Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: Perfect - Natasha Friend

Author: Natasha Friend
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Release Date: September 16, 2004
Pages: 172
Read In: 1 day


Overview:
Isabelle Lee has a problem, and it's not just Ape Face, her sister, or group therapy for an eating disorder, or even that her father died and her mother is depressed and in denial. It's that Ashley, the most popular girl in school, is inviting Isabelle to join her at lunch and at sleepovers at her house, and this is presenting Isabelle with a dilemma. Pretty Ashley has moved Isabelle up the social ladder, but is it worth keeping the secret they share? Caught in the orbit of popularity and appearances, Isabelle must navigate a world with mixed messages, false hopes, and potentially harmful turns, while coping with her own flailing family and emotions. The author brings a depth of characterization, humor, and a real adolescent's voice to this multileveled story about the desire to be perfect in an imperfect world.

D, A, & P's Review:

With the tragic death of her father, Isabelle Lee has a hard time coping with her mother’s constant mourning and her little sister’s constant nagging. Isabelle’s sister, April, catches Isabelle in the act of forcing herself to vomit; their mother signs Isabelle up for group therapy. To Isabelle’s surprise, the prettiest, most popular girl, Ashley Barnum, is in Isabelle’s group therapy. Isabelle and Ashley have never been friends but they slowly begin to become closer. Things take a turn for the worse and Isabelle is faced with tough decisions that have interesting and potentially dangerous outcomes and could affect her life as well as her family’s.

We were so engrossed in this book we couldn’t put it down! We were drawn to Isabelle’s character and Friend did an amazing job of portraying a thirteen-year-old girl with bulimic problems. We felt empathy toward Isabelle because her bulimia was the only way she could deal with her dad’s death and her mother’s grievance. In addition, we liked how Isabelle and her sister became closer as the book progressed. Isabelle really had to mature to step up to the “big sister” role for April and that meant letting go of her own problems.

Isabelle became so strong in the because of all she went through: bulimia, her father’s death, her mother’s breakdown, Ashley’s bulimia, and group therapy. She was able to use her energy and power for good instead of hating herself and her family. We felt the strong emotions from this book and were moved by it. Though this may be for younger teens, the message it sends is for all ages. Be true to who you are and remain strong.

In conclusion, all we can say is: GREAT READ. If you ever want a quick, emotional read this book is for you! You won’t regret this book at all, trust us. Enjoy!

Rating:


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