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Perfect
Impulse Series, Book 2
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What would you give up to be perfect? Four teens find out in the New York Times bestselling companion to Impulse.Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they'd rather be. For four high...
What would you give up to be perfect? Four teens find out in the New York Times bestselling companion to Impulse.Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they'd rather be. For four high...
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  • What would you give up to be perfect? Four teens find out in the New York Times bestselling companion to Impulse.
    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 understand.

    A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.

About the Author-

  • Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous young adult novels, as well as the adult novels such as Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 4, 2011
    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.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2011

    While not razor-edged like her previous work, Hopkins' portrait of four 12th-graders who are expected to be perfect will nonetheless keep teens up all night reading.

    In a Reno suburb, expectations take heavy tolls. Trying to excel at baseball and get into Stanford, Sean takes steroids and spirals into rage and rape. Kendra does pageants but wants to model, so she schedules plastic surgery and stops eating. Andre takes dance lessons in secret, funding them with money that his wealthy, status-conscious parents give him for fashionable sweaters. Cara seems faultless at everything from cheerleading to grades, but she's falling in love with a girl. The four first-person narrations are set in different type and have mildly different styles, but the free verse lacks Hopkins' trademark sharp, searing brittleness. However, the less-sharp tone works here, because these characters are more depressed than dissociated. The ostensible focus on perfection is a coping mechanism against families that are absent, cold and brutally silent, so the consequences—anorexia, drugs, booze, rape, delusion, deception—all ring true. It also rings true that some characters buckle, worst off at the story's end, while others find themselves and may make it.

    This page-turner pulls no emotional punches; readers should find Impulse (2007) first, because this is a sequel at heart, and knowing the prior work in advance adds crucial layers of meaning. (author's note) (Fiction. 13-17)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2011

    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

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2011
    Grades 10-1 In this companion to Impulse (2007), Hopkins addresses teens' struggles with unrealistic expectations in gut-wrenching free verse. Top student and athlete Cara wrestles with sexual orientation, while her twin brother and suicide survivor Connor struggles to overcome parental pressure to achieve. Cara's boyfriend, Sean, battles steroids' effect on his psyche, while would-be model Kendra descends into anorexia, and Andre tries to find the courage to tell his parents he intends to follow his dream to be a dancer. Fans of Hopkins' heartfelt, direct, and empathetic voice will not care that format and thematic material are much the same as previous titles.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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    Margaret K. McElderry Books
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