Review: Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

*Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
(First posted on Goodreads on 4th November, having read the book on October 29th)

I’ve been really delayed in writing my review for this seeing as I finished it at the end of last week, but I was hoping that if I left in for long enough and I mulled over ‘Goodbye, Perfect’ I’d love it as much as I did Sara Barnard’s other books. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. (Hence why the rating in the featured image and the actual review are different – I had to be more honest with how I felt about the book, and not just be lenient with my rating because I loved Sara’s previous two books.)

I knew nothing about the plot before I started reading, which was definitely a good thing because if I’d have known it was about a student-teacher relationship, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up – not matter who wrote it. That relationship is one of my most hated buzzwords. Luckily, it’s from the perspective of the girl who’s best friend is groomed, delusional and ‘in love’ with her music teacher, which made it more manageable and definitely had me questioning the strength of loyalty in the face of a criminal offence.

My opinion was very firm. Even if Bonnie is Eden’s best friend, she doesn’t know how much danger she’s in so Eden needed to tell the police everything. And while I was sympathetic to the difficult situation Eden was in for the first fifty pages, I couldn’t deal with the same thought processes throughout the whole book. How this book managed to feel so long winded (slow paced and – dare I say it? – dull) at just over 300 pages is beyond me.

The saving grace of the book for me was Eden’s relationship with Valerie, her older sister that she struggled to bond with when she was first adopted, and Eden’s boyfriend Connor who was just an all around great guy. (Having a character in YA be in a committed relationship before the book began and NOT have any drama surrounding that relationship during the narrative was so refreshing!) These characters were both most prominent in the last fifty pages of the book where things started to get interesting for the first time.

Another thing that kept me reading despite feeling like I wasn’t getting enough out of the story was the newspaper inserts and text message exchanges. I was just waiting for what ridiculously warped thing Bonnie was going to say about how happy she was to be with Jack (ugh.) I love that multi-media is becoming more and more prominent in YA, at least!

There were also a lot of things happening in the background of this story that were super interesting but not developed enough for me. For example, Eden’s little sister Daisy and her descent into being a young troublemaker/following the path of Eden from years ago. Or the fact that Connor was a young carer for his mother. Or the relationship Eden had with her birth mother. Or Eden’s identity as biracial (with a Brazilian father). All of these things could have added a little zest to a story that was too consumed by Bonnie running away.

Also, (rant incoming) I’m never a fan of narratives that make a straight-A student/generally ‘good’ girl feel like she’s missing out on the ‘teenage experience’ (which doesn’t exist!) Being a teenager isn’t a check list of underage drinking and disrespecting your authority figures. I was told this way too much by people in secondary school that made fun of me thinking a nice evening consisted of watching Call the Midwife and knitting. Just because Bonnie cared about her exam results, that doesn’t make her boring or not worthy of her story being told.

Overall, this book gets 2.5 stars from me and I’m beyond disappointed that I can’t call this Sara Barnard’s best book yet. But she’s still one of my all-time favourite YA authors and I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that her next book is more my thing.

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder’s Release Day!

301972011 Today’s the day that the beautiful, wonderful A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard is released to the world! 🎉🎉 and to celebrate, Pan Macmillan contacted early readers to attempt to imagine what it would be like to be silent for a day and struggle the same way Steffi does with her selective mutism.

Here’s a list of Steffi’s worst scenarios to be mute for:

5. When you need the toilet
4. When you’re bleeding
3. When you need a new pencil
2. When you look a bit suspicious
1. When your best friend needs you

I don’t think there’s any arguing that those are the worst scenarios to be in (although, I can’t help but giggle that needing a new pencil is a higher priority than when you’re bleeding, so I’ll assume these aren’t in a particular order!) But it really got me thinking, what would be my worst scenarios? So, here goes… Continue reading “A Quiet Kind of Thunder’s Release Day!”

Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

301972011A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Genre: 
Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Macmillan
Pages: 320
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★★★
Note: 
We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

After reading and loving Beautiful Broken Things (so much it made my top fifteen books of 2015 before it was even published) I was so excited with Sara Barnard’s next book. Now that I’ve finished it, the exact same thing has happened. This is pure gold (and bronze) and I don’t think anything I write now will do justify to just how beautiful this book is. But, I’m still going to try, so here are some reasons to love A Quiet Kind of Thunder!
Continue reading “Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard”

Review: Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

25437747Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
Genre: Contemporary
Published by: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 400
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon

All about friendship, this book is special. Focusing on the lives of Caddy, the protagonist, and her two friends Rosie and Suzanne as they try and navigate teenage life. Full of fun, friendship and the inevitable drama that comes with being 16 years old, ‘Beautiful Broken Things’ is an amazing novel and a masterful debut.  Continue reading “Review: Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard”