Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Perfect You, by Elizabeth Scott
Release date: September 21st 2010
Published by: Simon Pulse
Genre: Contemporary (YA)
Rating: 3/5 stars
-- Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon
Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast.
Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.
And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.
Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them...
After Anna and the French Kiss, let's just say I spent a couple of months looking for a good contemporary novel. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare was a complete disappointment, so I went straight to one of the most famous authors of this genre: Elizabeth Scott. I now know why she's this famous. Perfect You had an interesting premise: Girl who's a nobody at school, ignored by her best friend, harassed by family issues, and constantly wondering if the boy actually likes her, or is only trying to add her to his ranks.
Pretty cliché, right? I thought so, too. But Elizabeth Scott involves not only teenager's problems, but realistic family issues, which only makes the story solid. Kate's father quit, and decided to sell Perfect You vitamins. However, pursuing a dream is hard when you have a family to support, and bills to pay. Kate's family getting poorer and poorer while Steve turned his back on reality and focused on video games and vitamins was tough even for me to read. I felt bad for Kate and her mother and brother.
However, as much as Kate's situation was complicated and acceptable, her frequent whining was not. I couldn't understand her half the time, to be honest. If your family is out of money, and working with your father is not making things any better, why not look for another job, one that would actually provide some money? But no, all that Kate did was cry and complain like a child about the lack of freedom and happiness and go after Anna like a dog.
Yes, I said it. Kate acted like a dog around Anna. If your best friend forgets about you, makes fun of you behind your back with people you hate, and doesn't look at you not even once... well, it's bye-bye for her, honey. I understand that Anna's friendship was very important to Kate, but really, some self-esteem is in order these days. Anna didn't want to be Kate's friend, she just wanted someone who supported her above all else, and would always be there for her. Like, you know, a dog. Or, in this case, Kate.
The romance was pretty cute, I admit that. However, it would've been perfect if Kate hadn't acted like she was so superior around Will. She didn't even let him finish a sentence - literally - and always thought the worst of him, even before he began to speak. It bothered me immeasurably how Will always respected Kate's wishes and treated her right, but Kate crushed him under her shoe whenever possible. It's wasn't a balanced romance, with mutual respect and acceptance. That's the only bad aspect of it.
The writing was great, though, and I liked how some things were left unresolved at the end. I would've loved to see more of Kate and Will's relationship, since their last conversation didn't really give me much of a closure. Despite the narration on the last chapter resuming how it all went after that, I still thought it was left incomplete, somehow. Good plot, good ending, non-remarkable characters, and an enjoyable romance. I say if you're looking for a quick contemporary read, go for it.