Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Strict Pick: PERFECT by Ellen Hopkins

If there's one thing I remember about my own teenage years, it was the tremendous pressure--not peer pressure, because I was never very good at paying attention to what made me "cool," but pressure to perform, to get into the right college, to be a very particular person.

Ellen Hopkins captures this drive in PERFECT, her latest addition to her ever-growing stable of blank-verse novels. It's about four teens, two girls and two boys, each of whom is struggling to be their own definition of perfect, whether that's being a model, holding up after a brother's suicide attempt, being a baseball superstar, or staying true to yourself.

I admit to having not read Hopkins's CRANK trilogy, nor IMPULSE, which is the companion book to PERFECT. But I picked up an ARC of TRIANGLES, her new adult novel (a review on that will come a little closer to the release date), and was impressed by how engaging the blank verse style actually is. It's possible to identify at once with each of these characters. Even in 20 minutes of perusing this title, I could tell it's one you won't want to put down.

Here's what the publisher has to say about PERFECT:

Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there. A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins’s Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up—and grow into our own selves. Because everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go?
For being a terrifyingly engaging and accurate portrayal of teenagerhood, PERFECT is my Strict Pick this week.

Perfect at Powell's
Perfect at Amazon
Perfect at Barnes & Noble 

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