Saturday, February 14, 2015

ARC Review: Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor

Better Than Perfect
Author: Melissa Kantor
Publication: HarperTeen (February 17, 2015)

Description: From the acclaimed author of Maybe One Day, Melissa Kantor, comes a poignant coming-of-age story that skillfully captures the singular experience of being a teenage girl. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.

Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she's always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there's Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who's totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be?

My Thoughts: Juliet's perfect life is crumbling all around her. It starts when her father moves out and in mother sinks into depression. It escalates when she finds her mother on the floor of her bathroom after suffering an accidental, or deliberate, overdose of the prescription drugs that she had been taking for years. Then she meets a boy - Declan - and they form a connection but he isn't Jason, the boy who has been her steady and soul mate since eighth grade.

Juliet is the upper class kid whose every moment has been scheduled for her. Between swimming, debate, SAT prep classes, and homework from all the AP courses she's taking, she doesn't have a moment to breath. She and Jason have been determined to get into Harvard. She is unhappy but is sure that happiness will come when she reaches her goal.

Her routine is greatly disturbed when her mother is placed in a psychiatric hospital. It is disturbed again when Declan and his sister want Juliet to join their band. Juliet finally has to stop and take a look at what she really wants out of life. She has to figure out for herself if what she has been working so hard for is what she wants or if it is only what has been expected of her.

This is a great story about a girl who needs to stop, take a look at her life, and determine the path that will really bring her to happiness. The characters were engaging. The writing drew me into the story and the emotions. I couldn't put it down.

Favorite Quote:
The truth was, I didn't have the energy for any of it: for listening to my aunt tell me that psychiatry was an art, not a science; for talking to my dad about our relationship; for being polite when my brother told me not to sweat college. I didn't want to do any of those things. All I wanted to do was turn back the clock, to drive home to my house and find my beautiful mother making dinner in her beautiful kitchen, to know that my father was due home from work any minute, and to be told to go upstairs and make sure the As kept rolling in like the tide.

I wanted everything in my life to be exactly the way it had been six months ago.

I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds fantastic. Sometimes I love stories about familial relationships as well as our relationships with ourselves. It always helps when the book is engaging and keeps you turning the pages!


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