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Perfect
Contributor(s): Hopkins, Ellen
ISBN: 1416983244     ISBN-13: 9781416983248
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover - Other Formats
Published: September 2011
Qty:
Annotation: Northern Nevada teenagers Cara, Kendra, Sean, and Andre tell in their own voices of their very different paths toward perfection and how their goals change when tragedy strikes.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Novels in verse.
Self-esteem; Fiction.
Perfectionism (Personality trait); Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2010037543
Lexile Measure: 570
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.00" H x 5.25" W x 1.75" (1.15 lbs) 622 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 146550
Reading Level: 3.5   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 9.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q53885
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 17.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring)
In Hopkins's latest verse novel, four self-obsessed characters (each with his or her own verse form) express concerns about achieving success. While the novel is supportive of one young woman coming out as a lesbian, female heterosexual activity mostly ends in rape or prostitution. Fans of Hopkins's style will appreciate this volume, but she breaks no new ground in style or content.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 July #1)

Hopkins sticks to the signature style that has made her books bestsellers, blending verse poetry with controversial topics. In her eighth novel, four teenage protagonists alternately narrate their struggles with perfection. Sean and Kendra's struggles are physical—he's a baseball player who turns to steroids, and she's an aspiring model who develops a severe eating disorder ("Real control is/ not putting in more than you can work off.... Shaving off every caloric unit you can/ without passing out"). Cara and Andre's issues are more about identity (Cara is an all-American girl realizing she is a lesbian, while Andre is under parental pressure to pursue a lucrative, ambitious career path and is afraid to admit his passion for dance). This is a sequel, of sorts, as Cara's twin, Conner, a protagonist in Hopkins's suicide-themed book, Impulse, makes an appearance. There is an overabundance of plot points, as readers learn about Sean's dead parents, Kendra's racist father, a vicious attack on Kendra's sister, and more. But Hopkins explores enough hot-button issues (rape, teen plastic surgery, cyberharassment, etc.) to intrigue her fans and recruit new ones. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 August)

Gr 9 Up—This companion to Impulse (S & S/Pulse, 2007) can stand alone, but packs considerably more punch when read contiguously as intended. Impulse featured the interlocking narratives of Vanessa, Tony, and Conner, teens confined to a psychiatric facility after failed suicide attempts. Cara, Conner's twin, is Perfect's first narrator. Her story begins immediately after Conner's departure for the facility. She is on the cusp of her high school graduation and attempting to figure out who she is, if not the perfect image her mother expects. Kendra, Conner's ex-girlfriend, will do anything to become a model, regardless of what it means for her health or sense of self-worth. Andre wants to be a dancer, though this goal couldn't be further from what his parents expect for him. Sean is dead set on being with Cara for the long haul and dreams of playing ball at Stanford, but what will he sacrifice to get there? As Hopkins's readers have come to expect, each of the teens' lives spins out of control over the course of the novel as they stumble through sexual awakenings and violations, violent crime, and confrontations with racism. Some characters' voices are less clear than others. Andre's story, for example, focuses so much on his relationship with Kendra's daredevil sister that his important internal struggle—to dance or not to dance—is underplayed. Yet Hopkins's legions of fans will no doubt devour Perfect and welcome the return of the characters they learned to love in Impulse.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ

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