by Rachel Cohn
Elysia has just emerged.
She is the first truly successful teenaged clone.
She is a Beta.
She has been cloned from the body of a recently dead teen and created to serve the humans of the island of Demesne. She is not meant to have feelings or want things for herself; she is meant to serve.
When her term of service is up, she will be terminated. And, in the beginning, she's OK with that. But as time passes, she develops more and more feelings, remembers more and more of her First's past, and wants more and more things (like mac and cheese, chocolate, and love).
She also realizes that there are few things that her owners want from her that she doesn't want to do. But she's a clone; she is meant to serve.
However, not every human thinks that clones should be slaves and they are headed Elysia's way.
Final Thoughts: **SPOILER ALERT**
I tried and tried to feel something for Elysia, but I just couldn't. Her evolution over the course of the book isn't believable and her relationships with others are confusing. Things make sense in the beginning, but about 2/3 in, things get weird. Personalities change. Some of the things that really bother me are:
1) The only way Elysia's "love" feels anything is when he's high, so Elysia makes it her goal to get Tahir drugs as often as possible so that he'll feel something for her. It bugs me that there's an implicit statement here about addicts and druggies. "If drugs make him love you, then drugs are ok."
2) She's raped and she murders her rapist in a strange set of events, but she gets pregnant from the rape (and pregnancy among clones is supposed to be impossible - I figured she had no eggs or uterus, but I guess that didn't occur to the greatest scientific minds? They just assumed the clones couldn't get pregnant?). And then, the same man who saves her life and is fighting to give equal rights to clones insists that she has to carry the rape-baby that she doesn't want. She shouldn't have to serve others, but she must carry the baby she does not want, did not ask for, and that was conceived in violence? There's a scary Pro-Life vibe there, especially troublesome in today's political climate.
3) Elysia comes off as kind of a slut near the end because, while she doesn't love Alex, but does love Tahir, she goes ahead and does the "mighty mighty" with Alex because he's there and Tahir isn't.
4) Even with the "surprise" ending (which wasn't much of a surprise), it's pretty easy to see where the other two books in the Annex Trilogy will go. Having that much telegraphed is frustrating.