Future Perfect

Future Perfect
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
October 06, 2015
ISBN
978-0062321237
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Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness. Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is. But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery. As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her? Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.

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3.0
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Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Every birthday Ashley Perkins gets a present from her grandmother that she doesn’t want. It’s a card that always contains a the promise of something good – new clothes, a car, shopping in Paris – under the condition that she loses weight. Ashley’s never really had a problem with the way she looks and has never believed, unlike her grandmother, that her weight will hold her back in life. But this time, this birthday, just might end up being the one time Ashley can’t say no. Four years of tuition at Harvard for weight loss surgery.

I was both excited and nervous going into this book. I knew my enjoyment of it would depend on how much I could connect with the main character and how the issue of body image was handled. The premise had me on Ashley’s side before I even opened the book because her grandmother sounded horrible.

Most of the time I liked Ashley. She had her moments where she would say or do something that would make me cringe but overall, she seemed like a nice, smart young woman who cared about her friends and knew what she wanted from life. She seemed to know the type of person she wanted to be and was confident in the way she looked so it made sense that her grandmother’s so-called presents were never tempting until the tuition. It wasn’t just weight loss surgery for tuition. It was surgery for the life she’d been working so hard for and dreamed of for years.

I really liked the the main focus of relationships was on the friendship between Ashley and her two best friends. There was some romance and flirting happening but it was more in the background as the three girls dealt with issues like Ashley’s grandmother, Jolene’s parents, what to do after graduation. It was nice to see so much focus on their friendship.

I really enjoyed the first third of the book. It was a great way to introduce Ashley’s issues with her grandmother, explain her drive to succeed at school, get into Harvard, set up her home life. The middle of the book I found lost focus a bit and maybe tried to do too much. Instead of it being Ashley’s story, it felt like the book was trying to cram in stories for all the characters. While I appreciate and like growth in other characters besides the main, it felt like too much was going on. The last third of the book was better, it got back to being more about Ashley’s story, but it also felt a little crammed, trying to solve a lot of problems in too few pages.

Overall, the book tried to have a good, positive message but it got weighed down by trying to do too much and really only scratching the surface on the main issue.
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