Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Review: Perfect by Ellen Hopkins


Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Hardcover
Released: September 13th, 2011
Grade rating: A


Amazon summary:

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?

Review:

I can honestly say that I don't think there will ever be an Ellen Hopkins book I don't love. This woman is one of my favourite storytellers, and I think her books are among the most important I've read. I know she's not everyone's cup of tea, whether it be because of her verse style or mature content, but I think she's amazing. Perfect is yet another example of the high calibre of her novels, and it was well worth the wait.

Perfect is a companion novel to Impulse, and runs parallel to Conner's story. Perfect focuses on four very different characters: Cara, Conner's sister, Kendra, Sean and Andre. Their lives are all linked in one way or another, whether it be through family, friends or romantic relationships, and each is experiencing some kind of struggle with perfection. For Kendra it's a fight with eating disorders, and for Sean it's an addiction to steroids to make his sports performance better. These teenagers are all going through stuff no teenager should have to deal with, and that's where this book really stands out. Hopkins once again shows that she doesn't care about censorship of sensitive subjects: she'll tell it how it is, with realism and a candid voice, and hope that her readers will get it and be helped by it.

Perfect isn't always an easy read. Bad things happen to characters you like, sometimes through no fault of their own, sometimes at the hands of others. It's an eye-opening story of perfection and perceptions and, like every other Ellen Hopkins book, it stayed with me for days after turning the final page. The conclusion especially is somewhat haunting, and those of you who've read Impulse will know what I'm talking about. I knew what was coming, but still I hoped something would happen to alter the narrative. Reading the same events from other people's perspective was an unusual way to learn more about Conner, but it worked so well. Everyone is so fleshed out and real, I was sad to get to the end and have to leave them. That, my friends, is the power of a Hopkins novel!

What else can I say, other than buy this book and every other book written by this author. Read them, learn from them and keep them pride of place on your bookshelf. I really believe they'll be some of the most important books I read and I'm sure they've already helped me in everyday life, in the way I see people and how I respond to issues and problems. I can't wait for Ellen's next book!

9 comments:

A. Knight said...

According to the bloggers and book readers I come across, Hopkins is revered. It makes me want to pick up her books, but at the same time I don't know if they're the right kinds of books for me...

This sounds excellent, though...

- Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

Cliona said...

I've never read a Hopkins book, I'm not sure if I'd like them though! They sound brilliant, but a bit heavy, for me.

Siobhán @ Totally Bookalicious said...

I really need to read her books. I'm actually ashamed I haven't yet. will be picking up her books soon I think. Fab review as always

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I really, really need to give one of Ellen Hopkins' books a go - this sounds fantastic.

Jesse Owen said...

I'm going to add my name to this list of people who haven't yet read an Ellen Hopkins books before, I think this needs to be corrected soon especially after this review, it sounds brilliant.

Clover said...

Oh I adore Ellen Hopkins! Really must get hold of more of her boooks.

mrenschler said...

Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorite authors! i hate when i finish them because they're so amazing but i can't help but read late into the night!

buy book online said...

The book review is good and after reading it i think i should at least read it once. Thanks for sharing the post.

Jobs on a Farm said...

Thanks for that blog. Is very good to find an author who speaks of things without censorship and take you to another level of reading so much that you cannot stop reading until the end and take you to imagine things that you could never have imagined before the read the book. I have read very few books of Ellen Hopkins but the books I've read have been excellent.