Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard | Review

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Thank you to MacMillian Australia for sending me an ARC in exchange for honest review. 

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: February 8th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: abuse, neglect, parental abuse (off page but implied), dead parents

Pages: 384

Publisher: Macmillian Children’s Books

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

When I was wild, you were steady . . . 
Now you are wild – what am I? 

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.

As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.


R E V I E W

This is the first time I was sent a book for a blog tour! Not my first review for a blog tour, but I am so excited to be writing it up. Thank you again to the publishers for including me.

Goodbye, Perfect is kind of a hard book to review. I couldn’t put it down but boy, did I hate this content. I think what appealed to me so much in the book were the side characters. Particularly the main character’s boyfriend, Connor. Other than that, the story really fell flat on me in many ways. It really was a complex story in many ways, however at the end, we never really get a look at who Eden (the main character) really is.

I also wasn’t a fan of the ‘Eden is a bad girl and her best friend is a good girl’ stereotypes that this book had to go. It made me uncomfortable because no one fits those stereotypes in perfect little boxes – which is slightly challenged in the text but barely. This book really was a compilation of stereotypes mixed with some heartwarming moments.

Connor was a character I related to, quite a lot. He was his mother’s carer, something I am for my own mother. He had been a carer for his mum a lot longer than I have, but it was so interesting to finally to see that dynamic in a book. Especially since he does love his mum, doesn’t see her as a burden as parents who are unwell are so commonly presented in YA fiction. I truly loved that element of the book and almost cried when it came up.

My largest problem was the main character, Eden. Since the book is told completely from her perspective it was a tad frustrating. She’s not a character who I would view as independent, despite her experiences in life. She is quite dependent on the people in her life. She is forever shifting to fit a personality of whoever she is friends with. Eden is also way too loyal to a best friend who does not deserve it. At all.

I want to make this clear now if your best friend has run off with her secret boyfriend who you learn is your music teacher you tell the police where she is and that she has been contacting you. You do you not believe her bullshit about how she’d do anything for love. About how this is right and you can’t tell. No. Her life is possibly in danger and you tell the police everything you know. You do not make their search any harder.

Really, Eden was pretty stupid. It was infuriating. Watching her tell no one what she knew about Bonnie (her best friend) and ultimately putting her life at risk? I have no way to justify that. At all. I couldn’t even get into the mentality of ‘she’s just young’. I wouldn’t have done what she did at 16, no matter her age.

Eden’s backstory was interesting though. Seeing her describe addiction as a sickness rather than a disgusting habit was also an interesting take. I understand many people see addiction in that way but I have seen too much addiction in my life to have a similar outlook, unfortunately.

I hated the ending of Goodbye, Perfect though. It felt rushed and unfinished. Particularly the last chapter. I wasn’t sure what the point of it was but it really did make me feel as if the whole story was wasted because of that chapter.

From all my critiques it probably sounds as if I didn’t enjoy Goodbye, Perfect. I did enjoy this book, but I think at the end of the day maybe I’m not the target audience for this particular story. I did enjoy this much more than I did the author’s other work, A Quiet Kind of Thunder. So, that’s something there.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick read for whenever summer is in your hemisphere, this is a great poolside read that will keep you engaged, if not a bit frustrated, while reading.


Happy reading everyone!

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