Saturday, October 11, 2008

Perfect by: Natasha Friend

Total: Four stars.

This was quite good. It wasn't quite as "OHEMGEE! WOW!" as Friend's secon novel, Lush, if only because she seems to stick to a formula.

My biggest gripe with Ms. Natasha is the same as my only gripe with legendary YA author, Sarah Dessen. They pick a formula and stick to it. With Dessen, all her books involve outsider girls falling in love with a unique-often-misunderstood boy. This usually happens during a summer the girl believes will be terrible. With Friend, the books are the same in that they tackle difficult issues (eating disorders, divorce, alcoholism), mothers who ignore problems, and thirteen-year-old girls whose voices are interchangeable.

Seriously. Some pages of Perfect, told in the POV of bulimic Isabelle Lee, could be torn straight out of Lush, told by daughter-of-an-alcoholic, Samantha Gwynn. Their voices are interchangeable, the characters are fairly boring, and not very memorable. I was struggling to recall the names of these girls.

That being said Perfect is still a great read. It's short in length, but not "light," "breezy," or "a beach read," in any way, shape, or form. Readers will be intrigued by Isabelle's story and all the different problems she has. Isabelle is just like any other preteen girl - she's entirely relatable. The humour is wry, subtle, but still present.

Personally, I preferred Lush over Perfect, but they are both well-written, intelligent, raw, and honest.


Lenore said...

I'm embarrassed to say I've never heard of this author. But I'll have to check her out now.

Khyrinthia said...

Glad to hear this one is pretty good; I just bought it and got Lush for my birthday. I already read Lush and it was fantastic.