of enclosing walls. Ella is plotting to break out and escape the refugee centre, her dream slightly altered, she wants to return to the USA and be reunited with Penn, then flee to someplace new for them both where they are unknown people to start a life together with each other. Ella does not trust any of the other girls in the refugee centre, she is planning on going it alone with her plans. Ella tricks a centre worker into leaving her alone, though she hates doing so as she knows they are trying to help her reajust to life etc long enough for her to acquire items she feels will be useful to her escape plan. Ella repeats a mantra to herself over and over again to give herself strength to do what must be done "You need to find Penn. You need to make sure he is safe". Ella is drawn to the TV room when she sees the girls transfixed by what they are watching on the screen. It is Congressman Kimble, her owner, the one who gave her a collar as a gift. The collar/pendant is the only materialistic possession she has. Ella see's the other members of the Kimble family. Elise the Congressman's wife and their daughter Ruby, and Penn is standing near his father. John Kimble is saying their Pet, Ella has been stolen and how sad they all are she is no longer with them. They are appealing for her to be returned to the family and even offering a reward! John forces Penn to speak, to appeal for peace and the return of Ella. Ella can see Penn is not himself, he is not the loving Penn she knows and loves dearly. He is being forced or coerced into speaking, the bruise on his face is still quite clearly visible despite what looks like the attempts of a make up artists to cover it up. The reward for Ella's safe return is a large one! It's a hundred thousand dollars!!
Ella swiftly leave the TV room and returns to her dingy room, checking her other stolen items and re-hiding them out of sight, she now has a wallet, a folding knife, needle & thread and the map book she just stole too.
When Ella does manage to sneak out of the centre she has been living in for the past week she is somewhat disorientated and is almost immediately grabbed. Ella initially struggles but the voice belonging to the person who grabbed her tells her they are here to help her etc.
The mystery person indeed helps Ella to evade recapture and ends up playing a major role in the journey Ella embarks on as well as being a constant support to Ella and her plan of action. The mystery helper is Missy, the pet that lived with the neighbours next door to the Kimbles! The very pet that Ella still blames for ratting her out all that time ago when she went to her for help. The two pets have a lot to talk about and work through before they can begin on what turns out to be one heck of an adventure! Initially Missy attempts to talk Ella out of going back for Penn, but soon realises Ella is set in her decision so she decides to tag along and help Ella. Missy turns out to be a true friend to Ella on many occasions, from sharing her food with her, to helping her disguise herself and somewhat sheltering Ella from the harsher realities of being a pet on the run. Missy has to be stern with Ella and demands that she listens to her and does as Missy tells her too. To begin with as a reader you may think Missy is just enjoying being in charge but it soon becomes apparent that Missy's escape and travel to Canada was a hard, difficult journey with many compromises and sacrifices made along the way. There are many occasions where Ella's naivete irks Missy but the more street wise pet never fully reveals all she has had to endure to survive. In fact Missy is prepared to do all the awful "jobs" on the black market to keep Ella sheltered and remain innocent. It is only when Ella disobeys Missy and goes wandering off exploring alone that Ella discovers exactly how far Missy has had to go to secure their survival.
This book is full of action, mystery and intrigue galore. It keeps you reading long after you meant to put the book down for the night, and has you looking forward to the next stolen moment you can pick up the book to devote some time to reading it.
We learn even more about Nupet and how far they are prepared to go to make money and cover up past mistakes in the process. Nupet manages to stoop to even lower standards and deeds than we knew about in Perfected in this book.
I loved the origin of where the title comes within the book. A second hand pet is said to be "Tarnished". We discover the black market in this second book of the Perfected series. We get to revisit much loved characters from Perfected such as Ruby when Ella manages to sneak into the Kimble household once again. As well as meeting new characters to love, like Carlie whose talent is drawing. In fact it is Carlie's drawing of Ella that makes her determined to succeed in her plans. It is also that same drawing that Ella gives to Ruby as an apology for leaving and a token of love too.
In this book we see the good in some unlikely places, such as Seth (from the black market) helping Missy and Ella escape his Uncle's clutches and being bought back by the kennels they originally came from. This book also shows us the bad in the society in Tarnished, where pets have no rights and no one seems to care at all what happens to them. There's the seediness of the black market and of journalism too. The good things in the book are, the glimpses of friendship between the other pets. The eventual and strong kinship that grows between Missy and Ella, each prepared to sacrifice what ever is necessary for the well being, care an safety of the other.
This book takes us on Penn's journey too, the scales falling from his eyes as he see's the plain cruelty and true unscrupulous character traits in his father that have made him play along and even help Nupet in their quest for monetary gain over being humane.
There really is such a lot in this book, so many issues, brilliant characters both old and new and yet I feel there is still even more to come from the next book in the series and I am certainly looking forward to reading that one as soon as it is available too.
So did I enjoy the book? Really simply put, yes. Though just saying yes seems so inadequate. I hope you can tell from my review that I truly adored this book, the style it is written in and the characters and plot that unfold within its pages.
Would I recommend the book? Certainly, this book is so much more! It is thought provoking. It makes you wonder what you would do in Ella & Missy's position. Would you be pro Nupet? or be a Liberationalist who would protest against Nupet?
Would I want to read another book in this series? Definitely, I'm looking forward to even more, meeting certain characters you are given a little information about in this book as well as perhaps learning more about the Liberationalists in the next book too.
Would I want to read other titles written by this author? I do have another title by this author on my kindle which I intend reading as soon as time permits.
Profile Image for Trisha.
33 reviews17 followers
November 3, 2015
This and other reviews can be found at Yellow, Green, and Read All Over

