Featured Review: This Tiny Perfect World (Lauren Gibaldi)
About This Book:
The big-hearted story of a small-town girl who discovers how wide the world really is during one transformative summer. Perfect for fans of Susane Colasanti and Sarah Dessen. Penny loves her small-town Florida life, and she has her future mapped out. She’s going to community college after graduation to stay close to home and her best friend, Faye. She’ll take over the family diner that her dad has been managing since her mother died. And one day, she’ll marry her high school sweetheart, Logan. But when she unexpectedly lands a scholarship to a prestigious summer theater camp, she is thrust into a world of competition and self-doubt. And suddenly, her future gets a little hazy. As she meets new friends, including Chase, a talented young actor with big-city dreams, she begins to realize that maybe the life everyone (including her) expects her to lead is not the one she was meant to have.
*Review Contributed By Jazmen Greene Staff Reviewer*
This Tiny Perfect World
Things that worked: The small town setting. Although it felt restrictive to the main character, a small town story often feels homey and quaint.
The love triangle: It was less about the who will she choose, and more about what each person represented in both the story and in her life. Each person represented the different stages in her life. They represented what she's already decided, and who she can become. It was also handled very well. There were no useless fights, or unnecessary drama.
The Dad: Although YA is the king and queen of fractured families. The dad here meant so much to the story and to the main character. Not only was he doing it all on his own--and trying to guide his daughter along--he was dealing with some pretty heavy stuff himself, which made for a more interesting read.
The best friend: Her role wasn't pivotal to the story--but it's nice that she always had the MC's back no matter what. Everyone needs a friend to root for them, at all times.
What didn't work: There's not much negative to say in terms of the book, the pace, and the characters--the book itself is okay, it's just okay.
There's a lot of self discovery--and internal struggle for the MC--and though the direction of the author is fairly obvious, it does get a little drab.
Maybe it was personal, but the book was hum drum, it didn't incite any strong feelings one way or the other. That's not to say it wasn't a decent read--it's just pretty middle of the road.
Conclusion: It's a great fit for a contemporary reader, or a younger reader in that period of self-discovery--just looking for their place, and how to figure it all out. I think the MC is a good example of the struggle between what's safe, and what might make you happy--even though it might be scary.
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