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Book Review: Goodbye, Perfct by Sara Barnard

Have you come across a book that made you think that you resemble a certain character in a book to a great extent? Or in parts the story reads like something familiar? Something you have lived through. Goodbye, Perfect could be that one book for us all.

Sara Barnard's book *Goodbye, Perfect* is a contemporary Young Adult novel set in a small town in England . The story is framed around an incident that takes place on a Saturday morning when it is discovered that a high achieving 15 year old school girl Bonnie has run away with her music teacher. Her best friend Eden knows nothing about it but no one believes her (after all she is THE BEST FRIEND) and she is left dealing with its repercussions and questioning her friendship and judgement about how she sees things, people and relationships.

The characters here are complex like all of us. There are layers and nuances uncovering the people who exist under the cover of  these two ordinary schoolgirls. The book deals with their friendship and its various shades- feelings of loyalty, betrayal, affection and sincerity- in the light of this episode.

Barnard has managed to bring to fore quite a complex character via Eden. She and her sister Daisy were adopted by the McKinley family. Eden thinks that their biological daughter Valerie probably did not get any say in bringing the other two girls home and so maintains a cold distance from her elder sister. Through the book Eden learns to see things in different light and comes to realise that there is always more to people than she thought she knew it to be. I personally felt a gamut of emotions for this girl, ranging from tenderness to frustration.

Just like Eden, the others in the book- from Bonnie to Eden's boyfriend Connor- all characters are etched out very well. We witness Eden's equation with all of them and how it evolves makes the crux of the story. Yes, it is yet another coming of age story but of a girl who thought that she was a bad egg, a rebel. this is also an important story that brings to the discussion table the pressure of studies, of bringing home good grades and its affect on our kids.

This is one of the very rare books which I think would make for a fantastic read for teenagers anywhere in the world.This is a book with very important lessons/ messages woven into it that I wanted to highlight them in my copy with a pen (which I otherwise think is a cardinal sin).

The story flows smoothly as the writing is simple and easy to read. 

Have you ever committed a blunder and left your friend to deal with the aftermath?
Title: Goodbye, Perfect
Author: Sara Barnard
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Paperback: 320 pages 
Price: 399
Publisher: Macmillan
Language: English

Rating: 5/5


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