Note: I received a digital ARC of this novel from Entangled Teen and NetGalley

When we last left Ella, having realized that the perfect life she was bred for was anything but, she escaped captivity and had managed to cross the border into Canada, where asylum is offered to human "pets" such as herself. Excellent....right? Well... not so much. As with everything else in Ella's life, there's a caveat to her freedom. In the process of seeking refuge, Ella was forced to leave behind Penn, her former owner-turned-love of her life. She watched from just across the border as Penn was dragged away by American police, back to the hell that is Ella's former and Penn's present home. What happened to him from there is anyone's guess.

To add insult to injury, back in the US, Ella's high-profile escape is causing a ripple effect that nobody could have anticipated. Pets are turning up dead, dismembered and disfigured all over the country. When help comes from the most unlikely of sources, Ella takes the opportunity to return to the states, risking everything to reunite with Penn, and in the process, discover and expose who or what is killing pets like her.

Ok, so, Entangled Teen did it to me again. They approved me for this lovely book on NetGalley, and unbeknownst to me, it's a sequel; meaning I had to read its predecessor before digging into this wonderful little nugget of joy. And, yet again, I couldn't possibly be more pleased! If I loved Perfected (see my review here), what I feel for Tarnished can only be described as the most acute form of euphoria. It's official, I am definitely a die-hard fan of Entangled Teen and their authors!

Tarnished picks up shortly after where Perfected left off and I was immediately swept away and back into Ella's world. The world-building that goes on in this novel was fabulous. Although on the outside, Ella's world isn't much different from ours, the author took great care to explain in great detail a seedy underground beyond our wildest nightmares. One of the few (but notable) issues I had with Perfected was that it explained how Ella's world differed from ours, but I felt that it didn't go into enough detail as to the "why". Tarnished accomplished this in spades. Every single question I had while reading its predecessor was answered thoroughly in this novel, and I loved it more with every word.

Again, the character development in Tarnished was just as wonderful as it was in the first novel, if not more so. With every page, I grew with Ella. I learned with her, was heartbroken when she hurt, was horrified when she was, and felt exuberant joy right along side her. Just as I loved Ella, I fell even more in love with Penn throughout the course of this novel. Kate Birch wrote in Penn the ideal book boyfriend (I think he's 18, so that's allowed, right?) He's strong, loyal, brave, and stands up and fights for what he believes in, consequences be damned. You just can't help but swoon over those qualities in a man. Although we find obvious protagonists in Ella and Penn, there's a third in this story that is possibly even better. I won't spoil the novel and give away who it is, but this character brings such a grittiness and bad-ass nature to the Tarnished that she is what truly makes it perfect. She is the salt to the sugar of Penn and Ella and I love that I spent a large chunk of the novel simply trying to figure her out.

Speaking of "gritty", while Perfected certainly had a bit of a "shadowed" feel to it, Tarnished was just straight-up dark. As an adult reading a YA novel, this was something that I really appreciated. YA as a general rule, especially when you get into the paranormal/alternate reality sub-genre, isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, puppy farts and rainbows. But, this novel just may be one of the most disturbing that I've come across. Some of this was due to the content itself, and part of it was due to the fact that the world of Tarnished isn't just believable, but it's the one we live in. There are no fairies, vampires, or witches. There's no time-travel, alternate dimensions, or elven lairs. This series is set in places that can be found on a map: Canada, New York, Connecticut, etc, and in a time that is largely indistinguishable from our own, with technology that is horrifyingly possible with current scientific understanding.

A great dystopian novel serves to make you think differently about the world you live in. Its purpose is to show you what could potentially happen if we, as a people and a culture, continue on our projected path. The difference between other dystopian novels and this series is that, as opposed to being set in the future, this twists what we already know into something far more sinister. In our world, cloning and genetic engineering are something we read about on a regular basis. The black market and human trafficking aren't, by any means, foreign concepts to us. Tarnished puts an entirely new spin on both. It shows us what is conceivable on the path we're already on, and that's just freakin' scary.

