Published September 13th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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 understand. Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect? (Goodreads)
This was the first book I read in verse. I’ve seen Ellen Hopkins books around for awhile and I’ve always been intrigued with her verse writing and the splendid covers. I finally had to have this one because the cover is beautiful and perfection is something I personally struggle with. This book is completely done in verse, and it in no way distracts from the characters or their stories. There are four main characters featured but some of the side characters deserved their own part too. I wish they could have been included someway.
Cara- trying to be the perfect daughter, twin. Struggles with being bisexual.
Kendra- wants to be model thin. Struggles with eating disorders and body image.
Sean- tries to be the perfect boyfriend, baseball player, start athlete. Starts using steroids.
Andre- trying to be the perfect son, boyfriend, dancer, but hides his love of dancing from his family.
Those are the 4 main characters, but I almost like the side characters just as much if not in some cases more than them. The stories overlap in an unexpected way and the ending is tragic and beautiful. While I loved the ending in so many ways I was unhappy with not knowing what happened to some of the other characters I grew to know and love. From reviews I have read and watched I heard this wasn’t one of the best Ellen Hopkins books and I should not judge wanting to read more based on this alone. Lucky for me I was able to get a sneak peek at Smoke which was included at the end. This book dealt with a lot of teenage and even adult issues that need to be talked about more. I really was glad it opened up that dialogue and gave a true account of things that happen, rather than the sugar coated version we sometimes see or read about. If you struggle with being a perfectionist or are anorexia, bulimic, use sports enhancing drugs, etc. then I would recommend this to you. If you’re seeking a book written in verse Ellen Hopkins should be one of your go-to’s.
Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks,Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the “only one who understands me”, and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com.
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