Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Posted by Caitie F on November 9, 2010

Title: Perfect
Author: Natasha Friend
Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Milkweed Editions (2004)
ISBN: 9781571316516
Rating: +

Summary (from goodreads):

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.


Issue books are either really great or really not great. A great issue book feels natural, has characters you can really get behind, and the issue of the book does not hit you over the head.

Sadly, this book had a main character I couldn’t stand, the dialogue and situations felt forced and unrealistic, and it felt preachy. I think where it fell flat is that it tried to deal with too many things in not enough pages, so the other aspects of the book that didn’t have to do with the overall message got pushed to the side. For example, the relationship between ___ and her sister was really great: it felt like how two sisters would act. However, it was not developed as well as it could have been. It is the same with her group of friends. There are glimpses of a good relationship, but it is never really developed.

My other issue is that there have been a lot of books on death, eating disorders, and not really knowing a person from just looking at them. I mean a LOT of books. I completely understand why. They are hard issues for teens to deal with and there should be some variety so that girls dealing with these issues have options. But with such a crowded market, for a book on these issues to be great and really effective, it has to stand out. This just didn’t.

Did you read this book and love it? Do you have a favorite book on any of these issues? Let me know in the comments!

I have a copy of this book to give away, but it is going on my prizes page. Check back later in this month for your chance to win it.


4 Responses to “Perfect by Natasha Friend”

  1. Too bad it’s a stinker.

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  4. […] 2. Worst book of 2010? I read one YA book that I couldn’t stand and was not for me at all – Perfect by Natasha Friend […]

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