I’ve lived with the pretense
of perfection for seventeen
years. Give my room a cursory
inspection, you’d think I have OCD.
But it’s only habit and not
obsession that keeps it all orderly.
Of course, I don’t want to give
the impression that it’s all up to me.
Most of the heavy labor is done by
our housekeeper, Gwen. She’s an
imposing woman, not at all the type
that most men would find attractive.
Not even Conner, which is the point.
My twin has a taste for older
women. Before he got himself
locked away, he chased after more
than one. I should have told sooner
about the one he caught, the one
I happened to overhear him with,
having a little afternoon fun.
Okay, I know a psychologist
would say, strictly speaking,
he was prey, not predator.
And in a way, I can’t really
blame him. Emily is simply
stunning. Conner wasn’t the only
one who used to watch her go
running by our house every
morning. But, hello, she was
his teacher. That fact alone
should have been enough warning
that things would not turn out well.
I never would have expected
Conner to attempt the coward’s way
out, though. Some consider suicide
an act of honor. I seriously don’t agree.
But even if it were, you’d have to
actually die. All Conner did was
stain Mom’s new white Berber
carpet. They’re replacing it now.
Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.
Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never understand.
A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins’s Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.
- Margaret K. McElderry Books |
- 640 pages |
- ISBN 9781442423572 |
- September 2011 |
- Grades 9 and up |
- Lexile HL570L
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ABOUT THE BOOK
Everyone dreams about the perfect life, but an obsession with perfection can be crippling. Cara Sykes is beautiful, rich, and destined for Stanford. She has the seemingly ideal circumstance; however, unreal parental expectations have already sent her twin brother, Conner, to a psychiatric hospital for attempted suicide, and Cara herself, confused over her sexual identity, is afraid to admit that she is not sexually drawn to her boyfriend, Sean, but rather to Danielle, a girl she meets snowboarding. Her admission will destroy the perfect image her parents have impressed upon her. Sean O’Connell, a baseball star resolute on earning a scholarship to Stanford to be near Cara, pumps iron and takes steroids to become the perfect hitting machine, but the steroids send him into a spiral of rage. Paralleling their relationship is the story of two sisters, Kendra and Jenna Mathieson. Kendra, Conner’s former girlfriend, will do anything to become a supermodel, including starving her 5'10" frame down to a size 2, having rhinoplasty and a breast augmentation, and having sex with older men in the modeling world who promise to take her to the top. Jenna, wounded by living in the shadows of her “perfect” sister, pops pills, drinks, and flaunts her sexuality. Andre Kane, Jenna’s rich boyfriend, does not escape perfectionism—his mother is a plastic surgeon who t see more