Published: October 13, 2016; self-published | Series: Somewhere-in-Between #1 | Length: 151 pages according to Amazon | Genre: YA, dystopian | Source: I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Summary from Amazon:
Eleven. A name. A title. A sentence passed. If you aren’t a Beauty, you’re less than a person. You’re a commodity known as a Potential… and you only have so many chances to qualify as a human being.
In her seventeen years, Eleven has seen the best and worst in humanity. She’s been passed around and abused by the bad. She’s hoped and dreamed for the good. And she’s despaired for the hand she’s been dealt. Now she’s been purchased by a wealthy man who has the ability to improve her life and help her become a Beauty – if she can put up with his erratic and controlling personality for long enough, that is. Complicating things is the appearance of a stunningly beautiful young man with amethyst eyes who treats Eleven to the rarest form of attention for a Potential: kindness.
Does Eleven trust her powerful owner to help her escape this life of servitude and enslavement, or does she gamble everything on the enigmatic young man who seems to offer her more than she could ever imagine possible?
A big thank you as always to C.E. Wilson for sending me an ARC to read and review!
When I found out that C.E. Wilson was starting a new dystopian series, I had to get my hands on it. I love dystopians and I’ve read several of her books in the past and have quite enjoyed all of them.
I’ll start off by saying that there were times where I felt really uncomfortable reading what was happening. At first, I was so uncomfortable that I couldn’t really get past that. I didn’t have to put down the book or anything, but I couldn’t get my mind off of how uncomfortable I felt. But then I remembered that making you uncomfortable is kind of the whole point of a dystopian book. It’s supposed to make you think “this isn’t right.” And this book definitely succeeds in doing so. There are a lot of situations that our MC faces that are just really messed up and unfair. With that said, if you have a sensitivity to reading about physical or sexual abuse, this book may be triggering. So keep that in mind when deciding whether or not you want to pick this up.
I did have a little bit of a hard time truly connecting with the main character. It’s kind of difficult to explain though. It wasn’t that she was a bad main character at all. But she’s been raised to believe that because she’s an “Eleven” (you need to be rated a Twenty to be seen as beautiful and worthy of human rights) that she isn’t a person and deserves to be treated like a dog. She’s not happy with that treatment, but she doesn’t have the power to change it and at first doesn’t even really believe that she deserves anything better. The problem I had with connecting with her again wasn’t because she was a bad MC but because she didn’t feel as though she were truly a person deserving of human rights, so it’s kind of difficult to really connect with her on an emotional level. As the book goes on and she starts to believe that being a Potential doesn’t mean she’s not human, it does get a lot easier to connect with her and by the end of the book, I really found myself wanting her to be able to find happiness and get away from the abuse that she’s faced throughout her life.
This is a fairly short book (I read an eARC, but Amazon lists the print version as 151 pages) so there’s not a lot of room for huge character development or a really intricate plot. However, C.E. Wilson does a fantastic job of telling an interesting and compelling story in such a short book. It didn’t feel rushed or like she was trying to cram a 300-page book in half the amount of pages. It felt like a fully fleshed-out novel (albeit one that doesn’t really touch on things that aren’t somehow important to the plot).
All in all, Untitled Beauty was a great dystopian. It had me feeling uncomfortable, but hopeful that things will get better. It had me thankful that there’s someone willing to show our main character kindness even when the world tells him he shouldn’t. It had me truly rooting for a happy ending free of mistreatment and abuse. I’m excited to see where C.E. Wilson takes the series in the next book.