Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2891
Not So "Perfect"
Overall rating 
Writing Style 
Reader reviewed by Nian

When things were perfect, Anna was still Kates best friend, her
parents were happily married, her brother was living at college, and
her father had a real job. But then, things take a bad turn. Anna has
suddenly transformed into a social butterfly and is no longer talking
to her. Her father quits his job to sell Perfect You vitamins that
nobody wants. Her Grandma is back in town due to financial crisis in
the family. And finally, Kate has an incredible time kissing Will, whom
she cant stop insulting and whom shes sure is using her.

My first Elizabeth Scott book, and well, I like it, but it needs
quite some work before I can be satisfied with the novel. I mean, its
kind of unique. Nobody elses father sells Perfect You vitamins, and
Kates father is an interesting portrayal of another type of fathers.
Usually, you get the normal but overly obsessive and protective dad,
but now, you have someone that kind of plays a bigger role in the story
and his characteristics a bit different. You kind of have to hate him
because of how childish he is that he gives up his family just to sell
non-likable vitamins. Its not something you expect to happen in a
book. I mean, 99% of the time, the parent realizes his/her mistake,
grows up, learns a lesson, and becomes a better person. Here, youre
kind of blasted with a reality hit that not everyone realizes their
mistakes or wants to change themselves. People are selfish, and its a
freaky thought, but its true. This book has amazingly captured that
essence of realness thats made me think a lot about fathers, mothers
and family relationships.

Apart from that, you kind of get the other basic characters.
Theres always the best friend (Anna), the unattainable crush (Will),
the annoying brother (Todd), and sometimes, the even more
annoying-but-somehow-wise figure (the grandmother). Anna is the fat
best friend with a newly improved self-esteem after a summer abroad.
When school starts, she ignores Kate completely, and Kate is left
wondering what she did that turned Anna away.

I actually really hate how Kate turns into someone else when she
talks about Anna or talking to her. Those parts of the story completely
revolted me. I could not get pass how Kate was so willing to overlook
everything Anna had done (or hadnt done, in this case) every single
time. As soon as Kate was ready to forget that Anna and her would never
be real friends again, Anna suddenly makes an appearance, says a sweet
word or two, and Kates all for it again. Yes, I realize thats the
authors point, trying to emphasize that to certain people, it doesnt
take much for that glimmer of hope to appear and disappear again, but
its so pathetic having to read those bits over and over again. And
really, each encounter sounds so much alike that Ive wondered whether
the author has copied and pasted, then changed a few key words and the
setting around! She always tries to end the chapter, or the last
paragraph, with some kind of insightful comment, but its more
repetitive and annoying than ever. I mean, after the first three times
mentioning how they werent friends because of this/that, or why Anna
seemed to not like her anymore, its pointless to remind the reader
that again. Also pointless is how much Dads forced smiling is
repeated. Every time Kate mentions her father, she has to say that he
was smiling that fake smile of his, getting wider and wider by the
minute as he unsuccessfully tried to tell people he was happy, not
pissed off. And I do mean every single time. I get that its important!
But I hate it when people tend to over-repeat things. I mean, at that
point, the authors really trying to test my patience because I
wouldnt be able to stand reading the rest of it.

But of course, I did finish it. But it was more for Will than for
anyone else, because I simply didnt care about the main character, the
father, and everyone else. (Although I kind of did like the Grandmother
and the purple boots.) Will made the novel funnier with his wit and
charm, and the most interesting parts were when Kates own cleverness
popped out while she bantered with Will. Even on paper, they have so
much chemistry youd think the book would be sizzling right now.

I give it nice effort for trying to be creative, and I do like how
everything turned out, except for Kate still pinning for Annas
friendship (why?!), and although Im not so pleased with the entire
work, I still have her 1st novel in possession. Maybe Ill like her
debut better than this.
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