Saturday, July 07, 2007

.:: perfect ::.

"Perfect" by Natasha Friend

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Isabelle's life is falling apart. Her father is dead, her mother is an emotional wreck, and her kid sister April is a brat. When Isabelle is feeling particularly helpless or depressed, she retreats to her bedroom closet and binges on chocolate, chips and pop and then purges it all into the bathroom toilet. After her mother finds out about her little secret, Isabelle is forced to go to "Eating Disorder and Body Image Therapy Group." Isabelle is mortified to enter Group on her first day to discover that she is surrounded by other girls she has nothing in common except the annoying shrink that makes them talk about their 'feelings.' Until Ashley Barnum walks in. Ashley is the most popular girl in school, desired by boys everywhere, and has perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect grades and a perfect family. She is everything that Isabelle wished she could be. But Isabelle soon learns that no one is ever truly perfect, and that trying to be something she isn't could cost more than she ever imagined.

The author tackles some pretty emotional topics in this book, in a way that is suitable and appealing to teens. The book provides a sympathetic portrayal of eating disorders (without being preachy or condescending), while giving insight into the raw frustration and confusion that follows in the wake of a family member’s death, and how these issues can effect surrounding people. A well developed story and believable characters had me completely absorbed into Isabelle’s life and concerned for how the story would end. Highly recommended.

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