Beta (Hardcover)

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    In her new novel Beta, celebrated author Rachel Cohn brings us another look at humanity through the concept of cloning. Beta is set in the future, on the island of Demesne. Demesne is literally the most luxurious place on earth, an island paradise whose very air and water are designed to keep its residents happy and healthy. The population of Demesne are wealthy survivors of Earth's Water Wars, elite citizens who have been granted the luxury of, well... luxury. But on an island full of the world's most privileged people, who does the work?
    Clones. Violet-eyed and marked with special facial tattoos, Demesne's workforce is created by cloning dead humans and then removing the soul of the resulting being. Demesne's ultra-privileged residents can then be served by beings with no free will or pesky individual character. But Demesne didn't count on Elysia. Elysia is a Beta: one of the first ever teenage clones to be created. The gorgeous, polite ideal of what a Demesne clone should be, Elysia is snapped up immediately after her creation, purchased by a wealthy woman to serve as a nanny for her young daughter, a training partner for her teenage son, and a replacement for her eldest daughter, who has just left Demesne to attend college. Elysia is perfectly comfortable in her new home- after all, what does she care? Clones don't feel, right? Well, as it turns out, things aren't that simple. Not only does Elysia have strange, shadowy memories, she has a sense of taste, compassion, morality, and curiosity- all things that clones shouldn't have, placing her in a serious quandary: if she asserts her humanity, she will be branded as a Defect, tortured, and killed. But if she doesn't, she will be forced to live out the rest of her life being treated as an unfeeling object, and she will never find what she desires most: love. 
    Beta is a haunting look at what it means to be human, and what it means to have a soul- not to mention the start of what is sure to be a phenomenal young adult series. Best for ages fourteen and up.

— Lily

Winter 2012 Kids Next List

“Elysia is a Beta, a teenage clone. Another girl had to die in order for Elysia to exist for the sole purpose of being a companion for the children of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on Earth. Being soulless, she should not experience taste sensations, feelings, or care for others, but Elysia finds she does enjoy chocolate, feel pleasure when swimming, and cares for a boy who is considered off-limits to her. If discovered, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. Bestselling author Cohn's latest endeavor is a highly original look at a decadent society in the first of a four-book series that will leave you both dazzled and disturbed.”
— Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI


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 earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers-soulless clones like Elysia-are immune to.
At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care-so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind?
If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happiness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.
The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, "Beta "is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a corrupted world. Praise for Beta "A terrific premise that is equally well executed...Readers can only hope the sequel] will be as thrilling as this series kickoff."--Los Angles Times

About the Author

Rachel Cohn is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, including Gingerbread, Shrimp and Cupcake and, with David Levithan, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781423157199
ISBN-10: 1423157192
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Publication Date: October 16th, 2012
Pages: 331
Language: English
Series: Beta (Hyperion)

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