Monday, October 10, 2011

Perfect Review

by Ellen Hopkins 

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.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.

In Ellen Hopkins' latest YA novel, Perfect, she achieves the same effect as every other one of her books, white-knuckled page turning. Even with this being one of her tamer books, I still was hooked from page one.

Perfect is a companion novel to Impulse, which to date is still my favorite novel by her. Impulse deals with three teens who attempted suicide and are learning how to live again through a rehab clinic and the friends they make there. Perfect takes place at the same time as that and deals with those outside the walls of the clinic and how even though they didn't take the drastic route of ending your life due to society's pressures, the severity of life is still just as prominent. It is told through the perspective of four characters: Cara, Kendra, Sean and Andre. Cara is Conner's twin sister; Conner being one of the main characters of Impulse. It was interesting to see how the "other perfect twin" deals with living up to their parent's standards. Throughout her story she actually questions her sexuality and deals with that. Kendra was one of Conner's ex-girlfriends and an aspiring model. She is willing to do whatever it takes to be the physical definition of perfection which leads her down the dangerous road of eating disorders and morality. Sean is Cara's boyfriend (are we starting to see all the love triangles here?) and he is living with the pressures that guys face; attempting to be the best athlete and in the best physical shape of his life. After one dramatic night, everything he has built his life up to comes crashing down. The last main character is Andre. He is a black male from a long line of men who have worked their way up from nothing to be something substantial. He feels like his dream of dancing is taking the backseat due to his father's definition of a perfect son. Whew...that was as short as I could make that summary guys sorry, a lot happens in this book...

The characters are the story in this book so I don't really feel the need to go into character development. It is obviously flawless. The writing is superb as always with Ellen Hopkins. Like all of her other books, it follows her same poetry writing style, which I love. She is the author that welcomed me into the world of books written in verse. I still don't know how she can take such ugly, horrific subjects and make them beautiful with just words. I think that's what I like so much about her writing, horrible things that are made beautifully tragic.

4 out of 5 stars, would recommend this to anyone. Top shelf, along with all her other works.

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