Monday, November 03, 2008

Book Review: Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

Book: Perfect You
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Published: 2008

Kate’s life, never the stuff of Hollywood musicals, has now gone completely down the tubes. She used to have a best friend, she used to have a dad with a stable job, she used to not have to work at a sketchy vitamin booth at the mall. Now she’s on her own, but she’s not going to let anyone see how they’re getting to her. Especially that annoying jerk, Will Miller, who constantly mocks her by pretending to flirt. Can it get any worse?

Oh, yes, it can. Now her domineering (and rich) grandma is coming to “help out” at home. Her former best friend starts talking to her occasionally, but only when the popular crowd isn’t around. And worst of all, Kate finds herself in a weird, mostly physical relationship with Will that takes place completely in the mall.

She’s got to fix her life, fast. Trouble is, she can’t tell what’s wrong about it, and what’s right.

This was one of those books that I put down firmly at about midnight and turned off the light, because I needed to go to sleep. After five minutes, I turned it back on and finished the book. It’s not like there’s a great deal of suspense involved, I admit. You can pretty well tell that Anna is going to remain a selfish cow, that Will and Kate are going to get together in a real relationship, and that the family is headed for the rocks. It’s just seeing how Kate gets there and how she’s going to handle it that dragged me through the story.

The neatest thing about this book is Will. So often in YA novels with a romantic plot, the boy is an idealized creature: sweet, sensitive, and all-around so dang perfect you expect the light to go ting off his teeth. Will, on the other hand, is not the sharpest crayon in the box. He makes dumb jokes when he should be serious, he shows off too much in front of his friends, and after a certain point in the novel, every time they’re together, his brain goes straight to the Make-Out Place. In other words, he’s a teenage boy. With the exception of having the patience of a freakin’ saint when it comes to Kate’s insecurities, he’s just about the most believable seventeen-year-old romantic lead I’ve ever seen in a YA novel. It helps that there are things going on in his life that have absolutely nothing to do with Kate. I got the feeling that if Scott had decided to write the whole novel from Will’s point of view instead, it would have been completely possible.

I love a good romance, and it makes it all the better when I can believe in all the important characters. I believed in everyone in Perfect You.

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