Perfect

Ellen Hopkins, Author
Ellen Hopkins. S&S/McElderry, $18.99 (640p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8324-8
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-4494-5
Open Ebook - 544 pages - 978-1-4424-2357-2
Compact Disc - 7 pages - 978-1-4423-4493-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4618-4583-6
Paperback - 622 pages - 978-1-4169-8325-5
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Hopkins sticks to the signature style that has made her books bestsellers, blending verse poetry with controversial topics. In her eighth novel, four teenage protagonists alternately narrate their struggles with perfection. Sean and Kendra's struggles are physical—he's a baseball player who turns to steroids, and she's an aspiring model who develops a severe eating disorder ("Real control is/ not putting in more than you can work off.... Shaving off every caloric unit you can/ without passing out"). Cara and Andre's issues are more about identity (Cara is an all-American girl realizing she is a lesbian, while Andre is under parental pressure to pursue a lucrative, ambitious career path and is afraid to admit his passion for dance). This is a sequel, of sorts, as Cara's twin, Conner, a protagonist in Hopkins's suicide-themed book, Impulse, makes an appearance. There is an overabundance of plot points, as readers learn about Sean's dead parents, Kendra's racist father, a vicious attack on Kendra's sister, and more. But Hopkins explores enough hot-button issues (rape, teen plastic surgery, cyberharassment, etc.) to intrigue her fans and recruit new ones. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
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