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...
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Source: borrowed/School library
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Others: Something, Maybe; Bloom
Great for summer reading, Perfect You is a touching, poignant story about the importance of family and letting go, fused with all of the grievances, tension, and sweetness that comes with first love. Light and funny, yet realistic and painful, Perfect You is authentic in the struggles Kate faces - her endurance of the loss of her best friend, the frustrations drawn out by her love-to-hate relationship with the super cute, cocky, surprisingly kind and lovable Will, and the current state of her home life - a life, incidentally, that is hampered down by her father's nonsensical ambitions resting with the Perfect You vitamins he sells!
Kate was miserable, lonely, and a bit of grouch when I first met her. Who could blame her though? First her best friend since diapers (well, maybe not exactly diapers, but close enough) has ditched her for the oh-so-enviable popular crowd after she transitions from chubby nerd to chic and pretty Miss Unattainable. Well, not precisely unattainable, because she does have a boyfriend (of course!) whom she adores and feels so lucky to be basking in his glory that she doesn't care to confront him about his cheating habits. Gag. I say good riddance, but that's easy for me, and other readers, to say. While it may have irritated me a few times to watch Kate pine over her lost friendship with this weak, malleable girl, I understood where she was coming from. Heck, I've been there. It's not easy to throw a life-long friendship to the winds, even if that friend continually hurts and betrays you! Still, I couldn't help but sigh with relief when the inevitable happens, when the truth crops up and punches Kate in the heart.
I liked watching her strength slowly emerge. Her whole issue with Anna only succeeded in helping her think better of herself and her life. And though I don't think her situation at home gives her an excuse to have let herself become so unhappy, her depression is warranted. I don't think I could've restrained myself the way Kate was able to when it came to her father. Her childish, selfish father. A father who willingly quit his job in favor of selling just-about-worthless Perfect You vitamins in the mall. Who wastes money on crap instead of worrying about keeping a roof over his family's head, helping his wife through their struggles. I. Was. Pissed. Off. I raged at this careless man, more than once. And yet his family's reaction to his behavior, his spendthrifty ways didn't set off annoyance. Rather, they were genuine. It was real in how Kate's mom tried to stick by her husband, even while he brought on more hardships, unwilling to leave him, real in how Kate didn't want to discourage her father for fear of hurting his feelings. How she didn't want to tell him to stop being so selfish because he seemed happy. The family dynamics were pure, as dysfunctional as any family can be.
And, oh how I adored the romance! It reminded me of The Duff by Kody Keplinger in particular. It's always fun, comical, and, depending, sweet or hot when two people argue and trade witty remarks like blows. Will Miller is definitely swoon-worthy. Like I said, the sarcastic banter was addictive. Though Will most certainly was teasing, Kate on the other hand has some bite in her comments. And the fact is, she can't stand that she's deep-down crushing on this guy and has been for some time. Making her reluctance and his inclination to... persuade her into his arms all the sexier! Oh, yeah, wish I was at liberty to make out with this notably gorgeous dude behind the mall. *sigh* Kate is so lucky - I'm pitifully jealous. Beneath that layer of hotness, however, lurks warmth and sweet, sweet insecurity. And that sent me in utter luuurve with Will. And besides the incessant, undeniably yummy smooching scenes, they were kind of mostly totally adorable together. Which encouraged my ceaseless cheering for this pairing to become Oh-fficial.
Although I would've liked the book to have closed out with one last smooch - just joking... or am I? *shrugs* I'm a hopeless, lustful teen with no propriety to speak of *grins*- I was content with it. So many good things happen, and Kate is evidently much stronger in comparison to the beginning of the novel. She and I bonded. I liked Kate. Was happy for her, smiled at her success. And if Scott's books are anything like this one (perhaps even better), then I'll certainly rummage through my library for more at the first opportunity.
If you're into books about life, love, and family this would be your next go-to book. Fans of Sarah Dessen might also enjoy this heartfelt story, especially those that liked Along for the Ride. The love/hate romance also brought back memories of the fun and delight I had reading The Duff by Kody Keplinger.
Will looked at them for a second and then turned back around again, whispering, "Kate don't be like that. You know I only did so well because I yearn--see, SAT word--to follow you to college and steal your heart."
"Uh-huh. Too bad for you I don't plan on attending clown college."
He grinned. "Only you would ignore the incredibly sweet thing I just said."
"Only you would describe one of your asinine comments as incredibly sweet." (16)