Reviews for Perfect

AudioFile Reviews 2012 June
Hopkins, who is known for writing novels in free verse that tackle tough issues like drug use and homelessness, explores the struggle for perfection and the damage it can do. Four actors introduce the characters with the ennui of typical teens describing how their lives fail to meet parental or societal expectations. As the story unfolds, each narrator bares the soul of his or her character; none falls short of excellent in doing so. Since this is a spoken performance, minor distinctions in delivery, such as odd pacing at line breaks, indicate the print is in free verse. Only Tristan Wilds, as Andre, consistently stresses the title of each poem. Usually with an ensemble cast, one voice falls short but not this time. The title says it all. M.M.O. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 January

Gr 9 Up--Ellen Hopkins's companion (2011) to Impulse (2007, both Margaret McElderry Books)), gives voice to four teens trying to live up to the expectations of others while also holding onto secrets. In Impulse, Connor, Tony, and Vanessa were confined to a psychiatric hospital after their failed suicide attempts. Here, Connor's twin sister, Cara, struggles to sustain the flawless façade that her mother has created while also coming to terms with her sexuality. Sean, Cara's boyfriend, has the perfect future mapped out with her, but the effects of steroids take a terrible toll. Andre secretly wants to be a dancer. And Kendra, Connor's ex-girlfriend, will stop at nothing to have the "perfect" body and modeling career. Told from alternating perspectives, Aya Cash, Heather Lind, Aaron Tveit, and Tristan Wilds vividly bring to life each character and their inner turmoil. With varying levels of voicing and character distinction, listeners will be drawn into the lives, hearts, and minds of these teens. As the stories weave into each other, the progression of the characters' desperation, and in some instances, disorder and addiction, are realistically portrayed. Raw and transformational, this audiobook can stand alone, but the story will mean even more to those familiar with the first title. A self-narrated author's note is equally powerful and will have listeners contemplating their own views of perfection. The long tracks, one for each alternating perspective, can be problematic, but not to any major detraction.--Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY

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