This novel truly has something that appeals to any mind, in any age group. It has the syrupy sweet heart-fluttering romance that every teenage girl (and many adult women) loves to read about. It's jam-packed with action for those who are searching for it. At every turn of the page, you're heart is jumping out of your chest, and you're resisting the urge to scream. And, for the adult reader, and the older teenage reader who wants more than a good story, this novel is definitely a thinker. There's so many themes in this novel that will make you look at and think about even the most run-of-the-mill aspects of your world completely differently; from your typical house-hold pets, to Dolly, the cloned sheep.
Profile Image for Susan Bazzett-Griffith.
1,720 reviews45 followers
April 16, 2019
Better than the first book, protagonist "pet" Ella finally starts to realize that maybe the humanity of being a genetically engineered girl-slave-pet-nonperson may be something political- in this book, the character shows some growth, though her obsession with Penn is annoying. When Ella realizes that people like her are being not just owned, but prostituted, and murdered, she finally wises up and decides to do something. Much of the book, though, is just following her realization to how badly pets are treated and pining aboit how to get back to Penn, and I can't foe the life of me see why she wouldn't want a life of freedom in Canada and actively runs. For whatever reason, this series sucked me in even though I recognize it as awful. Am definitely reading the third one (though I hope it is the last/this is a trilogy), because I've been too tired to read anything with more meat to it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Susan.
765 reviews23 followers
April 6, 2017
It's not that I don't like the book it's the whole human pet thing, still....I did like the direction this book took and the ending was great. I like that Penn stood by Ella and I like their relationship. I love the relationship that Ella and Missy have throughout this book (that was so good) I will read the next book too because I have to know how this story wraps up. I SO wish the Congressmen will pay for all that takes place and the things I am sure he knows about going on in the human kennels.
Profile Image for Joelie.
884 reviews7 followers
February 10, 2019
I am really enjoying this series, gruesomely dystopian and fast paced :)
Profile Image for Maci Dierking.
782 reviews14 followers
May 6, 2022
This is a weird little trilogy. Not sure how I'm feeling about it overall. But I will probably completely the trilogy haha
Profile Image for jarrah.
24 reviews
May 28, 2022
This book was given to me by a friend, and at first I couldn't comprehend anything, but I eventually caught up lmao (obviously didn't read the first book smh), and the vibes are something I can't feel. At first, when Missy and Ella were having this tension, I was ecstatic to read a WLW set in a dystopian world, but the story had a different plan. But overall, it's a good book, especially for someone who enjoys dystopian as much as I do, and I can't help but admire the writing, which was the only thing that kept me from abandoning the book; the writing was so beautiful that it captivated my attention. I wish I could have loved this book more, but I wasn't feeling it at the time. It's still an amazing book, and Ella's quotes about Penn will always be magical.
Profile Image for Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads).
710 reviews181 followers
December 13, 2015
At A Glance
An exciting sequel but some stupid actions brought it down.
The Good
Tarnished was a great sequel to Perfected.  Perfected introduced us to the world and Ella's life as a pet, but Tarnished  pumps up the action and suspense. Ella is on the run from her horrible owner but she can't resist going back for Penn, the only boy who gets the she is not just a pet, she is a thinking and feeling human being.

Ella grows so much in this book. She is still naïve in a lot of ways but her journey hardens her. But she is still brave and caring and growing even more so. The things she sees, the things she does, it's all so horrible yet exciting. Ella learns all about what really happens to pets in different regions and each revelation is worse than the other. She is determined to change things.

There is a lot of running and hiding but Ella is slowly making a difference for pets. The ending was killer, a major cliff-hanger. I see the end of the series coming and I am nervous to see how it all turns out.
The Bad
Though I liked Tarnished, I was kind of upset with how randomly stupid everything was. There wasn't much of a plot. The goal was to get to Penn pretty much the whole book despite how stupid and dangerous it was. First, Ella had to escape the place in Canada that was keeping her safe because they are so horrible. Can you believe they.... Well, they also.... Oh wait, there was nothing freaking wrong with the place, Ella just couldn't stay away from Penn. *Sighs*

There were more stupid actions that put everyone at unnecessary risk and pure luck escapes that didn't make sense. I guess that's why its fiction. Still, I like my books to be more realistic.
The Snuggly
Not much romance except for some cuddling with Ella and Penn. There is some sexual assault though, just a glimpse.
Final Thoughts
Tarnished killed me with emotions and Ella's difficult journey and it was awesome! I just wish some of Ella's decisions weren't so moronic. I would still highly recommend this series. Start with book one, this is not a stand alone book.

"Morning was just an idea that night was considering, a blush-colored dream."

"But I wasn't angry. I didn't hate this new look. If anything, it strengthened me. Maybe now this new girl, the one that stared back at me from the mirror, would have a fighting chance to make it back to Penn. She looked tough, and strong, and fearless."


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