Perfect (Impulse, #2)
by Ellen Hopkins
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.
Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.
Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect? (goodreads.com)
Release date: September 13, 2011
This is one of those situations where I can honestly say that had I not been sent a book for review, I would never, ever have picked up an Ellen Hopkins novel. Sure I’d seen the novels around in the store, those big, chunky, square books with one-word titles. I knew perfectly well they were there, but I’d never picked one up and leafed through it. I was certain these books were not for me. I don’t do contemporary fiction and I am frightened off by most contemporary fiction about badass teens (badass meaning, drugs, drinking, sex… I am, for some scary reason, ok with mental illness, eating disorders and mental institutions.) The books just didn’t call out to me. I had them written off completely.
I certainly didn’t know that these books were all written in VERSE.
Let me tell you that I was none too pleased about this book showing up, unannounced on my doorstep with the implication that I was to read and review it. I can’t just NOT read a book sent to me by a publisher. I have way too much guilt associated with that. I feel like I have been giving this awesome opportunity that others would jump at and I can’t just ignore it. This is one of the main reasons I do not like to receive books for review – way too much anxiety attached! Sure I’ll agree to a couple when asked, if they look like my thing, but getting books as a surprise terrifies me!
So, I picked up Perfect last night because it comes out in a month. I wanted to at least give it a try before writing it off completely. I was scared. Scared that I wouldn’t like the story. Scared that I wouldn’t be able to read a book written in verse. Just scared.
I didn’t need to be scared. Though it took me a “chapter” or two to get into the flow of the writing, I quickly discovered just how beautiful the flawed stories of these teenagers’ lives really was. The book literally took my breath away since at one point I realized I wasn’t breathing at all as I flipped page after page.
My one thought halfway through the book and now, just as I finished reading it was this:
How have I not read anything by Ellen Hopkins before?
I now have to go out and buy Impulse. Why? Because I just read the summary and found out it’s set in a psychiatric hospital. It’s the first book before Perfect and I am guessing that some of the characters at the end of the companion novel are in Impulse. (Annnd… of course the stores near me do not have it in stock! Argh! What is WRONG with Chapters/Indigo lately!? Ordering online is fine and dandy, but sometimes I like to give my credit card a break and pay with CASH!) I desperately want to read more of Ellen Hopkins and her beautiful verse. Just the way the words were scattered across the page for each character was so captivating to me. For someone who feels words and sees sentiments, the words were placed almost perfectly (no pun intended) on the pages.
I have Simon & Schuster Canada to thank for helping me broaden my horizons on the literature front. I would never have read an Ellen Hopkins novel otherwise. I am so happy I took the plunge and made myself pick up the book. I will never look back now and must try out all of her stories.
(Like my fancy photo? I had taken it with Instagram when I received the book and I liked how it came out so much I decided to use it for the post. Photoshop Elements is fun and all, but it’s a lot of work. heh heh…. I honestly don’t know how I lived life before my iPhone and Instagram!!)