I was thrilled when I discovered Natasha Friend’s Perfect. I didn’t know much about it, didn’t like the cover, and had no idea about the plot. I bought it on a whim and was rewarded. Perfect tells the story of Isabelle, who lost her father, and now has to go to Group every week because of her sister, Ape Face. I couldn’t believe my luck when Bounce was at the library.

Although they share the same one word title phenomena, Bounce and Perfect are completely different. Whereas in Perfect, I learned about an eating disorder and the seriousness of it, Bounce didn’t teach me too much and left me hungry. I did enjoy it, but I felt Friend could have fleshed the plot out more and made some parts less predictable.

Eyvn Linney talks to her mother sometimes, when no one is around. Her mom nods her head, and always says, “Oh, honey.” This doesn’t comfort Evyn any more, not when her father is getting married to a college professor. They don’t seem at all the same, and worst of all, she has six kids. Plus her and her brother Mackey, now.

The plot sometimes seemed forced, and Friend pushed feelings onto Evyn that really didn’t belong. I don’t want to give anything away, but the dramatic ending contradicted Friend’s writing style and jerked me out of the reading pace.

I did enjoy the premise and humor. Natasha Friend has a wonderful, wonderful gift with humor and voice that really rings true. The eight children certainly amused me, as I am an only child. I did wonder at the reality of the children, because Evyn genuinely did not seem interested in talking to some of them. I did not know the names of two until half way through the book.

I’ll be interested to seem whether Lush is more like Perfect or Bounce. Let’s hope it is more like Perfect.

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