In Perfect, four teens take extreme routes to achieve their diverse goals of perfection.
Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would give up to be perfect? (Back cover)
I can’t say I hated this series. It scared me that I’d be reading another account of more teens who are suffering from suicidal tendencies; another set of new eyes in the life of Aspen Springs, but I was wrong.
Conner was a character, in the first book of the series, who attempted suicide – but also succeeded by the end. In Perfect we get a direct perspection from his twin sister Cara. Her narrative of her own struggle with family expectations but also how she realizes a few other things about herself that she didn’t realize were things that should be considered and the fear of social and statical stigma of coming out to her family about who she finally realized she was and who everybody wants her to believe.
Sean is an achiever, a fighter and he decides that the only way he was going to continue to achieve the lifestyle in pro-baseball, or at least a player with the team for Stanford is to start bulking up. First it was over the counter stuff later he’s getting hooked up by a good source with the “good” stuff. Heart broken, manipulative, aggressive and just all around confused he does a lot of things and they either go right or just stroke his ego… maybe that’s who’s talking to him?
At the end of the book Ellen Hopkins does a recorded afterward; a short speech filled with stats on how this societal aim towards perfection has been affecting America’s youth. Loaded with plastic surgery and kids that have barely hit puberty and the things (I attribute from media) are forcing them to be “perfect” by those standards. A sad account for how people try so hard to push aside their own ideas, ideals, and dreams for somebody else to make everybody else happy. Everybody but themselves happy.
A few other characters would be Kendra and Andre. Kendra wants to be a model, the epiphany of perfect, if it weren’t for her small-ish size and the unique bump on her nose – plastic surgery will fix that. Then she’ll be perfect. Kendra was the one character that scared me, next, of course, to her sister Jenna. Both girls felt abandoned by the abusive, alcoholic father at a young age, whose mother left their father for a man who guaranteed their safety: emotionally and financially. Both girls felt unwanted, unappreciated and just strangers in their owns lives to the point where Kendra’s mother didn’t even realize her model-size daughter was suffering; Kendra of course would deny there’s any problem. Jenna was a complete opposite of her thin sister and was curvy in all the right places and used it to her advantage for a series of drug and, primarily, alcohol abuse. She also comes to a dreadful demise when she puts too much faith into a stranger with the idea that no reciprocation was expected for the transaction.
Andre, who dated Jenna briefly, was forced into a world of business. His pressuring parents had high expectancies for their son but this was not what Andre wanted. He wanted something more but his parents believed this would be nothing more than a waste of time. The arts are not money makers, and apparently you’d have to be gay in order to be a dancer. ** Writer’s note: I don’t believe that, it’s in the book** Andre learns a lot about himself and chooses to eventually put his foot down and tell his parents the deal.
I don’t think I’d call this book a happily ever after, because obviously it’s not considering the theme of the series, but it definitely makes a person go through a lot of self-reflection. A person who’s blind from the obvious who the only one who didn’t understand the concept of things. Great book and would highly recommend it.