Author: Ellen Hopkins
Genre: Young Adult
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Caution: May contain spoilers
Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they'd rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.
Cara's parents' unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he'll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.
Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?
A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.
~synopsis from Goodreads
Being the Ellen Hopkins novel (and poetry) lover I am, I had to pick this one up. Especially since it’s a companion to my favorite of her books, Impulse. I remember reading that one until, yep, one in the morning. I spent the trip back from NC reading Perfect. And I couldn’t put it down.
That’s exactly the effect her novels have when you read them. You’re so compelled to continue until you finish. I knew I had to wait until vacation to read it, otherwise I’d focus all my attention on this one instead of the ones I was obligated to finish first. It really was an amazing novel; it captured the heart behind the façade people show. All of the characters she created were believable and all the stories she developed were unimaginable. It’s hard to talk in too much detail about the story lines or characters, otherwise I’d be giving away a lot of the connections through the story.
I will say this, every last character in this book is very real. The things they think and feel and do, are all real things that could have and probably have happened. All of them are similar in the sense of their connection through the desire or expectation of being perfect, but they are unique in their own way as well. The views of the ones forcing the perfection, it still amazes me that there are people like that out there. But, that’s why Ellen Hopkins chose to write this novel--because there are those people out there. And those people hurt the ones they love because of those high expectations.
This book, as I mentioned, is a companion novel to Impulse. It could definitely stand on its own for sure--but once you read one, you ruin the ending of the other. Each trace along the same path and involved and intertwines together in a few places. There was a lot of similarity between the two novels, but they do have their different premises.
I don’t think I’ve picked up an Ellen Hopkins book that I didn’t love. Although I’m not a fan of unhappy endings or sad stories, there’s always a twinge that comes with each of her novels and for some reason, I'm fine with it. Not that all of them end on a sad note, some do, some just have that element throughout. But that’s what makes her stand out from the rest. She’s not afraid to hit you hard with an emotional roller-coaster. You start to think deeply on the topics she raises. And Perfect was no exception. I would recommend reading this one, but as far as which one you should read first, in my opinion, it should be Impulse. Even if you read Perfect first, I don’t care! Just read something by Ellen Hopkins at least once. You’ll never regret it.
Exceptional: Stay up until at least 1 AM