Summary: How can you be perfect? Grades, looks, image, career? For Cara, it’s perfect grades and perfect credentials, all to get into Stanford to appease her parents, especially after her brother Conner went over the deep end from the pressure. For Kendra, it’s looks. She knows she doesn’t have the same academic prowess as some of her peers so she must keep a perfect face. To reach her dreams of modeling she’ll do anything, including dieting, intense exercising and taking pills. Sean must get the perfect game so that he can go to Stanford on a sports scholarship to be with Cara. Nothing is too risky to build muscle, not even steroids. Lastly, there is Andre, a black male dancer who has to keep his dreams a secret from his overachieving family. But maybe he can find a compromise for his future.
I love Ellen Hopkins. Her poems are always beautiful and moving. Each one is unique and when they are woven together it makes for a heartbreaking elegant story. Perfect was no exception. Hopkins has a way with words, reading these poems feels magical and the story they create is so realistic.
Perfect is written for people who were told they weren’t good enough, which is something almost everyone can relate to. I know I definitely can. The narrators themselves believe they are not good enough and pursue ways to make themselves better. Though some of the methods they used such as starvation or steroids didn’t appeal to me, I could understand the reason why they felt like they had no other choice.
I think the only story line that suffered a bit was Andre’s. I liked him and I am a huge fan of dance so I was looking forward to his part. He does struggle to pursue his dreams of dancing, but it didn’t feel like a prominent part of his sections. Mostly they revolved around his relationship with Jenna, Kendra’s younger sister. I did like this interaction because it was so emotional, but it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for.
Sean transforms into a huge ass and I wanted to punch him. I think he should’ve gotten a harsher punishment for his actions, but whatever. The biggest surprise for me came from Cara, who I think I liked best. Cara’s brother Conner is the main character in Hopkin’s book, Impulse, so I already knew his story and how it ended. I was hoping beyond hope that somehow it would change with Perfect. It doesn’t. At the end, I wanted to cry and I think if I wasn’t so sleep deprived right now I would have.
Overall, I loved this book and I can’t wait to read the rest the series by Hopkins that I missed.